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:: The Village

Set in a rural farming town in the late 1800s a small village is all but quiet except for a looming threat that inhabits their woods. It is not long before the boundaries and borders of this seemingly quaint village are established, keeping its residents at bay with fear of some animal-like creatures called T.W.D.S.O. (Those we don’t speak of) and the colour red which they associate the things with.

Enter its main players, Luius (Joaquin Phoenix), Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard) and slow minded Noah (Adrien Brody) who one by one discover that something is a little N.Q.R. (not quite right) with the village and the elders (William Hurt & Sigourney Weaver) who protect them. Luius’ pleas to travel to another town to find medicines are continually denied and when some children are caught playing chicken on the town’s borders, T.W.D.S.O. pays them all a little visit.

When the treat of T.W.D.S.O. is near it brings the blind Ivy and quiet Luius together and what we soon have here is a bit of a love triangle with Noah, resulting in drastic consequences. The elders, especially daddy Walker (Hurt) must reveal some town secrets and Ivy ventures out into the unknown world.

Staple M. Night Shyamalan with the almost too obvious Hitchcock homage, gets there (wherever the hell that is) in his own sweet time. However The Village isn’t so much about the final destination, which is a tad drawn out (yes, yes, we get that you’re clever), but more enjoyable is the journey and beautiful rich imagery and characters along the way.

There are several DVD features included on the disk with the most interesting being Deconstructing The Village which details all the filmmaking elements involved, and shows a very calm Shyamalan on set (you’d think after writing, producing and directing he’d have a nervous breakdown). What is interesting is the whole village was constructed for the shoot and the intentional connection between the violinist and main character. M. Night’s Home Movie is included as a feature with one of his first “home movies” made as a kid. It is a bit confusing as to why it is even in there but does make it all the more clear that Shyamalan wears his influences on his sleeve.

DVD Extras

 Deconstructing The Village
 Deleted scenes
 Bryce’s diary
 M. Night’s home movies
 Production photo gallery