In my opinion, The Village is one of the most beautiful films of recent times. It was tragically misunderstood on its release, which earned it a reputation of being a disappointment and not scary enough.
My advice to new viewers would be to treat it like a love story, not a horror movie. Bryce Dallas Howard and Joaquin Phoenix give quietly affecting performances as a young engaged couple living in a simple rural village which is governed by a group known as the Elders.
There are surprises along the way, though people frequently make the mistake of seeing the twist as the film’s defining feature. It isn’t – it just adds another layer of complexity onto an already masterful piece of work.
The Village (2004), directed by M. Night Shyamalan, is released on DVD in the UK by Walt Disney Studios, Certificate 12.