Village of the Damned (1960)




Critic Consensus: Chilling performances and a restrained, eerie atmosphere make this British horror both an unnerving parable of its era and a timeless classic.

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Movie Info

In this film, a supernatural force causes residents of a small British town to fall asleep. They wake up to find every woman of childbearing age is pregnant. The offspring turn out to be telepathic, blonde-haired beings with superior intellect and a variety of unexplained powers.
Horror , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Warner Home Video

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George Sanders
as Gordon Zellaby
Barbara Shelley
as Anthea Zellaby
Michael Gwynn
as Alan Bernard
Laurence Naismith
as Doctor Willers
John Phillips
as Gen. Leighton
Rick Warner
as Mr. Harrington
Richard Vernon
as Sir Edgar Hargraves
Jenny Laird
as Mrs. Harrington
Richard Warner
as Mr. Harrington
Thomas Heathcote
as James Pawle
Martin Stephens
as David Zellaby
Charlotte Mitchell
as Janet Pawle
Susan Richards
as Mrs. Plumpton
Pamela Buck
as Milly
John Stuart
as Mr. Smith
Sarah Long
as Evelyn Harrington
Keith Pyott
as Dr. Carlisle
Peter Vaughan
as Police Constable Gobbey
Robert Marks
as Paul Norman
Tom Bowman
as Pilot
Billy Lawrence
as John Bush
Diane Aubrey
as W.R.A.C. Secretary
Gerald Paris
as Sapper
Brian Smith
as The Village Children
Paul Norman (II)
as The Village Children
John Bush
as The Village Children
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Critic Reviews for Village of the Damned

All Critics (24) | Top Critics (4)

Village is one of the neatest little horror pictures produced since Peter Lorre went straight.

Full Review… | October 21, 2010
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This just tapers off from a taut beginning into soggy melodrama.

Full Review… | March 25, 2009
Top Critic

A strong and subtle horror film from England.

Full Review… | September 26, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The atmosphere and pace are superbly handled, and the performances of the sinister, inhumanly intelligent 'children' never falter.

Full Review… | January 25, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

With chillingly effective performances from the children to add to the tension, this is probably the neatest science fiction film yet to have come out of a British studio.

Full Review… | September 15, 2015
Monthly Film Bulletin

Compelling, creepy and often unbearably tense.

Full Review… | October 7, 2013
Radio Times

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.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


Overall I wasn't very impressed though there are good parts. The last few minutes is really the best part.

Graham Jones
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer


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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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