Village of the Damned (1960)

Village of the Damned Movie Review

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Village of the Damned Movie Review

Village of the Damned is a 1960 British horror film starring George Sanders. It is such a great, memorable horror.

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You have to be taught to leave us alone

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Village of the Damned Movie Review

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The plot here is so original and unlike anything I’ve seen before, highly memorable and influential. The whole village gets immobilized for a couple of hours and afterwards all of the women get pregnant. The kids are born more advanced with white hair and creepy eyes and special mind powers. It is up to George Sanders to stop them.

This is so obviously similar to The Twilight Zone both in style and in plot. It is basically that show’s never produced episode and I can imagine Rod Serling loving it. I loved its talkative and more scientific approach and those discussions are some of the best scenes. Of course the most memorable scene is the ending with the brick wall, very imaginative and intense.

I loved George Sanders here as he went against typecasting and he plays a hero for once. It paid off as he really delivered a strong performance and carried the entire movie on his shoulders. The other actors and actresses here suffer considerably when compared to him. I loved his character and of course the kids are so well established, creepy and wonderfully villainous.

Village of the Damned is a further proof of how great 1960 was for horror films and the best year ever for the genre. It is another strong addition to that year’s classic roster and most similar to ‘Eyes Without a Face’. It isn’t one of the best horror films ever, but it is one of the better ones.

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Village of the Damned Movie Review

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Its fatal flaw is its running time. Usually I love shorter movies, but this movie needed a longer running time. Clocking in at just 77 minutes, the story movies way too fast and the entire first half or so is rather rushed. The story is too detailed and rich for such a short runtime.

It is technically amazing. The direction should have been better, but the film looks great owing to terrific special effects for its time. I could sometimes see that when kids had glowing eyes those were still photos, but again for 1960 this was amazing trick photography. And because it focuses so much on psychology and not as much on effects, it managed to become timeless and it aged remarkably well and is enjoyable and atmospheric to this day.

Being basically the greatest Twilight Zone episode never produced, Village of the Damned truly is a horror classic. Its story is iconic and highly original and although the film is too short and rushed, it is so well plotted, acted and made with terrific effects, excellent dialogue and a superb performance from George Sanders who went against typecasting here and was unusually heroic. The film looks and sounds great and it’s filled with a lot of unforgettable scenes.

My Rating – 4.5

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Posted in 1960, 1960s, FILM DECADES, Horror, MOVIE REVIEWS and tagged , , , , , , .

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