The reviews I'd seen for The Village weren't all that encouraging, but it was the likeliest looking candidate at the video shop so we gave it a try. It's probably just as well that I wasn't expecting much, because in the end I quite enjoyed it. It's not at all scary - well, mildly so at the beginning - and from the middle of the film onwards it's not so much scary as interesting.
If you haven't seen it yet and don't want to find out what happens, don't read on.
I couldn't believe it when, just as Ivy is about to enter the woods and risk a mauling from Those of which we do not speak, it turns out that the creatures are made up to prevent villagers from leaving. I didn't get the twist until, after her long ordeal in the woods (including being chased by one of those of which we do not speak), she came up against what looked like a boundary fence. "Hah!" I thought. No doubt we'll find out that the villagers are in fact in an insane asylum - a very spacious one.
Despite the non-scariness and the slow pace, the story certainly got me thinking (enough to invade my sleep, even). It made me think about the possibility that being a victim of crime (or just related to one) might be enough to make you want to withdraw from society completely, to the point where you deny the existence of the outside world; about how the offspring, who have known no other life, would feel if they found out they were in fact being cushioned from a high-tech, high-stress society where people actually use swear words and don't always behave like gentlemen;that whereever there are human beings there is the potential for crime.
I also wondered whether these families wouldn't have been better off going to live with the Amish, thus regaining their idealised innocence without having to pretend the rest of the world doesn't exist.