The Village (2004)

the-village

Director: M. Night Shyamalanalamnayalanan Cast: Bryce Dallas Howard, Joaquin Phoenix, Adrien Brody, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt

A small village is surrounded by woods that cannot be entered due to mysterious and evil creatures lurking within. When once of the villagers is injured, another attempts to leave through the woods to find help.

So I actually knew the twist of this movie before I watched it, which I have to say did ruin it for me. It’s a shame because the twist is very clever, and I wish I had been surprised by it! So yes, if you don’t know what happens, do watch it- and be amazed.

Having said that, the twist is the best part of the movie and the rest of it is a bit weird and a bit flat. Do stick with it during the lulls to reach the shocking ending, but just be warned that not much really happens until the climax. If I hadn’t known there was a twist, I probably would have switched off to be honest as there is really very little plot. I find with M. Night Shyamalan that some of the time he gets it spot on and the rest of his stuff is just a bit meh. This was meh. (Except for the twist, I cannot express that enough).

The Village can be pretty creepy at points so not for those who can’t really do horror. It’s quite a thinking film so not a light flick. I probably would recommend it but I have no real desire to watch it again.

2 stars

The Reef (2010)

The Reef

Director: Andrew Traucki Cast: Damian Walshe-Howling, Zoe Naylor, Gyton Grantley, Adrienne Pickering

A group of friends take a boat out sailing in the Great Barrier Reef area, only for their boat to capsize and leave them stranded. They try to swim back to the island where they came from, but find that a shark has caught their scent.

We all know that there will never be a shark film quite as good as Jaws– but this was exceptionally poor. The concept is a good one, but has been done before and to a much better result (Open Water is actually rather good). From the beginning the film tries to create suspense, but it backfires. For example, there’s a line before they set off that goes something along the lines of “Don’t worry, we never get sharks this far north”, which I think we can all agree is a poor attempt at foreshadowing. The jump scares are predictable (long stares into the distance with suspenseful music and then a fish jumps into view), and when the shark finally arrives there’s about five minutes of “it’s gone NO IT’S BACK no wait it’s gone NO IT’S BACK”. Bored.

There’s also an attempt at a romantic storyline. To be quite honest, if I’m watching a shark film I just want to see people get eaten- but in The Reef, when they do get eaten there’s virtually no gore, which kind of defeats the purpose for me. Plus, the characters are so annoying that I actually ended up rooting for the shark.

To sum up, don’t bother with this: Open Water is a much better version of what is virtually the same storyline.

1 star