Village of the Damned (1960) [review]

What we have here is a masterpiece that at times feels low key while having the weight of the world upon it shoulders… the idea of the unknown, the fear and all the different theories of how to deal with what has thrust itself up what seems like a small country village.

The unexplained moment in which the people of a small part of England find themselves unconscious and the aftermath of discovering that many of the local women are pregnant, which just so happened that they became so on the same day.

This is a perfect example of how a film can build the tension with very little violence and what we do see, is more to do with suggestion and the viewer’s imagination than what is shown on screen in some brutality fashion. The emotion and intention of the action of moments is the style of this film. The relationships between the village people, their neighbours, husbands and wives and their children who we’re offered the chance to consider who or what they are … if they’re alien on their fathers’ side or if human evolution has jumped thousands and millions of years ahead of itself.

This film’s characters have their opinions on what is happening, but ultimately the film allows the audience to come to their own thoughts and theories, giving us the chance us come to our own conclusion. All the while we consider the consequences of which character is in the right or how much we side with any one person.

What makes this film enthralling is that is set in a village, away from the big city and therefore it would take time for anybody with any major weaponry to get there, leaving it up to the locals to deal with the situation. Going back and forth on who and what is to be dealt with.

Being a film released in 1960, there is still the feeling of 1950s England, a certain stiff upper lip of that decade; of a country with the Second World War not being such a distant memory. Maybe even fuelling the nerves of what could possibly be going on.

Like any good sci-fi, this asks the questions of what it is to be human; nothing is ever black and white, even if we would like to think so. We see how different people react to the situation, to the children; to the people who have known each other for years. Proving there is never one way or attitude.


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