The village as a social experiment died the moment Noah stabbed Ivys fiance. The elders fear mongering wont hold up.
By the time Ivy had her showdown with the beast, she knew the beasts were costumed people. The elders story is the beast killed Noah. Ivy might think she faced the same beast that killed Noah, or shes going to realize it was Noah. Ivy also knew Noah was prone to playing jokes like that. If she hears Noah died in a beasts pit then that will confirm everything for Ivy.
She knows the sirens in the forest are kind humans with cars who have medicine. The villagers know that a blind person faced the forest, alone, a beast, alone, and got life saving medicine. The risk / reward doesnt support stories the elders preach.
The culture will remain conservative until the next child gets sick. Of course someone is going to scream: The medicine Ivy brought back saved her husband! What do you mean we cant get more!?
Her husband was already beating the drums for connecting with other towns before he got stabbed. Once he recovers, shell most likely tell him the truth even if she lies to the other villagers. Eventually, the pressure will get to be too much and it wont be just Ivy making the trip.
Much like the Sixth Sense, color plays a role here: yellow for fear, red for violence.
Its important to note that most, if not all of the elders only experienced violence second hand. They found the village and right at the start, we have a father mourning a dead son. In the context of the whole plot, its possible modern medicine could have saved the son, like it saves Ivys fiance.
Around the border of the town, we have what amounts to a defined boundary highlighted in yellow. Yellow, in western countries is commonly associated with fear, but also is the color of urine, which is used by animals to both mark territory, or piss themselves in response to a threat.
The color red is banned, and the villagers aggressively remove it on sight. This means uprooting red plants and burying them. Theres a lot of foreshadowing here because despite all the precautions, red plants still grow within the borders.
This is also worn by the monster, who turns out to be fake.
In the whole movies runtime, we experience one true act of violence, and its perpetrated by Noah, the resident introduced as having an innocent personality, early in the story. Its heavily implied that his disorder might have been treatable with modern methods, but since it was never pursued, he doesnt understand the consequences of his actions.
Its implied he carried out the animal mutilations throughout the story; but we never see it on screen. Its also important to note that there were no witnesses when he stabbed Ivys fiance. The rest of the village only knew something happened, when they see his hands red with blood. This symbolizes him hitting the point of no return. When he dons the monster costume, this symbolizes his true role as a monster.
Even then though, his actions are childish. Even when he stabbed Ivys fiance, it was an impulsive act, poorly planned, and he didnt know what to do afterwords.
Next up, we have Ivy...
Ivy is blind. Her father mentions this brought him shame. It makes him come off as a dick at the time, but in the context of the whole story, he doesnt shame her, he shames himself; suggesting that her disorder could also have been treatable by the modern world.
Its also important to note: Ivys blindness serves as symbolism for the non-elders. These are children born and raised in the village. In a sense, she is blind to the truth, but she can still see peoples auras. Its important to note here: Noah can hide from her, which suggests he has no aura. Since auras are commonly associated with having a soul, in Noahs case, this makes him more of a symbol of the mostly unpredictable conditions for violence.
Except hes not THAT unpredictable. In the final showdown between Ivy and him, she knows he wont be able to stop before falling into a pit. Rather than flee completely from him, she positions herself to let violence destroy itself.
Her departure into the forest plays out kind of similarly to someone who starts defying social norms. Heading into the forest, means going past the border, which is more or less banned. She has two escorts, and all three of them have the yellow cloaks (fear).
The further they travel, her escorts get scared, retreat, and abandon her until shes alone. This is actually an incredible act of selfishness on their part, because theyre abandoning a blind family member in the middle of a forest. If she dies, then her fiance dies. Noah dies directly as a result of their cowardice. So, their fear potentially costs the lives of three villagers.
Then theres the storm. Ivy finds herself abandoned and alone, in one of the bleaker scenes in the movie. However, the storm passes, then her walking stick breaks. She runs in fear, slows down, realizing shes fine. The world is turning out to be inconvenient, but not out to kill her.
Queue the final showdown with Noah. The irony here is that the monster is purely the construct of the village and nothing else. There are stories / legends, but these were only used as inspiration by the elders to spread fear.
After Ivy lets Noah destory himself, she finds another stick to navigate with, and goes at a full sprint to the next area. She winds up dumping her yellow cloak, symbolizing the fear is gone. A key element to mention here is up to this point the ONLY threat was always ever Noah.
Ivy faces a wall, yet another obstacle, but by this point she just briefly checks for ways around it, and then just climbs over. The life issues she faces are more like puzzles now, than the soul crushing fear of the village.
