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YMMV / The Village

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  • Awesome Music: James Newton Howard's Oscar-nominated violin-filled score is absolutely gorgeous. The first name in the end credits is that of Hilary Hahn, the featured violinist.
  • Broken Base: This film sharply divided M. Night's fanbase; some viewed the twist as terrible and invalidating the whole film, others thinking it worked and the movie was well-constructed, and a third camp who somewhat disliked the twist but appreciate the rest of the film. This division was the beginning of the decline for M. Night.
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  • Critic-Proof: Despite being poorly received by critics - including Roger Ebert putting it on his 'Hated Movies' list (which includes things like Freddy Got Fingered, Caligula and Catwoman (2004) lest you think he was being trigger happy) - it made over $240 million worldwide.
  • Dork Age: Despite its financial success, many see it as the point where Shyamalan's nigh-unstoppable rising stardom began to slip, with its infamous Twist Ending being the first of several to undermine Shyamalan's trademark directing style.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: Ivy returns with medicine for Lucius who will probably make a full recovery. But Ivy has just learned that she's been lied to her whole life. The Elders are going to cover up Noah's death to continue their lie. This is presented as happy or bittersweet, rather than horrifying. Ivy doesn't know that Noah is dead, let alone that she killed him. She may still believe she was accosted by an actual monster.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
  • Idiot Plot: It's difficult to believe Walker and the town doctor couldn't foresee the utility of modern medicine in the Village's comparatively risky environment, and account for these needs. We're meant to believe this was a calculated risk, but after The Reveal of "Those We Don't Speak Of", the same people should have considered a comparatively simpler disguised tunnel exit.
  • It Was His Sled: The titular village is not an 19th century town but secretly set in the modern day. "Those We Don't Speak Of" are people in costume intended to keep up the masquerade.
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  • Just Here for Godzilla: Bryce Dallas Howard's performance as Ivy is considered the best thing about the movie. Despite its reception among critics, they gave her nothing but praise.
  • Narm: The name "Those We Don't Speak Of" is perhaps just a little bit too long for the sinister monsters outside the town. It's obviously aiming for vaguely menacing, but it just comes across as word salad.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Christop is Marty Mikalski, Finton is Jimmy Darmody, Jamison is Mark Zuckerberg, one of the boys who saw the monsters was Axel Heck, Kitty is Maggie Lang, of course, Ivy is Gwen Stacy.
  • Rewatch Bonus:
    • Once you know the twist, watch the dialogue between the Elders. They speak in archaic phrases like actors in a play, which makes perfect sense since this way of speaking is unnatural to them. The children meanwhile - Ivy, Lucius, Kitty etc - speak much more naturally.
    • The creatures coming during the wedding. The whole village was there, making it easy for one of the elders to go about their business without being seen.
  • Tearjerker:
    • Ivy's extra-long hug to Kitty at the wedding reception, after hearing Mrs. Clack tell the story of how her sister was murdered by three men in an alley.
    • Noah being found with Lucius's blood on his hands, crying out for his mother. It looks very much like he can't comprehend what he's done.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot:
    • The film's twist ending renders most of the suspense completely pointless, since it completely removes the supernatural elements. Arguably, it would have been far more interesting had "Those We Don't Speak Of" become real as a result of the Villagers' belief, which would have been more in tone with the rest of the film. Imagine the Oh, Crap! moment if it instead ended with all of them slowly walking out of the forest, furious that the Villagers had broken the Truce?
    • The Film's original ending is this too. Imagine the implications of finding out that you live in a completely different time. That your parents have been lying to you for years. That deaths could have been easily prevented. How would you fit into a civilization hundreds of years more advanced with technology you never could have imagined? All of these are interesting premises that never get addressed.
    • Another good way to incorporate the twist is that both the village and "Those We Don't Speak Of" are still real, and it's just that the people are still living like it's the 19th century because they have been isolated from the rest of the world since that time.
      • That approach would have removed some important subtext. The film was a counterpoint to trends of the 1990s and early 2000s — gated communities, exaggerated fears around crime / terrorism, fear of outsiders and foreigners — topped with nostalgia for the “The Good Old Days.” The film suggests that violence is a part of human nature, not a problem you can solve by isolating your community or by returning to a fictional past.
    • Alternately, "Those We Don't Speak Of" get revealed and replaced by outside criminals, who would love to have such a sanctuary.
    • It's also not difficult to just skip the two five-minute scenes that reveal the twist, and the result is a solid monster-movie.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: A talented cast - particularly Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard - deliver pretty great performances in a film that becomes ludicrous once its twist is revealed.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The Elders. They allowed plenty of people to die from illnesses and other things that could have been solved with modern medicine. All because they think the Arcadia they're preserving is better than the modern world. Mr. Walker to boot sends his blind daughter through the woods rather than going himself. That's not to mention that Mr. Walker allowed his daughter to go blind when medicine could have saved her.
  • The Woobie: Both Noah and Ivy when you realise that their disabilities are caused by their parents clinging to their way of life rather than get modern medicine for them.