OPENED AUGUST 20, CERT 12A, 107 MINS
An improvement on the thin Signs and the spurious Unbreakable, Shyamalan’s latest feature is a gothic period piece set in a 19th-century rural village. We learn that the inhabitants are prevented from leaving for fear of incurring the wrath of a race of creatures who reside in the nearby woods. Then Joaquin Phoenix’s Lucius leaves the village to procure vital medicines?the first to breach the boundaries in years. Which, of course, is when things start to go bump in the woods.
The Village boasts fine performances from Adrien Brody as a halfwit and Bryce Dallas Howard as a blind but resourceful girl in love with Lucius. But this movie stands and falls on a number of twists, including one brutal and literal one. Once the d