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M Night Shyamalan's The Village - US reaction



Compiled by: Jack Foley

REACTION to M Night Shyamalan’s latest chiller, The Village, has been decidedly mixed from America, with some hailing it to be another work of genius - and others considering it to be a terrific disappointment.

Rolling Stone led the positives, stating that ‘in crafting a film about the ways fear can manipulate - are there really creatures of mass destruction in the woods? - Shyamalan gives the film a metaphorical weight that goes deeper than goose bumps’.

While the disappointment brigade was best summed up by the New York Post, which wrote that ‘The Village pours on creepy atmosphere, but this dud is too intent on delivering its liberal 'message' to actually deliver the kinds of scares it promises in the terrific trailer’.

The New York Daily News felt that ‘The Village is Shyamalan's weakest story’, while USA Today felt that ‘though it's not as contrived as 2000's Unbreakable, The Village disappoints’.

The Philadelphia Inquirer, meanwhile, opined that ‘Shyamalan deftly turns a familiar fairy tale into an eerie scary tale’.

And the Seattle Times felt that it is ‘a film of great elegance and skill that's often delicious to watch, but its surprises don't surprise; in fact, they fall a little flat’.

The San Jose Mercury News opined that it ‘comes close to matching the intensity and surprise of Shyamalan's biggest hit, The Sixth Sense’.

While the Washington Post found it ‘a bewildering disappointment’.

And LA Weekly lamented: "For my money, this undeniably talented writer-director has been repeating himself with steadily decreasing potency ever since the wonderful The Sixth Sense, and his latest excursion does nothing to buck the trend."

The Hollywood Reporter, however, described it as ‘literate and visually expressive’.

While the Minneapolis Star Tribune wrote that ‘Shyamalan, as usual functioning as writer, director and producer, plays on our expectations like a virtuoso while subverting them’.

And the Atlanta-Journal Constitution felt that ‘The Village pales next to the crackerjack ghost story of The Sixth Sense but excels far beyond the psychobabbling in Unbreakable’.

But Variety found it to be ‘Shyamalan's least satisfying post-Sixth Sense effort’.

And Entertainment Weekly concludes this round-up, by stating: "What really lurks within those woods is (fear not: no spoilers here) a very mixed bag’.

The film opens in the UK on August 20.

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