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VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED (1960)
Article #404 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing date: 4-23-2002
Posting date: 9-16-2002

The entire town of Midwich unexpectedly passes out, and when they wake up, all the women of child-bearing age are pregnant.

I have always preferred this to the semi-sequel CHILDREN OF THE DAMNED; whereas that one has a somewhat messy story, this one is focused and powerful. I love the way it holds the interest throughout, first by catching your attention with a truly mysterious occurence, and then bit by bit drawing you into the details of the situation, only gradually letting the horror of the proceedings sneak up on you. In some ways, it is reminiscent of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD, in that as the story progresses, the more you find out, the scarier it gets (though it generally avoids that movie's visceral thrills). It also shares with that movie a certain vagueness over what is the actual cause of the events; though there is some talk of life on other planets, nothing is pinned down. In fact, it is because of what we've learned that the final sequence is so powerful; we've come to find out how powerful the children are, we know what they're capable of, and we're not sure whether out hero can resist them long enough to win out. This movie was based on a John Wyndham novel, The Midwich Cuckoos, the same man who also wrote THE DAY OF THE TRIFFIDS; though the movies take liberties with the novels, they both to some extent retain that sense of real human situations caught up in the horrific happenings; notice the various reactions to the discovered pregnancies of all the women. This is one very memorable horror movie.

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