How Does "The Village" End?
August 5, 2004 7:40 AM   Subscribe

I would like to know the ending to The Village so I don't have to actually see the film, which is supposed to be awful.
posted by gwint to Media & Arts (36 answers total)
Moviepooper, for all your spoilage needs.
posted by mkultra at 7:42 AM on August 5, 2004

Response by poster: Perfect, thanks mkultra.
posted by gwint at 7:49 AM on August 5, 2004

It turns out that Kevin Spacey is really the Kyser Sozey character.
posted by Capn at 7:51 AM on August 5, 2004

A friend of mine really wants to see it so I may have to as well, is there anyone
who thought it was tolerable, good or even really good?
posted by milovoo at 8:01 AM on August 5, 2004

I was so psyched for the movie. I guess I thought it was tolerable. I love being scared, adore psychological twists.

But in the end, you have seen better than this on just about every half-hour Twilight Zone really felt a lot like one of Serling's famed trick, hey, the people are really just dolls in a Salvation Army bin! Or: the main character is an astronaut in a sensory deprivation tank! Or: They're all mannequins in a store who come to life after it closes!

I have seen worse, but I think from Shymaylan, we expected better.
posted by GaelFC at 8:07 AM on August 5, 2004

I have trouble respecting a guy who gave himself the middle name "Night."
posted by mookieproof at 8:22 AM on August 5, 2004

milovoo-- I really liked it! And yet I saw it with three other people, one of whom really disliked it and two of whom were "eh" about it. But I got into it and thought it was well-shot and well-acted. FWIW, I liked Sixth Sense, thought Unbreakable was just okay and uneven but liked it more after a second look, and haven't seen Signs.

Ebert and Roeper had similiar love it/hate it reactions: Ebert hated it, Roeper really liked it.

At the very least, it's worth seeing for very good performances from Joaquin Phoenix and Bryce Dallas Howard. And knowing something beforehand about the history of 19th Century Shaker and Quaker society in New England and the mid-Atlantic states couldn't hurt.

They're all mannequins in a store who come to life after it closes!

I'm not sure if there was a Twilight Zone episode with a similiar premise, but I think you're thinking of a Stephen Sondheim/James Goldman made-for-TV musical called Evening Primrose on ABC Stage 67, starring Charmain Carr and Anthony Perkins.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:32 AM on August 5, 2004

It's a cookbook.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:32 AM on August 5, 2004

If you don't pay any attention to the goofy plot twists which you can see coming from miles away, the movie is an interesting mood-piece. You have to accept the movie reality as it is and try not to look for the obvious holes.

Kind of ironic on that level, really. Hmmm....
posted by cardboard at 8:36 AM on August 5, 2004

I saw it, it wasn't bad. Like any of his movies there are clues that you can use that will potentially spoil the ending but they weren't as obvious in this one as in Sixth Sense or Unbreakable. There was one part I found laughable but I won't bring it up here.
posted by substrate at 8:36 AM on August 5, 2004

It's a snowglobe.
posted by jdroth at 8:37 AM on August 5, 2004

Oh, and my hubby made the cogent comment after seeing The Village that Shyamalan has a grief-fixation. Not twist endings, not scary stuff, but grief. All of his movies feature main characters who are unable to come to terms with death, or who grieve excessively and unhealthily. The Village shows the power of grief taken to its extreme, in destructive ways by multiple characters (Adrien Brody's character's actions, the adult characters' actions) or in rare positive ways (Ivy's bravery and determination).

Yes, I thought this was worth seeing. If it has faults, at least they're not the typical commercialized stupid Hollywood faults of most every other movie out there. They're truly creative leaps that don't always land.
posted by Asparagirl at 8:43 AM on August 5, 2004

I thought it was okay.

Oddly, there are two twists, a mid-film one, and a final one. I found the mid-film one much cooler, much less telegraphed, etc. than the 'big' one. I think some good editing could have tightened that up a bit.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:58 AM on August 5, 2004

heh. great link, Zed.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:15 AM on August 5, 2004

I'm glad I saw it on opening weekend, before I had a chance to get any advance buzz about it, because coming in "cold" I actually liked it. The mid-movie "twist" is a disappointing and could have ruined the whole thing, but the last portion of the film redeemed it somewhat. And the mood, acting, and cinematography are all very well-done, which made the movie worthwhile. All told, I think it's his second-best film, though by no means great, or even very good. (I thought "Sixth Sense" was excellent, "Unbreakable" very uneven, and "Signs" was just awful.) "The Village" salvaged, though not solidified, my respect for him as a filmmaker, but he really needs to think about working with someone else's script for a change because his ideas are getting stale.
posted by arco at 9:19 AM on August 5, 2004

It's a cookbook.

