Okay, this has been bothering me since I've seen the movie years ago (spoilers ahead). What was the freaking point of the "monster" chase scene? By that time, both Ivy and the audience, know that the monsters aren't real, so what was the point? To me that's one of the biggest failures of the movie, because the scene is well done and it would have been perfectly scary if we still believed in the monster story, so why the director put it AFTER the big revelation and not before? In addition, why was Ivy even scared if she knew the whole truth?
One of the major themes of the film revolves around what you risk when you choose to abandon something that has kept you safe: for the village elders, they gave up their modern lives to pursue a better one for their children, which left them open to diseases that modern medicine can easily cure. Ivy put aside her childhood fears so she could be brave enough to go into the woods, which left her vulnerable to everything else she might have encountered.
she was blind and something was chasing her, why shouldn't she be scared?
I think that the point of that scene was to make the audience guess 'who' was the last creature before it is confirmed by Noah's parents finding the room empty. As Ivy's father said there was someone else involved but they didn't know who - the matter of the stock being slaughtered (watch again the flashback scene when Ivy's father explains all the ruse). In that last 'monster' scene the question is no long whether or not the creatures are real but 'who would profit from Ivy failing her mission?'.
Also, at this point in the film, we're still not sure the level of reality we're dealing with. We hear Mr. Walker in a VO saying, "There did exist rumors of creatures in these woods. It was in one of the history books I used to teach in the Towns." So we don't know for sure there isn't a creature living in the woods. And this scene takes place before the final reveal — that the Village doesn't exist in some past time, or in a supernatural realm. And the final thing is that until the "chaser" is revealed to be Noah, we don't know for sure that it is Noah. It could have been just about anyone, including Ivy's sister — who may still be resentful of Lucius's feelings toward Ivy — or one of the village elders who is determined to protect their way of life at all costs. Not until we see Noah at the bottom of the pit do we know that he is responsible for everything, including the animal mutilations and the marks on the doors.
This is likely the case. Since the audience is uncertain to the true setting and there is someone or something that mutilated the animals and painted the doors, both the possibility of a village elder or an actual monster attacking her would exist. A village elder knowing that she was blind would not have used a costume, leaving the audience consider that this might actually be a monster.
It's probably just a case of poor directing. This is a Shyamalan movie we're talking about.
Why were drugs kept in a thin, glass case?
Because the Walker Preserve is, by implication, isolated, patrolled, and difficult to get into. Not much security needed.
That "glass case" was probably a fridge. Most medication must be refrigerated when it's stored).
Why not say "the woods are filled with wild animals," rather than creating an absurd conspiracy involving monsters?
Wild animals can be warded off or killed, and they wouldn't give the elders the sort of insane authority they had to arbitrarily forbid things the monsters didn't like.
How would elders explain the consistent presence of supplies and food, since they had deemed importation impossible?
The food's not an issue, as they were clearly farming it themselves. Supplies? They probably cherry-picked the technology they employed to be extremely long-lasting and easy to repair by hand.
Why was Noah killed by just falling into a 3" pit.
Wasn't there spikes jutting out the bottom of it? And it was more like 6".
The costume had bony spines on the back. One of them could have easily been pushed through a vital organ when he landed.
Why did they not create consistent settings? Their village had medieval huts, Victorian gaslamps and Renaissance era rules.
The elders wanted to create a culture that was simple, peaceful and liveable, not a historical replica.
Why would they need consitence? The whole point is that no one would leave the place.
How would a completely insular town, only using the outside world for supplies, survive? A single disease could completely destroy it. Inbreeding is inevitable as the citizens become consistently less diverse and families intersect.
I seriously doubt the Elders had expected the Village to go undetected for as long as it did, let alone long enough for inbreeding to be a concern.
Why would the government allow this insane plan? It is essentially treason, as the town has annexed itself and ignores state or federal law. What stupid, lazy writing.
Who says the government was ever told what they were up to?
If the government knew about it, it probably wouldn't be allowed. The Village is essentially a cult using the fear of monsters to keep some of its inhabitants from leaving "for their own good."
Seriously, in a post-Heaven's Gate, a post-Waco, a Post-9/11 world NO local or federal authorities thought to investigate a group of people mysterious missing for nearly 30 years and also a reserve that is purposely kept isolated from the rest of the world?
It could be done, depending on how they carried it out. Lots of people go missing in the US every day; some do so voluntarily. As it isn't against the law to go missing, the authorities have the attitude that, if an adult wants to disappear (and he isn't a fugitive or something), let him, and they will only get involved if there is evidence of foul play. The "elders" could have simply given notice at their jobs, conceled their leases or sold their houses without leaving a forwarding address, or done other things that indicated that they were voluntarily disappearing. Some of the pitfalls that lead to voluntarily missing people being found, such as forged papers or phony Social Security numbers (which are illegal), clearly wouldn't apply here. Moreover, it could have been that the Elders staggered their disappearance, so as to decrease suspicion. Additionally, the Elders have been missing for decades, well before Waco, 9/11, or anything else like that happened. The Elders' case files, if any had existed, would have gone cold by that time, and no one would think to re-open them just because a completely unrelated incident just happened in another state.
Why would they have to be "missing"? There are isolationist religious sects all over the States that are effectively autonomous apart from criminal investigations (I'm writing this less than 15 miles away from one). So long as somebody was paying taxes on the land and they were never suspected of sedition or violent crime, no one would bother them. For all we know, the local government and townspeople were aware of the whole thing.
How did this village maintain the illusion of being in the past given that aircraft flying overhead is a fairly common occurrence?
This is actually adressed in the movie. Walker managed to get the park declared a no-fly zone.
