Updated: Oct 23, 2020
Village of the Damned (1960)
Streaming Service: Hulu
I saw Village of the Damned years and years ago when it was on a cable channel on a Sunday afternoon. I remember being impressed with it even though the special-effects were a product of its time. I also watched the remake, but it was not nearly as good as the original in my opinion even though it was done by John Carpenter.
The plot is fairly simple, but very intriguing. An entire village falls asleep for several hours and no one can enter a well-defined perimeter without also falling asleep. The event is very eerily portrayed and comes across as very unsettling by those who experience it. Months later it’s revealed that many of the village women that are of childbearing age are pregnant. This includes several virgins and a woman whose husband had been away at sea. The children abnormally grow up very fast to be fair-haired, very intelligent, and have strange unsettling eyes. They also work as a collective. Only one of them has to learn something for that knowledge to be imparted on the other children. Even more disturbing is their ability to manipulate people with just a look.
The film is quite short. Just barely over an hour. It does a good job fitting in a lot of story in a short period of time. We don’t get to really know the main characters in depth, but were given enough information to understand their motivations. The acting is really good for its time. The special-effects, of course, are dated, but effective. The end is very tense and probably one of the better endings in a movie of this kind.
I know some people are put off by black and white films. That’s unfortunate because they miss out on quite a few really well told stories. The Village of the Damned is definitely one of those. I think the film works so well because of the time period in which it takes place.
I definitely recommend the Village of the Damned to people who appreciate older horror and alien invasion films.