"How to Cook Forty Humans"?
posted by soyjoy at 9:20 AM on August 5, 2004

I'll repeat here the magnificent Ebert peroration I quoted in the MonkeyFilter thread on the subject:

"Eventually the secret of Those, etc., is revealed. To call it an anticlimax would be an insult not only to climaxes but to prefixes. It's a crummy secret, about one step up the ladder of narrative originality from It Was All a Dream. It's so witless, in fact, that when we do discover the secret, we want to rewind the film so we don't know the secret anymore.

"And then keep on rewinding, and rewinding, until we're back at the beginning, and can get up from our seats and walk backward out of the theater and go down the up escalator and watch the money spring from the cash register into our pockets."
posted by languagehat at 9:23 AM on August 5, 2004

I didn't look for the twists and enjoyed the film very much and it's surprising people are pooping all over it. Sort of like when the Blair Witch Project came out -- people loved it or hated it. In both cases it seems to be about going into the movie with certain formal expectations. A good story isn't supposed to have twists, or in the case of BWP, pretend it's not fictional.

I thought the allegorical part of it worked well, too. In this sense, the twists serve certain themes of the movie, eg misguided authority, utopianism, security, etc, in relation to secret knowledge. It's a movie about terror, in every sense of the word.
posted by swift at 9:24 AM on August 5, 2004

It's a 2 hour live-action Scooby Doo episode. Really. Meddling kids and all.
posted by luser at 9:37 AM on August 5, 2004

I enjoyed the film, but felt it was Night's weakest showing to-date ... it could have been a little tighter. Still: better than most everything else out now.
posted by silusGROK at 9:49 AM on August 5, 2004

The movie was well made but very predictable and the ending just didn't pay off.
posted by riffola at 9:51 AM on August 5, 2004

See, I completely disagree with Swift, and for the record, I LOVED Blair Witch Project. I don't think I went into "Village" with expectations--I intentionally did not read anything about it, for example, and had the twist been worth my time, I wouldn't have minded.

Hoping this next won't spoil anyone, but fair warning... (and after all, with the topic of this thread, it would be hard to expect NOT to be spoiled by reading it)

A friend has mused on how, to her, The Village represented white flight, or at the very least, all those gated communities flocking up everywhere to presumably shelter one's children from violence. Heh. Now that concept, I think is kinda funny. But I still don't think it carried a movie, or at least, this particular movie.
posted by GaelFC at 10:05 AM on August 5, 2004

I thought it was OK. I did see the twists coming, especially the one at the end of the movie, though I really hoped I was wrong. On the other hand, all of the three people I was with reported being surprised--though one of them was making a conscious effort not to think ahead because he was told it was the only way he'd be able to enjoy it.

Anyway, it wasn't terrible. But it wasn't good, either.
posted by Acetylene at 10:40 AM on August 5, 2004

posted by luriete at 10:41 AM on August 5, 2004

Like many of Shyamalan's films, I like it better now than I did when I first saw it (a week ago), it kind of grows on you (Signs was like that for me, too). I find that it's common that a filmmaker who arrives on the scene with something that's generally considered truly amazing (i.e. The Sixth Sense) tends to have a problem living up to that high bar that's been set for them, and the massive hype surrounding everything they do (viz Quentin Tarantino), and their later works tend to be viewed in a much harsher light than they might be otherwise (if someone other than Shyamalan had done The Village, I suspect that it wouldn't have been treated as harshly as it has been). It's not terrible, and it has some parts which are genuinely good, including some really nice performances (from Joaquin Phoenix for one, and the wonderful Bryce Dallas Howard for another), beautiful cinematography, some very subtle, powerful, nonverbal statements about relationships, and some really nice writing. I saw the "twist" a mile away (and I avoided all reviews and discussion about it before I saw it), and yeah, it bugged me (not least because I felt that Shyamalan was suffering from the same problem of noncommittal to his theme that Spielberg was in A.I., and hadn't really thought through what he was trying to say with the twist). I think a different edit (to make it longer, believe it or not) would have worked much better, and I'd have liked him to spend a bit more time really working out what his point should be, because to me there's a MUCH better movie hiding inside the cut that was released. But it's certainly no Ishtar, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Don't believe everything people tell you about what's good and what's bad. Things are often both.
posted by biscotti at 11:05 AM on August 5, 2004

What was up with the chairs? Always shots of chairs. Was it just a stylistic thing, or were we supposed to notice that the chair was empty and therefore someone was missing from the scene?

