Village of the Damned (1995) Movie Review
Written by: ML
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: John Carpenter
Producers: Michael Preger, Sandy King
Writers: David Himmelstein
Date Released: April 28, 1995
Christopher Reeve as Dr. Alan Chaffee
Karen Kahn as Barbara
Kirstie Alley as Dr. Susan Verner
Linda Kozlowski as Jill McGowan
Meredith Salenger as Melanie Roberts
Mark Hamill as Reverend George
Thomas Dekker as David McGowan
Lindsey Haun as Mara Chaffee
Cody Dorkin as Robert
Rating = 2.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
Village of the Damned is about a small town that experiences a strange blackout causing people and animals to suddenly collapse. This incident brings about ten mysterious pregnancies that are beyond explanation. The women are told to keep the babies for experimentation and coincidentally, all ten women give birth on the same day. One baby becomes stillborn and is taken by the epidemiologist for experimentation. The kids grow up but start to exhibit similar features whereby all ten children have platinum hair. They even start to group and walk together often ignoring other people in the village. But one thing that becomes known is that they all have strange mind-reading and hypnotic powers. Soon, the children start to use these powers for evil deeds to kill or harm the adults. As a result, it is up to the surviving adults to find out what they children really are, their purpose, and how to defeat them.
There were very few bloody and gory scenes in Village of the Damned. In addition, some parts were disturbing such as when the individual mind control deaths were tagged as suicide. The most blood in this movie was during the scene of the police and military gunfight towards the end.
The Grave Review
This movie may resemble evil kid stories such as The Omen, but the revelation makes it an interesting take on the subject of children versus adults, as well as extraterrestrial invasion. Of course, we cannot say this is original since the film is based on the 1960 version with the same title. Nevertheless, to see the film remade with modern graphics and special effects more than 30 years later makes for interesting comparisons.
It’s amazing how well the kid actors and actresses performed in this film. They really performed well in portraying offbeat, usual, evil children. The fact that the children would always speak well-mannered and stand-up to the adult actors made for intimidating and uncomfortable situation. As a whole, we would commend the performances. Unfortunately, this film is better classified as a psychological thriller rather than a fright fest. There is not much in the way of frightening or eerie situations and so the film may not be for everyone.
In addition to the lack of actual scares, the pace of the film was very slow and dragged on. A good portion of the film focused on the children themselves with few points of substance. There was little explanation as to why this phenomenon occurred. We are forced to accept the “alien” explanation without much more. It would have been better if the movie was able to explain the alien nature of the children, their super powers, and David’s difference rather than the random killing scenes with the adults. It felt like fillers especially the scene with the eye drops, which was totally irrelevant.
Nevertheless, there is one portion of this film which was the highlight. The end of the film did a great job at creating a climactic point. After all this waiting and slow paced progression, the end of the film gives the audience the ultimate suspense that you were waiting for. It was an edge-of-the-seat experience during the mind control scene in the barn where the kids were alternating between the doctor and David’s mom. In the end, it was a relief knowing that David survived and was the last of his kind. Perhaps the wait was worth it.
Overall, this movie is recommended for those who are a fan of the original film. However, as a whole, the 1960 version, although simpler, may have had a stronger impact than the 1995 version.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Village of the Damned (1995) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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