(Review originally written at 27 January 2005)

The main problem with "The Village" is the story. The beginning of the movie drags on for too long without seeming to go somewhere and the 'surprise twist' comes too early. The best part of "The Village" are the last 30 minutes. Funny, because it where the last 30 minutes that were the worst part of M. Night Shyamalan's previous movie "Signs".

I think that the marketing is one thing that killed this movie. The movie was presented as a scary supernatural horror/thriller. What you got when you watch the movie is a thriller with too few real thrilling moments and a dramatic love story. Basically all the excitement in the movie was already in the trailer.

Still "The Village" is a perfectly watchable movie mainly because of the cast. I think it's fair to say that the movie is better as an actors movie than as a thriller. Especially Adrien Brody was surprising good in his role. Bryce Dallas Howard is a good actress (although she was not really a convincing blind person) but her character is not strong enough to carry the entire final part of the movie. Joaquin Phoenix's characters disappears way too soon out of the story, the movie could have really used his character.

I know that M. Night Shyamalan and Roger Deakins deliberately choose bright colors for the movie but I can't say that I'm completely happy about the visual style. A more of a foggy "Sleepy Hollow" kind of atmosphere would had done wonders to the movie I think. It would had certainly made it more exciting.

All in all a movie that promises more than it really is and that lacks some good and realistic excitement that all other M. Night Shyamalan movies thus far had. Disappointing but most certainly not unwatchable!


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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