Village of the Damned

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Directed by the legendary director, John Carpenter, Village of the Damned is a remake of the original 1960's British movie, the screenplay of which was put together by a guy called Stirling Silliphant. Carpenter's version contains some differences to the original story, ie, the action has moved from England to the US, to a fictional town called Midwich, with a population of 6,000 people or more.

A strong cast which includes former Superman star Christopher Reeve (before he was injured in his recent accident), Linda Kowzlowski (Crocodile Dundee), Kirstie Alley, Peter Jason, Michael Pare and Meredith Salenger give their all in their respective performances which make this movie one of the best horror movies of all time.

The residents of Midwich are going about their usual business ... the doctor (Christopher Reeve) makes a trip out of town for a couple of hours or so, other people make deliveries to and around the Midwich area.

In Midwich itself, a summer fete is being set up, together with a barbecue and stalls of various kinds. Suddenly, a dark shadow envelopes the whole town, putting all of the residents to sleep whatever they are doing. Road accidents also occur here as the drivers of the vehicles are also affected by the shadow. The authorities outside Midwich think that it is attributal to some kind of chemical gas leak at some power station, but this is not the case.

The shadow sits on Midwich for around six hours, from 10am to 4pm. When it finally lifts, everyone gets up - with blinding headaches - and, if they happened to be women, they were mysteriously pregnant, but none of them knew that at this stage. Gradually, however, each of the women think that they might be pregnant due to the fact that they were suffering from morning sickness etc, - however, the poignant performance here was given by Melanie Roberts (Meredith Salenger) - the character was pregnant but was ALSO a virgin. As you can imagine, an unplanned, unexpected pregnancy can be a nasty thing to occur to any woman, especially given the circumstances. The women all receive their diagnoses from the doctor that they are pregnant, each one taking the news in different ways. For some reason, however, they all decide to keep their babies.

The movie then forwards on to the birth of the cursed babies, the infamous 'Children of the Damned' that the movie is based around. Most of the births go ahead as planned, however the scene involving Meredith's baby is quite gritty, with the eventual birth being stillborn. Things then quieten down for a couple of years or so.

The doctor's wife had also been pregnant and had given birth to what she thought was a normal healthy girl, whom she named Maara. One lunchtime, when Maara was two years old or thereabouts, she suddenly gained the magical powers - causing her mother to put her arm into a boiling pan of vegetables. Shortly after that, the doctor's wife then committed suicide, some would say with the help of her 'daughter'. Other people also started to die in strange circumstances.

Shortly after this, the movie goes forward a few more years, to when the children are starting at the local primary school. A lot of bizarre 'accidents' happen here, one involving the caretaker (amongst others) who meet a violent death.

Soon, however, after all of the deaths that have occurred in the town, the residents realise what is going on, and try to stop the children from hurting anyone else. The only trouble is that they can't - until the doctor finally manages to ensnare them inside the old hospital building (where they were previously born) and blows the building up, claiming the lives of all but one of the children.

The child who is left, David, had started to show emotion during the movie - which none of the others had any of. He was also present at the rather shocking death of Meredith's character in the town's graveyard, the reason for this was that Meredith's baby (had it survived) would have been David's mate.

Overall, Village of the Damned is an excellent movie, very well scripted with an excellent cast. Despite the fact that John Carpenter has been involved with some not-so-good movies over the last few years, I think he'll be turning the tables at last with this one.  


 The End!