The Village (2004)
Written and directed by M. Night Shyamalan

Shyamalan's films aim for Hitchcock by way of Spielberg, but they're really more like Magic Eye puzzles by way of Where's Waldo?. Though his movies are always pleasing to look at, and it's fun to watch out for the director's crafty cameos, they depend entirely on a single third-act twist designed to make you rethink everything you've seen.

Which works if you can't see it coming. With The Village, I correctly deduced the twist about nine minutes into the film, and spent the rest of the time fidgeting, like being stuck on an airplane with the only available reading material a finished crossword puzzle. It's still a reasonably interesting movie, but I'd imagine my enjoyment was about that of someone watching Signs or The Sixth Sense a second time … it's kinda boring, once you know how the trick works.

The acting is good across the board, and Bryce Dallas Howard is a real cutie-pie. I have to give Shyamalan extra credit, too, for making William Hurt look like James Garfield.

Review by La Fée