I don't know how easy/difficult it would be to bribe someone to get a place designated as a no-fly zone, but I think it's easier post-9/11 to get something designated as a no-fly zone legitimately. Disneyland is now a no-fly zone because it's supposedly a risk for terrorist attacks, but Legoland is not.
I thought it was because they'd had the land declared a protected wildlife reserve. There really are places where planes aren't allowed to fly over, because they're breeding grounds for endangered species which would be disturbed by the noise.
No-fly zones do not apply to satellites or other spacecraft. Google Earth would have eventually outed the Village. For that matter, a random astronaut or cosmonaut looking out the window of his spacecraft would have noticed the anomaly of a town in the United States not connected to any other by so much as an unimproved dirt path.
Judging by the attire in the pre-village photo, Google Earth didn't exist when the village was started so the elders would probably not consider private citizens being able to use satellites to pinpoint the location of the village. Also, an astronaut or cosmonaut would not see the couple of specks on Earth that are the buildings, and they probably don't have an expansive knowledge of nature preserve locations and what buildings should or should not be there.
Even if somebody did spot some houses on a satellite image where there's no town on the map, there'd be no reason to think it's anything but a normal community that's been abandoned for decades. There are hundreds of old ghost towns scattered across North America, that dried up when the local mine or factory went bust or the interstate highway system overlooked them.
Why exactly were they pretending to be in the past in the first place? It's not like the children had some kind of intrinsic knowledge of what the 1800s were supposed to be like, to say nothing of later centuries. The whole idea is like a sociological version of Meanwhile, in the Future, or Evolutionary Levels for civilizations. The villagers could have ditched any idea of following exactly along with any past society (I mean, what would they do when their village caught up to the years they didn't like?) and just created a social construct that included everything they wanted, explained airplanes, and discouraged people from leaving. The false year and more direct analogy to "simpler times" were clearly attached for the audience's dubious benefit in selling the pre-twist perception, hence the date being established by an in-context tombstone instead of an on-screen dateline.
For the audience, probably. If it were set in the present, we would have asked "why not use the radio or mobile phones to call in the police" - or even "where are all the tellies". Mobile phones are a huge huge problem for every horror plot!
They probably thought the airplanes were flying monsters. They believed in walking monsters, why not big flying ones that roar through the sky, and just happen to be shiny?
If you want to live in an isolated community, why bother with all this nonsense with the monsters? Why not just buy an island and build your commune there, surrounded by a thousand miles of ocean?
Believe it or not, the movie is more believable than the island idea. You would be hard-pressed to find an island that you could scare away all the ships in international waters. Where there's one island, there's more. And any island on Earth in a temperate/tropical zone and large enough to maintain a community on already has a community on it.
The monsters also allowed for a direct reason for any morals the elders wanted to enact. If anyone acted in an unsavory fashion, the would just have the monsters make their presence known and mark that person's house or something akin to that.
Why does such a tiny ranger station require such a large cache of medical supplies? They certainly didn't need a whole refrigerator full of medicine!
◦Maybe they had a lot of different antivenins, antidotes, and antibiotics for people who might have been hiking in the non-Village part of the reserve, because there are poisonous snakes and berries in the region and they are being kept there specifically so that hikers don't need to go all the way to a city as many as several hours away on the highway in the event of encountering poison, venom, or injury?
Alternatively: the rangers, as employees of the reserve, are in on the scheme. The medical supplies are kept as a last-ditch resort (as seen in the movie). The corporation managing the reserve may be a front by which the Elders obtain supplies they can't easily make themselves (like kerosene for lamps, glass, etc.); occasionally an Elder or group of Elders makes a trip to 'the towns' (the ranger stations) to pick up supplies with the rest of the Village being none the wiser.
How are they covering for all that glassware (mostly used for lighting, particularly conspicuous in the lighted area at the edge of the forest)? The glass is clearly modern glass, since it's completely clear, not with the slight blue-green tint that utility-grade glass used for things like storage jars in the real 19th century had. The long shots of the settlement show nothing that could possibly be a glassworks to produce any, and there's no sign of any source of suitable materials to make glass from anyway. Similarly, the lamps (which are used copiously in homes as well as outside) would burn vast quantities of fuel and there's no way to produce that much with their level of technology. From what we can see, it's a transparent fluid, which makes it either an oil or alcohol. The quantities involved are too large to be managed on a non-industrial scale, but there's no building even large enough to be a refining center for the fuel, let alone there being enough oil seeds or fermentables to serve as feedstocks.
Glasswork is easy enough to explain away: nobody in the village not of the original set knows anything about modern glass. Until and unless they actually have to replace glass with glass made in the village, none would know the difference. Keeping them supplied with oil is a different matter.
Why would the elders choose the late 1800s as their target date if they were seeking a "more innocent time"? A lot of the late Victorian period is pretty recognizable to late 20th century eyes - it was early days of mass media; there were concerns about terrorism and immigration; increasing social upheaval due to the coming Modernist movement in art, literature, and music, and not to mention feminism and growing class stratification; rapid technological advances thanks to the Industrial Revolution; more and more people moving to cities. . . If they really wanted a simple agrarian society they should have gone back to the colonial era.
Why would they bother? They had no reason to care what social upheavals or industrial advances were going on in the era which their village superficially resembled. They weren't historical recreationists trying to evoke a particular time—just people who blamed the modern world for their personal tragedies and wanted to escape their pain. They kept the tech level just low enough that they never had to contact the outside world; after that, what "era" they picked was arbitrary. They may have gotten their initial batches of clothes and equipment from companies who supply the plain sect (Amish or Mennonite) communities, and then just stuck with that "look" because it was useful, and appealed to them on a nostalgic level.