Title: The Village
Released: 2004

Fix: Halloween, October, autumn, thrillers, M. Night Shyamalan, prairie horror
Platforms: Netflix

Netflix Summary:

When a young man tries to venture beyond his sequestered hamlet, his actions set off a chain of chilling incidents that alter the community forever.

FYA Summary:

Okay, so there’s this little village surrounded by woods, and it’s the home of a small community of people, probably sometime during the Revolutionary Era, (IDK, y’all, history is hard). These people have figured out how to live without any contact to the outside world because the woods surrounding their village are filled with…creatures. Or people? Monsters? Something really horrifying. The village elders make sure that everyone in the village follows all these rules so as not to attract the creatures to come into the village and harm them, and they never ever go into the woods. But when young Lucius starts asking questions and pushing back against the traditions of the elders, mysterious, chilling things start to happen and the villagers are forced to confront their biggest fear.

Familiar Faces:

Bryce Dallas Howard as Ivy

Just about anything you read about The Village will make it seem as though Joaquin Pheonix is the star, and while he does have a major role, the story is ultimately Ivy’s, and Bryce Dallas Howard really steals the show. Ivy is blind, but fearless and full of life. She is, IMO, so much better at this sort of character than as a villain in the Twilight movies. 

Joaquin Pheonix as Lucius

Pre-weirdo Joaquin is very solemn in this movie, sort of painfully quiet, but Pheonix is a pro and manages to communicate a lot with very little. 

Adrien Brody as Noah

Brody’s performance as the mentally challenged member of the village is not my favorite for a handful of reasons, but two of the most gut-wrenching scenes belong to him nonetheless.  

Sigourney Weaver as Alice

Lucius’ mom and one of the village elders, Sigourney is your typical stern mother character and is honestly underutilized in this movie considering that she’s Sigourney Effing Weaver.

Brendan Gleeson as August

I sometimes forget that Brendan Gleeson isn’t actually just Mad-Eye Moody.

Judy Greer as Kitty

In true Judy Greer fashion, our girl plays Ivy’s sister and a young woman who gets passed over for a pretty lady.

Couch-Sharing Capability: High

Some chills, some thrills, and a little bit of swoon, this movie’s got something for everyone, so snuggle up with your S.O. and pretend like they can save you from the monsters outside your house.

Recommended Level of Inebriation: BOOze it up

I don’t think there was any drinking in the village, but you’re gonna want to chug a spiked cider or something to help you forget that this is not M. Night Shyamalan’s best work, and even a totally star-studded cast can’t save it.

Use of Your Streaming Subscription: Halloween Prep

I will not pretend like The Village is some sort of cinematic masterpiece. It’s plot is a little flimsy, and once you know the M. Night Shyamalan signature twists, it loses a bit of its appeal. However, this time of year, I’m always on the hunt for non-horror Halloween movies and this one is PERFECT. It’s got a vague colonial America/Amish/Autumnal vibe, which is the holy grail of non-horror Halloween movies. Plus: monsters, suspenseful scenes in the woods, and characters who can thoroughly creep you out. All in all, it’s a great way to get into the spirit of the spookiest season.

Rosemary lives in Little Rock, AR with her husband and cocker spaniel. At 16, she plucked a copy of Sloppy Firsts off the "New Releases" shelf and hasn't stopped reading YA since. She is a brand designer who loves tiki drinks, her mid-century modern house, and obsessive Google mapping.