Village of the Damned (1960)
Critics Consensus: Chilling performances and a restrained, eerie atmosphere make this British horror both an unnerving parable of its era and a timeless classic.
No Top Critics Tomatometer score yet...
Something is seriously amiss in the tiny British village of Midwich. At 11 a.m. one morning, every village resident suddenly falls asleep -- and then, just as suddenly, everyone wakes up, completely unaffected by the phenomenon. Well, not completely: virtually every woman of childbearing years has become pregnant. All the babies are born on the same night, at precisely the same moment. All look the same, weigh the same, and even have the same curious cross-hatched hair and underdeveloped fingernails. Four years later, the children have all prematurely reached the age of nine or so -- and all behave in a weird, conspiratorial manner, comporting themselves more like adults than kids. Resident scientist George Sanders, one of the fathers, surmises that the bizarre manner of the children -- from their zombie-like movements to their cold, staring eyes -- is the result of radioactivity, possibly extraterrestrial in nature. One thing is certain: the children possess powers far beyond those of ordinary mortals. And they must be stopped. One of the most influential science fiction films of the 1960s, Village of the Damned was based on the equally eerie John Wyndham novel The Midwich Cuckoos. The more explicit 1995 remake was widely panned in comparison. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi … More
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Critic Reviews for Village of the Damned
Village is one of the neatest little horror pictures produced since Peter Lorre went straight.
The atmosphere and pace are superbly handled, and the performances of the sinister, inhumanly intelligent 'children' never falter.
One of those little science fiction movies that, once seen (and it's a TV staple) is never forgotten.
The script and direction are rather creaky at times, but the children, whose eyes light up menacingly, are excellent.
Plays on our dread of our children growing up to become Hitler Youth members with amazing superpowers . . .
Those eyes, those screams! Creepy classic.
It's a humanist piece--no lightning bolt restores this society, just the cool light of right reason.
Mildly effective sci-fi thriller that suffers from being too restrained.
Wolf Rilla builds dread of these strange children through insinuation and mood, and the audience gets the real thing: fear
Village of the Damned remains an intelligent creepy tale that has not lost its luster over time.
Audience Reviews for Village of the Damned
"Village of the Damned" is a classic horror movie because of its otherworldly, supernatural genre bending. It has severe, Cold War implications, as it deals with nuclear power, infiltration by a faction of likeminded invaders, and their arrival creates a feeling of paranoia and hostility among a small village's inhabitants. Not only is the link between the Cold War and these children subtle, but is also overtly stated when referencing the Soviet Union within the narrative of the film. The children's threat is most evident when people mysteriously start disappearing, or dying. Children are generally portrayed as the only innocent people in this world, but in this film their capabilities not only lend to them being ostracized, but feared. They are always questioned, and always feared by the small village, so the main concern of the film is whether or not they can be stopped. We never learn where these children come from, and exactly what they are planning to do with their powers. It's both overt science fiction as well as horror, and remains a classic if only because it balances evenly between the two.More
Overall I wasn't very impressed though there are good parts. The last few minutes is really the best part.More
Village of the Damned is an effective and creepy horror film that delivers effective chills. The film uses effective elements to build the horror. The film takes time to deliver its terror, and the buildup is slow, steady and it adds an eerie atmosphere to the film. The story is an effective horror tale which really does creep you out. The acting is terrific, and the story itself is well crafted to induce shock and dread into its viewer. For horror fans that are looking for a film with atmosphere, effective chills mixed with great acting, Village of the Damned is the film that you should see. This Sci Fi horror film is a classic of the genre, and still has the power to scare. The actors playing the kids are intense in their performances, and they deliver on-screen. Overall this is one of the most solid classic horror films of the 1960's. The pacing of the film is perfect for the unfolding horror halfway through the film. The films pacing is the key for the horror to work well. Mix that with the eerie atmosphere, and you have a memorable horror film. The actors that play the children are terrific, especially the actor who plays the leader, David. Martin Stephens is excellent as David and he brings such menace to the role. If you enjoy effective, chilling horror; Village of the Damned is the film to watch. A very eerie atmosphere and a great steady buildup make this an excellent unforgettable film that horror fans will love.More
This is the original Village of the Damned movie! The kids are really creepy, and the story starts out interesting, but the movie looses steam towards the end. It could have been better, maybe that's why they remade it? Still, it's pretty good, and I'd recommend seeing it if you're interested in it.More
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