tek's rating:

The Village (PG-13)
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Okay, there's this small village, seems to be set maybe a couple centuries ago, it's hard to tell exactly. The place is surrounded by the Coventry Woods, in which there are creatures that are supposed to never come into the village, and the villagers are supposed to never go into the woods. (I'm not sure if Coventry is also supposed to be the name of the village, I don't think the village was ever actually named in the movie.) But beyond the woods are towns, which are supposedly full of crime, greed, violence... but also useful things like medicines.

A kid dies, and this guy Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) wants to go through the woods to get medicines in case of future sickness, but the town elders forbid it. But things start happening, animals turning up dead and skinned... and while some would like to blame coyotes, others blame the creatures. Meanwhile there's other stuff going on, like this young woman, Kitty Walker (Judy Greer), wants to marry Lucius, who turns her down. But later she marries someone else. Lucius is in love with Kitty's sister Ivy (Bryce Dallas Howard), who is in love with him. And she's blind. But it's quite some time before he admits his feelings. Also there's this guy named Noah (Adrien Brody), who's... simple. But he's friends with Lucius and Ivy.

When Ivy and Lucius get engaged, Noah gets upset because he loves Ivy. So he stabs Lucius, and the wound gets infected. So Ivy wants permission to go to the towns for medicine to save Lucius' life. And finally, her father, Edward (William Hurt), one of the elders, reveals a secret to her. And that is all of the plot that I'm going to give away. I'll just say that I enjoyed the movie, because up until the secret was revealed, I kept trying to think of as many outlandish possible explanations for the creatures as I could. That was fun. And one of my guesses, while vague, was more or less right. And of my various guesses, it was probably the least annoying possibility.

The ending seems a bit rushed, tacked on, incomplete, even though it came a good while after the truth was revealed... oh, and btw, even after the truth is revealed, they still leave open the possibility that there's something more going on. Oh, and there's more than just one secret. The one about the creatures is the main one, but there's also one about the town elders, and the origin of the village, and about the towns beyond the woods. It all ties together. Anyway, it's not M. Night Shyamalan's best film, nor his worst.


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