Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Flashbacks Village of the Damned 1995

Village of the Damned 1995
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: David Himmelstein
Starring Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Pare, Meredith Salinger, Mark Hamill, Peter Jason and George “Buck” Flowers
John Carpenter has doen a few remakes of classic horror films and Village of the damned is the latest one he did and compared to his other remake, The Thing it is a slight film by comparison. Now, I have never seen the original film this is based on, but the way Carpenter structures the story and uses that acting talent it is a solid and dependable horror film. It is one of his lesser films but is still quite good. He ratchets up the suspense masterfully and he adds quite a bit of violence and explicit gore to it as well. He picked an excellent cast; both Reeves and Alley carry the film solidly on their shoulders. The eerie soulless stares of the children do the job of creeping you out and really makes the film work well. This is a solid if not ground breaking horror film.
The plot basics are this, an American village is visited upon by some alien life form that makes all the women of the village pregnant. Nine months later all the children are born and at first seem normal. It does not take long for the parents to notice that there is something werid and strange about these children. Also, that tye do not seem to be quite human or even humane. Soon the government senda a team into the village led by Dr. Susan Verner (Alley) to figure out what these alien children want and if they are malevolent. She asks for the help of local town doctor Alan Chaffee (Reeves) to assist her. They soon discover these children have their own plan and now they must come up with a strategy to stop them or the world may be doomed.
This is a suspenseful and tense film. Carpenter’s direction as always is flawless. The way he shoots the children is compelling and eerie and when they attack the local priest and the school janitor it is unnerving and frightening. The character interactions between Chaffee and Verner are done quite well too, you really sympathize with Chaffee. The script is well polished and delivers a solid horror story with some nice twists in it and you really ar on the side of Chaffee throughout the movie and how he wants to save the children but doesn’t know if he can. The cast is solid. This is one of my favorite performances by Reeve other than his role as Superman. Alley as the government doctor is deceptive and conniving and really pulls it off well. I also liked the small role of Hamill as the manic priest who goes to far. The SFX and make up effects in the film are lurid and work very well. The score by John Carpenter and Dave Davies has a somber and melancholy mood to it and suits the film very well. This is one of Carpenter’s lesser films but compared to other directors it is quite good and I think it is well worth a look again.
This one gets 3 out of 5

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