Underrated Horror Movie Recommendations: Village of the Damned

There are a few horror movies that haven’t panned out over the years that I would gladly stand up for since their stories are compelling and in some ways insanely amusing since they cover a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, and in some cases, they take it around the bend and forget to come back. Village of the Damned was a remake of a 1960s movie of the same name. The remake follows the story very closely but offers up a few differences that have to do with the different time periods and of course in a different location. One day the residents of an American town fall unconscious for no apparent reason, and the effect is seen to extend to the end of the town’s reach as those that have been affected while crossing the unseen barrier either fall unconscious and have to be pulled back, or fall unconscious while making their way into the area and end up in a horrendous accident. Upon waking up, the villagers have no idea of what happened, nor why, but a short while later it’s found that every woman capable of bearing a child is pregnant, which is a huge scandal in a town this small. 

Predictably, the government swoops in and attempts to calm the people by stating that they’ll be taken care of and compensated, which only makes a lot of people figure that something shady is going down. When the children are born, things only get worse since one of the pregnant women was a virgin, meaning that her pregnancy is even harder and as a result, her baby ends up being stillborn. The children grow at an alarming rate, gaining the ability to speak, to act on their own, and to use their strange abilities, such as telepathy and suggestion, to harm others when they feel wronged or threatened. Added to the fact that they only travel in a pack most times and that they’re fiercely protective of one another, the idea that they could easily overthrow the town before they hit puberty is a huge threat that a lot of people come to realize eventually. 

Eventually, the townsfolk do turn on them, but this doesn’t do any good since the kids have no trouble in dealing with those that have finally had enough of them. After finding out that other towns that were equally afflicted were found, but the children were quietly erased from existence before word could get out about them. One big difference with the remake is that one of the children, David, is without a mate since his mate was stillborn. He also is seen to survive along with his mother near the end of the movie, as he is the least aggressive of the group, meaning that he doesn’t wish to harm people, and despite being just like them, David has shown the capacity for compassion. Watching this movie when the remake came out in the 90s was absolutely thrilling since being a hopeful writer at the time, the story offered a lot of inspiration that soon grew into what would be a career at one point. But the eerie nature of the story still hits me pretty hard when one considers that the alien force that gave birth to these kids was able to create a serious lack of feeling that gave way to cold logic more often. 

The reason it feels undervalued and underrated is that there’s a story here that’s cut woefully short. It’s not exactly a Chekov’s Gun situation, but the mention of the other colonies where the same effect has happened do feel as though they could have been fleshed out just a bit considering the importance of the children and the force that helped bring them to life. That nagging sensation that there’s not enough exposition even though there’s enough to keep the story going doesn’t go away either, and this is why it feels that so much more could have been done with this, especially since it’s an entertaining story that was cut short when it could have gone on for a while and become something that might have been a little more in-depth and a lot more impressive. 

But it’s still a good movie no matter what people want to say and it’s something that could be remade again, perhaps to an even more devastating effect in the current time period given the advancements in technology that would make these kids even more terrifying. Imagine these little brats getting on Facebook or Instagram and laying waste to people across the world. Plus, the likelihood that it could be thought of as a hoax up until it’s too late when the children are grown and their powers have grown with them. Yeah, that’s kind of a scary thought to entertain. 

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