Thursday, February 10, 2005

The Village

We saw "The Village" last night, by M. Night Whatshisname. (No offense meant. I have a headache and I'm not looking anything up right now. I'm sure somewhere in the world there is someone who thinks my last name is the funniest thing he's ever heard. Have at it.)


We thought it was an excellent movie. It's his monster movie, to follow up on his ghost, superhero, and alien movies. As usual, what he's really doing is telling an excellent story about ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances.

It has A Twist, though, and that's really getting old. At some point, you're just looking for The Twist, or clues to The Twist, and you're not paying attention to the incredible characters or story. One of the things I liked about Signs was that there was a distinct lack of Twist.

So here's The Twist. There are no monsters. The town elders dress up like the monsters in order to keep anyone from going into the woods that surround the village. Because the village is actually in a wilderness preserve, and it's not 1897, it's 2004. Wah?

Apparently, back in the 70's these folks were in a support group together. They each had lost someone to a violent death. But one of them suggested setting up a village and isolating themselves (and their children). Essentially, they ran away to live in a utopia of their own making.

Of course, it doesn't work. All man-made utopias fail, and this one is failing, as well. And it turns out (at least in my mind) that the parents really are monsters. Their children go blind, get sick, and die, but they refuse to go get help. They swore, you see, not to leave.

But their problem is not with modernity, it's with reality. And you can't run away from that.

More about that later.


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