Village of the Damned - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Village of the Damned Reviews

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½ October 10, 2016
Definitely not Carpenter's strongest, but also not nearly as big a mess as Ghosts of Mars. Village of the Damned features a great cast, but uneven pacing issues, and unavoidable comparisons to the original classic make it a difficult watch. 2 1/2 stars
September 22, 2016
I would have expected tons from John Carpenter.
August 14, 2016
Terribly misguided remake of the 1960 semi-sf classic. It's actually not bad for the first quarter but like the 1960 original, things somewhat go downhill fast when the actual kids arrive. Christopher Reeve grunt acts most of the time, while Kirstie Alley just stands around and smokes smokes smokes. Not very good.
½ August 7, 2016
horror movies with kids = not scary
July 10, 2016
Good music, engaging story. All get killed except one. Aliens
May 27, 2016
John Carpenter and the aliens, on this adaptation of the Sci-Fi classic "The Midwich Cuckoos", already previously seen on film in the 60's by the hand of Wolf Rilla. If I didn't know better, I'd say Village of the Damned was written by Stephen King (Children of the Corn, hello??) sort of feels like it, but it wasn't. Carpenter manages to create a disturbing movie, with a sober, yet effective cinematography, that sometimes takes us back to the good old "the Fog" days.
May 22, 2016
pretty good remake as far as they go
April 25, 2016
I don't hate this movie. It's fine. Is it as good as the original? Of course not. But it's watchable for sure.
April 14, 2016
A bit of a tepid, straight forward remake, but that's more of a result of a meddling studio. Since it was still Carpenter at the helm, it still has solid sense of dread and great score.
February 23, 2016
Into the infernal remake shitland.
½ November 2, 2015
good solid movie kids are scary
October 28, 2015
You ever watched an entire film, desperately searching for something really good, but never quite finding it? That feeling sums up John Carpenter's remake of Village Of The Damned, a total missed opportunity. When a bizarre event occurs in the sunny town of Widwich, the women of the town fall simultantiously pregnant, baffled by the towns situation a group of scientists invade the town, in hopes of a new discovery, only what they find is a force that cant be stopped. For all the star power and building blocks that Carpenter has in place here, the film never really takes off at all. The cast are all brilliant, Chris Reeves, Kirstie Alley, Mark Hamill and Linda Kozlowski all do admirable jobs with the material they have and the script isnt exactly terrible either, the dialogue flows well, the plot makes sense and the structure works, its just that Carpenter doesnt seem to know what to do with all his tools. Village Of The Damned feels lost, without a purpose and desperately in need of an identity. On a basic level the film is fine, its a decent length, it holds your attention and it has some nice moments littered throughout, but it doesnt get your blood pumping like it should, the concept never upsets and with the subject matter we should be quivering in our seats. It's not the first time that Carpenter has remade a cult classic and you'd be forgiven for thinking that the huge upheaval that was done on The Thing, would at least act as a basic staple for how to approach another cult classic, but for all the inventiveness The Thing boasts, Village just feels lazy and unloved. The film does have some fine moments, most memorable would be the finale, but these moments only shine due to the mundane sequences that surround it. Village lacks Carpenters invigorating touch, while not a complete travesty, Village never gets your heart racing, a missed opportunity.
½ October 25, 2015
I haven't seen the original yet, so I won't be comparing the two, but just giving a fresh look into this film. I honestly found this suspenseful and very smart. I enjoyed it a bit and do recommend this for more of a mid day horror film.
½ September 15, 2015
Carpenter's 1995 update of the sci-fi classic, Village Of The Damned, was uneeded as with the film's basic plot is to vague and it can't really be expanded on. This type of plot is very basic but only really suits the films from the 50's (although the original was released in 1960). This very basic sci-fi film is a long winded and over long piece of crap which surprisingly showcases a decent performance from Christopher Reeve. The script is crap, as well as the execution of the film in general, with some cheesy special effects and a score that doesn't work there's nothing really good about this one. John Carpenter certainly made a horrible decision here and should of left it to some film school graduate to destroy a classic.
July 22, 2015
A film I first saw at 12-13 years old & remember being considerably scared & frightening but re-visiting this film at 28 years old was a different experience.

Basically a direct remake of the English 60's film with very little embellishments. This film has quite a few chilling scenes that stayed in my mind even 15 years a go.

The story of many women becoming pregnant after an unusual blackout & all give birth to these unsettling babies that grow into telepathic children. A little lame parts but I found the film genuinely entertaining more than scary.
June 24, 2015
You've all probably heard the saying that "Sex Is Like Pizza, Even When It's Bad It's Still Pretty Good" that also applies to John Carpenter movies in my opinion...
½ April 12, 2015
Though I've never seen the original and this remake was considered to be of poor quality, with John Carpenter as director it was my duty to see Village of the Damned.

