The small coastal community of Midwich falls under a frightening spell that causes the entire town to suddenly black out. When the women awaken, they find themselves impregnated by some unknown force. The resulting children all arrive in perfect health and possess an incredible intelligence, but behind their cold, unfeeling eyes lies a dreadful secret that they will kill to keep hidden. The VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED was revived in 1995 by Horror icon John Carpenter, which many consider to be the first slip towards a downward decline for the aging director. It is not that Carpenter has turned out a bad film necessarily, but even worse, he is guilty of directing a bland and boring one that lacks any form of artistic flare or originality. Despite remaining faithful to John Wyndham's classic novel, VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED plays out like a drab made-for-television drama, offering up far fewer scares than the earlier screen adaptation from 1960. The vapid cast is largely to blame, as they appear to be even more soulless than The Children. Christopher Reeve sleepwalks through another dry performance while Kirstie Alley and Mark Hamill are just plain awful. Although the story essentially calls for The Children to look and act like automatons, their bad wigs, unnatural dress, and stilted attempts at conveying this on screen take them far beyond the realm of believability. Carpenter also overindulges in the science fiction elements of the plot, and adds an unnecessary amount of bloodshed that really has no place in the film. What we are left with is a poorly-played outline of Wyndham's original concept that lacks the depth and social significance which were instilled in the 1960 film.
Movies like VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED:
WHO CAN KILL A CHILD?, THE CRAZIES, THE BAD SEED, CHILDREN OF THE CORN, THE CHILDREN, THE BROOD, THE TOMMYKNOCKERS.
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