Thursday, November 8, 2018

Movie Review: "Village of the Damned" (1995)

Director: John Carpenter
Year: 1995
Rating: R
Running Time: 1 hour, 39 minutes

One day, in the small town of Midwich, a strange phenomenon causes all the people within its community to pass out without warning. When they wake up hours later, most of the women of childbearing age are pregnant. When their children are born, it's clear they aren't fully human as they have special powers that threaten all the people of Midwich...and possibly even the world.

Village of the Damned 1995 movie still John Carpenter Christopher Reeve
"Are the people in this town safe?" (Image Source)
Never trust children with platinum blonde hair and glowing eyes. "Village of the Damned" director John Carpenter is no stranger to remakes. He is, in fact, the director of one of the greatest remakes of all time. However, this is not that movie. This remake is written by David Himmelstein and is adapted from both Wolf Rilla's 1960 film and the original novel "The Midwich Cuckoos" by John Wyndham. This time around, the location has been moved from Midwich, England to Midwich, California. One day, as the people of Midwich prepare for a town fair, an unusual phenomenon causes everyone in the city limits to pass out for six hours. When everyone awakens from their spontaneous slumber, many women of childbearing age in the town are inexplicably pregnant. Each townswoman decides to carry their baby to term thanks to some financial incentive from a government doctor named Dr. Susan Verner (Kristie Alley). When the children are born, it's obvious they are different from their mothers as they all have platinum hair and cobalt blue eyes. As the kids age, it becomes clear they also have other strange telepathic abilities and seemingly have no conscience or empathy. When the children start killing people left and right, something must be done to stop them. 
Village of the Damned 1995 movie still John Carpenter Kirstie Alley
"Sometimes mysteries don't get solved." (Image Source)
Kids are creepy, especially kids that look alike, walk together in unison, and can cause you to kill yourself with a mere thought. It also doesn't help that these youngsters look like poster children for the Aryan ubermensch. In many ways, this remake of "Village of the Damned" is very similar to the original. The main changes are the difference in its location and the fact that Carpenter gets to make a much more gory film now than what would have been acceptable when the original was released in 1960. This incarnation is full of barbecued people, boiling arms, impaled bodies, shootouts, and, so many explosions. We actually enjoyed this remake for the most part, though purists would probably spit in our faces for saying so. It's most likely because we have no affinity for the original that we were able to enjoy Carpenter's incarnation. We did watch the original about a decade ago but weren't too taken by it, though we will admit that it deserves a rewatch. We will say this variant definitely has a somewhat cheap, low budget look that was common in many late 80's/early 90's horror flicks. The dialogue can be a bit corny at times as well. That being said, it does manage to have its moments of tension, and since John Carpenter is the film's director, he uses his skills to set a great atmosphere. It also helps that Christopher Reeve really puts his all into his performance and never looks down on the material, which is a plus for us.
Village of the Damned 1995 movie still children John Carpenter
"Without compassion, you are a doomed species." (Image Source)
For some viewers, 1995's "Village of the Damned" may not do enough to separate itself from the original to make it worthwhile. For us, there is just enough here to make it an enjoyable viewing experience.

My Rating: 6/10
BigJ's Rating: 6/10
IMDB's Rating: 5.6/10
RT Rating: 29%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?

Please be sure to check out Lolo Loves Films all over the internet!

No comments:

Post a Comment