Scary film? Only if you're scared by films. Or by malevolent ideas. The Village is another film by the guy that sent shivers up my spine in that part of Signs when that creepy alien sillhouette appears on the barn. I found The Village to be completely engrossing and well, creepy. Impossible (for me) to predict where the story was headed - and rather annoying to anyone nearby to hear predictions.
It's a tale of a village surrounded by forest harbouring creatures that are unable to be spoken of/about. They disapprove of certain colours and of people of the aforementioned village venturing too far into the surrounding forests. So the people go about their business, (which is uncertain - I think it's primarily milking cows or frollicking) and hope the creatures go about their business (mainly of growling and looking scary) without too much interaction.
Shyamalan uses a certain element of bait and switch within his storytelling. Everything is made clear in the end; but unlike the audience, the majority of characters are none the wiser. He deliberately lays out the events in a way that makes for ambiguous interpretation, and the real motivations for his characters actions are made apparant in due time. Lady Margaret describes Shyamalan as a manipulator, and it's hard not to agree when certain scenes are added purely to mislead. Formulaic or no, it does make for gripping viewing.
Reviewed on Sunday, 5 September 2004