“Those of Whom We Do Not Speak”

Yes, I realize I’m a bit slow on the uptake. Blame it on extenuating circumstances. Blame it on global warming. Blame on the teddy bears’ picnic, but please don’t hold it against me. I finally got to watch “M. Night Shyamalan’s”:http://www.mnight.com/ The Village last night. And let me just say that I am fast becoming a fan of the man’s work.

I was first introduced to Shyamalan thought The Sixth Sense, a psychological thriller that shocked me with its startling ending twist. Then, I was disappointed with Signs, an abysmal alien invasion movie that smacked of “V”:http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085106/ but without any of the interest or action that made the TV series so good. And finally, I discovered Unbreakable, an dark film about real-life comic book heroes.

**Brief Spoilage: Consider Yourself Warned**

_The Village_ was brilliantly written. I was a bit wary of it for quite a while, having heard and read a number of reviews for the film that thrashed it soundly – poor plot, poor story, horrible development, bad lighting, too scary, etc. The premise of the story is a village that is nearly crippled by its fear of a group of mysterious creatures who live in the forest that surrounds the village. The people and the creatures abide by a tenuous truce – the people do not cross the borders into the forest, and the creatures do not cross into the village.

Shyamalan skillfully sets the stage to reveal a secret that has been kept for decades by the elders of the village, a secret that must now be passed on to the next generation if the village is to survive. Each piece of the puzzle is revealed with agonizing torpescence. From the significance of the color red to the punishment of the Quiet Room to the skinning of livestock, the portrait is painted of a village hobbled by fear. Visual clues dot the landscape of the village – utility poles with power transformers that line the perimeter of the village and porcupine quills on the backs of the creatures hint at the deceptions that have been effected to protect the village from the outside world. It is only in the final few minutes of the film, when the elders’ secrets are removed from black boxes and when the ranger casually reveals his secret that the totality of the plot is brought to light.

Shyamalan once agains writes a captivating story of fear and suspense that leaves his audience breathless as the mysteries of The Village are exposed. The artistry and beauty of the writing make _The Village_ a thoroughly enjoyable experience, one that I highly recommend for anyone who thrills to psychological thrillers.

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