Village of the Damned

1960 creepy movie

Rating: 16/20

Plot: The small village of Midwich lives a peaceful, damned-free existence. But things change when there's a mysterious blackout during which several of the women are impregnated. Less than nine months later, creepy big-headed blond children with psychic abilities and superior intellect are born. Damn it!

This movie isn't great from beginning to end, but most of it is made up of really great scenes. The stage is set immediately with the blackout and ensuing outsiders-trying-to-figure-things-out scenes. The black and white sudden ghost town, with its circling tractors and wrecked buses and overflowing tubs, is shot soundlessly in a way that creates a genuine unease. Later, you get the creepy children with their cheaply glowing eyeballs, and their vacant stares and monotone voices (although now that I think about it, there might have been only one who spoke) work to set a mood that contemporary directors may have tried to accomplish with overly-stylized shots or top-dollar effects. Of course, the final scene would have benefited from somebody spending a little dough. The finale also seemed a bit quick to me.


cory said...

This would have been a future "five" pick, as it is one of my favorite horror films. It is low budget, but that almost enhances the feel of unease and creepiness. It seems like a metaphor for many things, but I'll have to give that some thought. As always, I love Sanders (earning the film a 2 point Sanders bonus), and the matching set of blonde, creepy kids are (is?) terrific. I love the ominous set-up, and the very intense ending. "Village of the Damned" is a low-key, but very understated and effective horror film. An 18.

Shane said...

I remembered this being in your top 150. I like Sanders, too. He's the type of guy who could read a phone book and make it enjoyable.

Matching SET. . . IS terrific. Gotta ignore the preposition phrase there.

Not sure about what this might be a metaphor for...

burymore said...

This is a great movie....a mediocre remake starring Christopher Reeve, (In his last upright role) came out in the early 1990's...but its not worth looking at.

I agree with your rating. Just wanted to tell you that, since I am usually so fired up over you not giving a movie the exact same respect I do.

Shane said...

I'm just happy that I can inspire passionate outbursts from you, burymore, whether you agree or disagree. Or as I like to think it, whether you're wrong or I'm right.

I know there are a ton of movies out there that we could enjoy together.