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Village of the Damned

98 minutes
horror, sci-fi, thriller

Personal logo 20thmaine Supporting Member of TMP writes:

It's ok, but the original film is better. This version adds more gore sending off down almost a slasher horror path, the original is more subtle. And no-one gets their face grilled on the BBQ…..

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This entry created 22 September 2021. Last revised on 22 September 2021.

2,137 hits since 22 Sep 2021
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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Village of the Damned

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star no star no star no star no star no star no star (4.00)

In 1995, John Carpenter set out to remake the classic 1960 black-and-white sci-fi film.

As the movie begins, we see scenes of an American coastal community (Midwich), with unsettling 'fog' effects and some kind of muttering.

Then we're introduced to this quiet community, which is preparing a BBQ and bake sale to raise money for the local school. We meet the local doctor, Alan Chaffee (played by Christopher Reeve), who says goodbye to his wife as he leaves town to run an errand.

When Dr. Chaffee returns, the road is blocked by the police (and a fiery wreck). Midwich has been sealed off by some invisible force, and anyone who crosses the boundary loses consciousness.

Then Dr. Susan Verner (Kirstie Alley) arrives to take charge. She's a government scientist. Shortly afterward, the strange incident is over: the village is no longer isolated, and everyone is waking up from a long nap. (Well, except for the person who fell on the BBQ grill…)

Months pass, and eight women from the village are pregnant. Eventually, seven white-haired children are born. (The eighth dies under mysterious circumstances.)

As the children grow, they exhibit the ability to control others and to communicate among themselves. They lack emotions, and their eyes glow when they use their powers.

What are these children? What will they do? Why are they here?

The original film kept the focus on the local doctor and his mysterious son, even though there were 11 other children. (In the novel, there were 60!) In this film, the story is broadened to feature all of the parents and the seven children. There is more action, more horror, more cheesy explosions, and a subplot about one of the children who does have emotions. However, despite the new material, many well-remembered scenes from the original film are replicated in this remake.

Christopher Reeves, playing the leading role of the local doctor with a strange daughter, I found lacked empathy and was uninteresting. Kirstie Alley, as the sinister government doctor, was inconsistent in her performance (which I blame on the director) and lets the movie down. Similarly, Mark Hamill in a small role as the local minister seems to bounce around in his characterization. The other supporting actors do a fine job.

Can you game it? No. As we see by the end of the film, neither police nor military are any match for the children.

I wanted to like this movie. I came away with a strong dislike for it. Not recommended.