Into the Woods

Since today is Halloween, let me tell you something scary. I finally watched “The Village,” a movie just about everyone I know disliked. (Yeah, but how come nobody seemed to have avoided it except me). I plugged my ears and lalala-ed for a year. I’ve excluded myself from conversations to preserve my ignorance. And now that I watched it, I may even be a bigger outcast in certain circles because I actually liked the movie.

You’re judging me now, aren’t you? Well, you might want to cover your eyes; I’m about to praise the film. (Possible spoilers ahead – but who’s left to spoil?)

The title refers to an isolated community amidst a forbidden forest, where ominous creatures dubbed “Those We Don’t Speak Of” reside. The villagers are cautious not to anger these beasts by keeping the woods undisturbed. However, a dire situation arises and a trek to the woods to call for help might be the only salvation. Who will be brave enough to venture the forest? What are unspeakable about “Those We Don’t Speak Of”? What kind of help lies beyond the borders? These are some of the big questions M. Night Shyamalan answers with certain audacity and skill. Whether they’re satisfying or not, the viewer is left to decide.

I confess that I figured out one big twist; I was hinted that the movie was somehow a commentary towards the current Bush administration. The tip-off wasn’t exactly a spoiler and it did feel like I was in on the fun. The other major twist got me good though. It’s like watching shocking episodes of “Lost” or “The Twilight Zone.” I know “The Village” has been attacked due to some inconsistencies and glaring impossibilities. But I didn’t really take the movie that seriously; one character with a disability is hardly believable, but a compelling individual nonetheless. Plus, I couldn’t deny the fact that I enjoyed the movie; not even the best argument against the movie can refute that.

Grade: A-

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