By 1995 standards, a plot where the primary concept is about mind controlling children hardly seems as scary any more. Village of the Damned was originally a low budget feature while the remake has the budget of $22 million, and that money seems largely spent on locations, the cast and visual effects. In that sense the film still feels like a low budget feature, but for the concept to shock viewers of the contemporary age the concepts have to be updated more. And watching characters put their hands in boiling pots or pouring chemicals in their eyes under the implied mind control of children hardly seems scary any more. For it to be scary, either there would have to be more gruesome forms of torture happening or more importantly, the visual style would have to grasp the horror a lot better. The ways in which characters dies later become better, but they still feel tame and slow. When the characters are pushed into torturing themselves or each other, we only really see it from a middle shot perspective without getting an insight into the terror running through the minds of the characters. While the final scene in the film picks up its game and improves in terms of tension and visual style, up until then Village of the Damned is largely just a slow moving and rather empty horror film which lacks the eerie charm of the more simple John Carpenter horror films. Frankly, the text just does not translate well into the contemporary age which means that the ultimate fault in the film is the fact that it did not need to be remade.
John Carpenter is a talented filmmaker, but Village of the Damned suggests that he works better with his own material than at remaking somebody else's. His work on Village of the Damned has its benefits, but it certainly does not reflect his finest directorial skills as the feature is caught up in the past and the present, maintaining material which is too tame for the present and lacking the power to scare the age. It is a slow film which doesn't build tension all that well with its only real redeeming narrative quality being the relationship that protagonist Dr. Alan Chaffee shares with the enemy children of the story. There is also a mild sense of visual appeal in the story because the scenery and production design certainly makes the village of Midwich feel legitimate while the way that John Carpenter makes use of visual effects allows the antagonists of the story to impose a genuine sense of threat on the audience. The cinematography also captures this nicely, but it still feels shallow. The visuals in Village of the Damned are shown off but the cinematography fails to give viewers a sense of the claustrophobic terror, reminding me once again that Gary B. Kibbe is not a director of photography who knows how to involve himself in a film after he did it the first time on John Carpenter's Vampires where I felt that he was very relevant to ensuring that the stylish potential of the film was never achieved. He shows slight improvement in Village of the Damned and the scenery that is depicted does certainly look nice, but Village of the Damned hardly has the most effective visual style which means that the thin narrative of the film has nothing to hide behind and there is little horror to come from the imagery in the film. Village of the Damned is not a film which either looks scary or feels scary, and so it is bereft of the thrills that it would need to succeed in its own genre.
You would think that with a talented line of cast members there would be a greater impact made by the actors, but that is unfortunately a false prophecy.
I will say that I did mildly enjoy Christopher Reeves' performance over all others. His performance wasn't a breakthrough one and his character was not a great creation, but Christopher Reeve captures a sense of melancholic fear as a response to the strange situation presented by the narrative. But more impressively, Christopher Reeve shares a really interesting chemistry with the child actors which gives the film some interesting moments when it touches upon the relationship that Dr. Alan Chaffee shares with them. Their relationship is one of the highlights of the film, particularly because of the darkly performance of Lindsey Haun who perfectly captures the sadistic and powerful nature of the character Mara Chaffee. The two actors share an interesting chemistry and have some really intense interactions which prove to be some of the most entertaining moments of the film as they both maintain similar levels of power in different regards. Christopher Reeve and Lindsey Haun are the two finest cast members of Village of the Damned.
Linda Kozlowski seems to be the one who is the most engaged in the story with Village of the Damned and determined to prove herself, and though the narrative and character limitations hold her back, she proves to do a rather effective job. She really gets the dramatic context of the story at multiple times which makes the atmosphere somewhat more effective. Thomas Dekker also maintains a distinctive friendly childish charm about him while capturing the sinister nature of the character at the same time.
Village of the Damned also features appearances from both Michael Pare and Mark Hamill, but it is a shame that neither of them are really put to use due to very brief appearances.

So Village of the Damned is not without its moments, but they are buried beneath a dated and overly simplistic narrative and a film style which is largely bereft of effective horror which hardly compares to John Carpenter's finer works by milestones.
April 4, 2015
John Carpenter does make a good horror. This could have been much better but the kids were damn freaky; the stuff of nightmares even before their eyes start to glow. The story itself is a little lacking but it's not a bad film.
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