We get our wham shot of a park ranger in a car, with a siren noise. This noise, is also what we heard early in the movie. It turns out to be park rangers stopping tourists from going beyond the wall. In the park ranger office, the radio lists tons of events related to death and destruction, but again, its just second hand. Its not actually happening within the context of the movie.
On her way back with the medicine, Ivy doesnt get another stick, nor does she put her cloak on. She just runs straight back to the village, like someone who can see. When she enters the house where fiance is resting, she walks in, looking straight at him, and rushes to his side. This pretty much means shes no longer, blind.
This foreshadows future turbulence in the village. The elders plan to keep the legend going, by claiming Noah was killed by a monster. Ivy knows this isnt the case. She also knows the horn sounds in the forest are made by helpful humans with supplies, not beasts. She knows the beasts are costumes, and there was no real threat. Shell also figure out the beast she faced was Noah.
Despite being blind, her fear is gone, and people are going to realize the threats arent nearly as extreme as the elders claim. She will also have the reputation for courage and healing, which means she gets results. People will look to her as a leader. If she gets results and the elders cant, people will ignore the elders. What happens when the next villager gets sick? Ivy braved the forest, and was rewarded with fiances life. People are going to demand their loved ones get saved as well.
The village's livestock has been slaughtered since the beginning of the film, like wholesale, and this seems a very un-village elder thing to do. Several occasions on which it was done Noah was with other people as well as all the elders.
The day where Lucius went into the woods and was spotted was in the middle of broad daylight, Noah and the elders were all in town or in places where they would have been visible. Also, all of the elders had family members who might have found it a tad odd that they were gone mysteriously whenever a creature attacked.
So I contend that while the elders may have impersonated creatures at some time or place, there really were creatures in the woods.
- Actually, we DON'T see Noah on all those occasions. The 1st skinned animal appears sometime after the 1st community meal - but we're not told how long it's been. The 2nd skinned animal appears among the crops - and again, we have no specific time references. On Kitty and Christop's wedding night, we don't see Noah among the revelers. The fact that no one is apparently watching him or realized he was missing may be attributed to a "I thought you were watching him - no, I thought YOU were" scenario - especially if the Percy's have other, younger children they were watching(even if they were not shown), or specific tasks to perform at the reception. He probably returned to the party during the confusion while the boys were reporting to Edward. He may not even have been wearing the costume; I don't remember if the boys said they saw the creature, or only more skinned animals. Even if he was wearing the costume, he could have just ditched it before returning to the others. In the confusion, no one realized or thought to question him; they were just concerned with getting home safely.
- For that matter, we can't even be sure Noah left the animals where they were found. There may not be actual monsters in the woods, but there are certainly wild carnivores like foxes that might drag one of Noah's carefully-concealed kills into the open while scavenging from it. Possibly he'd been hiding kills for weeks, and only stopped concealing his leavings when he saw how the discovery of a scavenger-displaced carcass got everyone so worried.
- Alternately, some drug dealers are farming pot in the forest, have been spying on the villagers, and thought that humoring them in their superstitions was a good way to keep the Luddite whackjobs from stumbling across their cannabis plots. No need to bribe the local cops themselves, the Village elders already keep them paid off and at a distance.
- Actually, the road we see is not a "common" road; it apparently is an access road through the Preserve. It is patrolled by Preserve rangers, who are apparently tasked with keeping out the few people who wander it, if Kevin's report to Jay and Jay's response are anything to go by ("it's an easy gig..."). That's not to say Jay doesn't know about the village, but Kevin certainly didn't.
By providing what would have to undoubtedly have been (or would be) massive bribes to public officials to make the area of village "off limits" to the public...that's how.Still doesn't explain aircraft,though....
- Possibly the payoffs included some bribes to state fish & game authorities, who had the area declared a "no fly zone" by claiming that some highly-endangered bird species breeds there, and can't tolerate the noise of aircraft.
Number Six is reading this story to some children, but, in order to further taunt his captors, changes the story to deconstruct the ideals the book wanted to praise. One of his personal touches was adding the character of Noah, who is based off his encounter with "The Kid" from the episode, Living in Harmony.
In the original version, brave Lucius woos helpless Ivy Walker and helps the authorities drive off cloaked, demonic invaders. Number Six's version is the one we see in the film. Lucius is more of a somber, mopey character; the authorities are suspicious, secretive figures; the monsters are a ruse designed by the authorities to maintain control; and the Village lacks the latest medical advancements.
Lucius is modeled after the acting Number Two of the time; his getting stabbed by a character Six added in and effectively leaving the story entirely is meant to represent that some factors are, in fact, well beyond Number Two's control.