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Village of the Damned

Released Dec 7, 1960 1h 18m Sci-Fi List
93% Tomatometer 42 Reviews 78% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings
One day the peaceful village of Midwich is cast into a mysterious sleep for several hours, but with no obvious consequences, until soon all the women of child-bearing age turn out to be pregnant. Their children are all born at the same time, and grow quickly into very spooky young people, with strange white-blonde hair and eerie eyes. Read More Read Less
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Village of the Damned

What to Know

Critics Consensus

Chilling performances and a restrained, eerie atmosphere make this British horror both an unnerving parable of its era and a timeless classic.

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Critics Reviews

View All (42) Critics Reviews
Times (UK) Staff Times (UK) Fantasy is tricky material to handle, on the screen even more so than in print, and Village of the Damned... is to be congratulated on making a creditable shot at a difficult job. Sep 28, 2022 Full Review Patrick Gibbs Daily Telegraph (UK) [Provides] a good deal of harmless excitement before the invention finally runs down... Here the fantasy always seems more credible than the reality, with the result that we are more amused than chilled. Sep 28, 2022 Full Review Guardian Staff Guardian The story is most ingenious and is told by Wolf Rilla with just the right laconic touch. Sep 28, 2022 Full Review Kevin Carr Fat Guys at the Movies A chilling story of passive alien invasion and paranoia. Rated: 4/4 Nov 18, 2023 Full Review C.A. Lejeune Observer (UK) Written and handled with a considerable amount of delicacy, it may possibly appeal more to the adults than the adolescents, and the further you have moved away from the fantasy the more you will understand its chill. Sep 28, 2022 Full Review Keith Brace Birmingham Post The thoughtful, serio-comic book has become a much watered-down, rather mild horror film, as thick with clichés as the Midwich hedges with sukebind. Sep 28, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

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Blu B A Horror Sci-Fi Classic that's all around really well made. Filled with mood, sharp camerawork, lots of underlying commentary, and doesn't feel too short either. Really the only issues are how did Sanders at the end know how to make a bomb and where did he get it from is a farfetched. Also, while David, Sanders, and the kids in general are super memorable, everyone else while still well acted and super smart sort of just blend in. It does jump around a bit also in the middle individually but we always learn something new and disturbing. It would've been better if it had been like The Thing where there is a lot of characters but majority of the time share the same scene together. This doesn't have that. The kids are amazing villians and are super disturbing and chilling with such a simple effect also. It's really smart and sharp overall. Anyone who is a fan of horror, Sci-Fi, or any actors in this will like this a lot. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 12/07/23 Full Review Mike P Effective chiller about a gang of mysterious blonde children; all born on the same day; who seemingly have supernatural powers; who proceed to terrorize and take over their hometown of Midwhich, England. A resistance to this tyranny grows; led by one child's father; the town professor Gordon Zellaby...With fascinating and terrifying results... The reason this classic sci-fi thriller is so effective is that the director, Rolf Willa, takes a slow-burn approach; letting the story unfold slowly; beat by beat. And that image of those little blonde children, (wearing wigs, black coats and suits, and all marching in complete unison), does get to be quite scarey after awhile. So do the images of all the demonoid children with glowing white eyes... (And that image from this movie has actually become iconic in the horror community...) And so is scarey the leader of the gang, David Zellaby, played by Martin Stephens; talking in his super creepy way...His voice is eerily dubbed by someone else...Which almost presciently predicts the Exorcist 10 years later... The story is also quite powerful but also simple...It stays within it's own internal logic pretty effectively; not straying too far on ridiculous tangents or going to overly-ridiculous extremes...Once it casts it's spell; once it sells you it's central premise... It doesn't require too much extra from the viewer in terms of straining credulity...Which also makes it all the more effective... (It reminds me of Rosemary's Baby that way...Sometimes simpler is better in stories like this...) Anyway...a horror masterwork from England in the early 60s... (Much better than John Carpenter's misguided remake)... This was a important touchstone in the whole evolution of the demon-child genre...And absolutely paved the way for later classics like The Exorcist and The Omen... VERDICT: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 11/15/23 Full Review Aldis H Unquestionably effective, especially for its time, but the exposition could often have been done without dialogue, and with much scarier scenes. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 11/07/23 Full Review loved this movie!!!!!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 10/31/23 Full Review Johnny D The opening scenes are awesome, and the rest of the movie is pretty darn good too, despite being pretty silly. The kids are creepy, and the adult characters are all very likable. I'll admit, I'm a sucker for that late 50s/early 60s vibe. That makes this an awesome film for any weekend afternoon! Rated 4 out of 5 stars 10/13/23 Full Review Will G. F It's a pioneering classic in the horror of child corruption. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 10/09/23 Full Review Read all reviews
Village of the Damned

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Cast & Crew

Demon Seed 59% 47% Demon Seed The Green Slime 23% 40% The Green Slime Mad Love 100% 82% Mad Love Species 42% 31% Species Species III 17% 17% Species III Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

Movie Info

Synopsis One day the peaceful village of Midwich is cast into a mysterious sleep for several hours, but with no obvious consequences, until soon all the women of child-bearing age turn out to be pregnant. Their children are all born at the same time, and grow quickly into very spooky young people, with strange white-blonde hair and eerie eyes.
Director
Wolf Rilla
Producer
Ronald Kinnoch
Screenwriter
Stirling Silliphant, Wolf Rilla, Ronald Kinnoch, John Wyndham
Distributor
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Production Co
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Genre
Sci-Fi
Original Language
English
Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 7, 1960, Original
Release Date (Streaming)
Oct 1, 2009
Runtime
1h 18m
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