Village of the Damned (1960)
Written by: DMG
Director: Wolf Rilla
Producers: Ronald Kinnoch
Writers: Stirling Silliphant, Wolf Rilla, et. al.
Novel: The Midwich Cuckoos (1957 novel) by John Wyndham
Date Released: December 7, 1960
George Sanders as Gordon Zellaby
Barbara Shelley as Anthea Zellaby
Martin Stephens as David Zellaby
Michael Gywnn as Alan Bernard
Laurence Naismith as Doctor Willers
Rating = 4/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
In the film, Village of the Damned, people appear to be dead but strangely awaken later only to feel very cold afterward as if everyone had passed out for a period of time. The Village officials and British military members are sent to investigate these strange occurrences. As a result, women strangely have babies who all have blonde/grey hair. As the children grow up, they begin to use their telepathic powers against the village residents causing them serious injury and death. When one man, Gordon Zellaby, believes that his son may be behind these horrific acts, he tries to stop the children before more people get hurt.
This film does not incorporate any gore. Rather, as the film is in Black and White, the horrible death scenes are suggestive. However, there are scenes which depict the acts occurring as well. The horror element comes from the fact that not much is known about the children in the Village. Their demeanor and how the act are equally as disturbing as any gore that could have been incorporated into this film.
The Grave Review
Village of the Damned (1960) opens where people are seen “dead” in the streets and their homes. There is no explanation for this. Meanwhile, water is left running, music from phonographs are fading and then the title comes up, Village of the Damned.” The beginning is so eerie and impressionable, it sets a tone for the rest of the film. As a general matter, the film was clever and had an interesting plot. As the story continues, you begin to understand more about the children and what they are capable of doing. The film’ story can be slow at times, but overall, the pacing is well-done. As the viewer, you may ask yourself how you would overcome these issues.
The children, themselves, are not outright scary or grotesque in any way. Rather, the children are emotionless, well put together, and act in a unifrom manner. Their demeanor is both offputting and disturbing mainly from the fact that you never know what they are going to do. The child actors and actresses did a great job in terms of leaving the viewer guessing what would happen next. Their “poker face” made iVillaege of the Damned all the more enticing to watch.
A sequel was later released entitled, Children of the Damned, released in 1964. Village of the Damned was also later remade in 1995 by director, John Carpenter.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Village of the Damned four graves out of five graves.
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