The Village (2004)

village poster 2004 movie m night shyamalan
3.5 Overall Score
Story: 2/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Bryce Dallas Howard, the monsters

Dumb story that is quite dull

Movie Info

Movie Name:  The Village

Studio:  Touchstone Pictures

Genre(s):  Horror/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s):  July 30, 2004

MPAA Rating:  PG-13


A village that eats together is really ignorant together

There is something in the woods surrounding the village…red is its color of death and for years, through sacrifice and alms, the villagers have been at peace with the creatures.  When the peace is suddenly broken, the creature threatens to prowl at nights.  In the town, blind Elizabeth Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard) has love for Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) though her sister Kitty (Judy Greer) is next in line to marry.  When the opportunity arises, Elizabeth and Lucius find they might be happy together, but tragedy strikes in the form of a handicap young man named Noah Percy (Adrien Brody) who is jealous of the union.  Now, with the blessing of her father Edward (William Hurt), Elizabeth must enter the hostile woods in an attempt to save Noah’s life…and breaking the truce could mean death!


Little Pig, Little Pig let me in!

Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan, The Village was met with tepid reviews and accusations of plagerism.  The movie was accused of stealing the plot of a 1995 young-adult novel named Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix which had a very similar plotline.  The film was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score.

M. Night Shyamalan really exploded with The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs…and his film The Village showed his first failure which led to a series of film which really missed their mark and never equaled his early success.  The Village instead of being thrilling is quite a bore.  *****Spoiler Alert***** Due to the style of the film, the review will probably be peppered with spoilers, so be warned.


If DiCaprio gets a Gilbert Grape Oscar nomination, why can’t I?

The story of The Village is ridiculous and was easy to call early on.  I can remember thinking it early due to some of the dialogue and oddity of the movie that it could be modern day…then of course in one of the worst “twists” it was.  The fact that a society could live in a nature reserve and pay money to change flight plans seems pretty odd…if you are making up a society, couldn’t you just have made up what the planes were instead of going to the trouble?  It was a lame ending to a movie that was quite dull.

The other aspect of the movie that was completely defeated by this story was that the “monsters” were kind of cool looking.  If all the adults know the monsters are fake (they moved to “the village” in their twenties and thirties), it essentially was pretending (forever) that there was a Santa Claus…Society is too dangerous but creating monsters to scare children in a rural town is better?



Fortunately for the movie, Bryce Dallas Howard is a nice actress for the role.  She does give some depth to the movie with her character while everyone else performs in a strange and unnaturally flat style.  The weak romance between William Hurt and Sigourney Weaver doesn’t really go anywhere and you also get Adrian Brody essentially channeling Leonardo DiCaprio in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape.

The movie does some interesting things to develop fear and has some great use of colors.  I think   is a great judge of what is scary but a poor judge of good stories.  He gets too caught up in his own script and needs some distance.  The movie looks goods but just doesn’t flow.


You serious have a DiCaprio thing going…now we have to recreate Titanic?

The Village is a pretty poor excuse for a horror thriller.  Instead of coming off as clever it comes off as not very  scary or clever and more of a slap in the face to the audience that has invested their interest in the characters.  With Shyamalan’s previous films, the twist was important, fun, and a real surprise, but in The Village it just seems silly and foolish…don’t waste your time with this snoozer.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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