Did anyone else hear about the original ending of the movie? I heard that someone leaked it and MNS shot a new ending. If the original ending I heard about is legit, I think it would have been more effective.
posted by emelenjr at 12:17 PM on August 5, 2004

I liked the movie a lot, although, to be honest, it was a pretty weak twist. My enjoyment of the movie could've been affected by the fact that I saw it as part of a double feature with Manchurian Candidate. The Village was well-directed, well-acted, and suspenseful. I've never seen audiences jump so much for so little. there any explanation for the "bad color"? Did William Hurt's character just not like red?

(As an aside, Manchurian Candidate sucked. If you're thinking about seeing it, just go get the original. It does everything the new one does. Better. Much better.)
posted by graventy at 12:17 PM on August 5, 2004

Well, blood is red. Fear/cowardice are often associated with yellow, of course.
posted by emelenjr at 12:31 PM on August 5, 2004

Yeah, I didn't get that either, graventy. It seemed kind of arbitrary to give red the boot in the town, especially considering they had to go through the trouble of ripping up all the red flowers and so on.

I kind of liked the movie until the ending -- I liked the world/mood that was created, though I would have liked it to be just a tad more tens. But still I felt like they gave up the "creatures in the woods" game way too early (imagine the shock of the field-of-red-berries without knowing the creatures were farce). My girlfriend commented that they should not have had the shed scene at all, but waited until Noah's parents stumble into the quiet room and say, "He's gone -- with the costume!" and let the audience make the leap themselves.

And then, of course, the ending blew the whole show. It felt tacked on (and the rangers were terrible actors, one of them Shymalan himself naturally) -- unlike the Sixth Sense or even Unbreakable, you would not gain anything from watching the movie again. There were no pointers to the ending. It was not a clever twist -- just a twist.

What was the other ending you heard, emelenjr? I'd love to know --
posted by rafter at 12:43 PM on August 5, 2004

This thread manages to not spoil the ending (and I couldn't find it on moviepooper). I had to read the other thread linked to by languagehat (amazing review by Ebert, btw, thanks for sharing) in order to spoil myself. Sheesh, guys, way to make me work! ;)
posted by livii at 12:54 PM on August 5, 2004

It's a different way of arriving at basically the same conclusion.

The following presentation is rated ROT-13.

BX, urer'f jung V urneq. Va gur bevtvany raqvat, Vil pyvzof bire gur jnyy naq fur vf cebzcgyl uvg ol n pne. Vg'f svyzrq fb gur nhqvrapr arire frrf gur uvtujnl, ohg urnef gur ubea, gur fperrpuvat gverf, rgp. Gura gurer'f n fprar ng n freivpr fgngvba hc gur ebnq, naq n zna nfxf gur nggraqnag jung'f jvgu nyy gur cbyvpr pnef naq nzohynaprf naq fhpu. Gur nggraqnag rkcynvaf gurer ner crbcyr yvivat va gur angher cerfreir, nve genssvp vf erfgevpgrq, rgp. Onfvpnyyl rirelguvat gur cnex enatref gnyx nobhg.

Sorry about that. I think the original ending, if that's really what was meant to happen, would have been so much more effective.
posted by emelenjr at 1:12 PM on August 5, 2004


As the monsters approach the village, Ivy and Alice organize the village people into defensive formations. They open up the locked boxes and find computer controlled minigun defensive units. After a tense battle, the monsters overrun the minigun stations and kill most of the villiagers. Alice and Ivy manage to retreat to an adjacent and larger villiage, where they find that the monsters have destroyed everything and killed everyone. The two women prepare to leave, when they find one remaining monster. Ivy hides while Alice straps herself into the one remaining robotic loader. Another dramatic and tense battle follows with Alice finally defeating the monster. As Alice and Ivy run towards the towns, the camera catches the shadow of a monster following them....

Will Alice and Ivy escape? Are all the monsters really dead? Find out in about eight years when part two, The Villiages, is released.
posted by Kwantsar at 1:19 PM on August 5, 2004

er The Villages
posted by Kwantsar at 1:21 PM on August 5, 2004

I have seen worse, but I think from Shymaylan, we expected better.

If the film was released immediately following The Sixth Sense, I might agree. However, Unbreakable and Signs pretty much killed any expectation I might have had about his films being worth a crap.

if someone other than Shyamalan had done The Village, I suspect that it wouldn't have been treated as harshly as it has been

True. However, if someone else had done the film, it would have premiered in the SciFi channel, and would have had some obscure television actor from the eighties in the lead role.
posted by bradth27 at 4:51 PM on August 5, 2004

It's freaky, man. Heather falls down and JOSH IS STANDING IN THE CORNER.

On preview: dammit, Swift.
posted by britain at 7:01 PM on August 5, 2004

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