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:: The Village

M. Night Shyamalan's ‘The Village’ is set in 1897 and is a suspenseful story of a group of people who choose to leave common society and set up their own small utopian community away from the rest of the world. One where violence, crime and other issues that face society are unheard of. This utopian community however is not as alone as it would like. The inhabitants of this community are plagued by fear of the unknown forest that surrounds them. For years, they have kept a truce with mysterious creatures in the woods, vowing never to breach a clearly defined border. However, when Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) becomes determined to explore the nearby towns, his actions are met with menacing consequences.

Like many of his other movies (The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, Signs), Shyamalan sets an enthralling atmosphere; this atmosphere is produced through some excellent cinematography, great dialogue and a rich cast including Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver and Bryce Dallas Howard who does a magnificent job playing the role of Ivy Walker. Even though the movie does grab the audience’s attention early and the suspense remains constant throughout the film. The twist at the end, which is something all too common in a Shyamalan film, probably doesn’t make up for the lack of actual action during the film.

Suspense can only build up for so long, without some action following it up, it can turn into boredom. The movie never reaches levels of boredom, although more could have taken place during the film to keep up energy levels rather then relying solely on setting up a great atmosphere early on and finishing with a clever end.