The Village
Category Drama , Thriller
Year: 2004
Time: 108 minutes
Production: Touchstone Pictures
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Joaquin Phoenix, Bryce Dallas Howard, William Hurt, Sigourney Weaver
MPAA PG13 / UK-12A
Our Rating 8/10
Watchability 5/10
Contributed by Jordan Taylor

Set in the mid-1800s, Covington is a remote Pennsylvanian village inhabited by a friendly little community, with a few quirks and what seems a Puritan superstitious backbone.  Completely surrounded by Covington Wood, that no one is allowed to enter, the elders of the community reached an agreement with ferocious creatures that live in the forest many years ago that neither would invade the other's property.
  Lucius Hunt (Joaquin Phoenix) is an adventurous but quiet young man who desperately wants to break free from the village and explore the world.  He is secretly in love with Ivy Walker (Bryce Dallas Howard) who has been blind since birth, and his other good friend is a mentally-challenged misfit called Noah.
  All is fine and lovely until one evening the Monsters break through the boundary to enter the village and mark a selection of front doors with red blood - as a warning that no one should enter the woods again.  Events turn even nastier when on a following night animals have been found in the village fields, skinned alive...

So, how does it end?

After finally plucking up the courage, Lucius and Ivy decide to get married.  Crazy Noah is filled with a jealous rage, tracks down Lucius in his workshop and then stabs him mutliple times leaving him to fight for his life.  Without medicine or additional help from the other villages far away, Lucius is going to die.
  The elders have a quick council meeting, and they decide to break the rules and send someone to pass through the forest and search for help - and it is Ivy who is chosen, to be accompanied by two guys wearing the 'safe' colours.  Before she leaves, her father takes her to the shed that no one is allowed to enter - and inside shows her one of the monster costumes and tries to explain their reasons for the whole charade.
  She is not allowed to tell anyone about the real truth, including her companions, who get scared and run back to the village, leaving her alone on the journey.
  After a run-in with the weather and a muddy pit, her safe green cape is a brown mess.  Feeling like she is being watched - and by chance standing in the middle of a patch of red flowers (the 'bad' colour that attracts the animals) - the camera pans up to reveal ... one of the creatures, waiting for her.

She hides, but the chase soon begins and the beast runs towards her -- she moves to the side and the animal falls down the pit from before - revealing the face of Noah behind the mask, speared on some tree branches and about to die himself.
  At about this point Noah's parents find loose floor boards in his room, and a load of feathers and animal parts from his weird midnight games in the animal suit.
  Ivy doesn't hang around but finds the gravel path which takes her to an outside wall - she climbs over it and ... the siren of a car alerts her. The driver listens to her story, and then drives to one of the security buildings around the perimeter of the enclosure to get the medicine on the list (with the usual cameo by the director thrown in here).
  With a bit of back-story it seems that the elders were all affected by an injustice in the real, outside world of the 1970s, so they decided to form their own community, living inside a protected piece of land owned by William Hurt's murdered super-rich father.
  Ivy returns to the village, and Lucius's life will be saved.  Noah's parents find out that Ivy killed one of the monsters and are understandably not too happy about it all.  They are told by Hurt to be happy because at least their story seems more real now(!)

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