It’s October – my birthday month, the month of Halloween, and the advent of longer, colder nights. What better time to blog about… what scares me? Actually, what’s scared me throughout my life in books, movies and TV shows. I’ll be reviewing a lot of creepy stuff, so turn on a couple more lights to ward off the shadows and dig in – I hope you’ll find some new scary goodies to enjoy!
Go ahead… tell me this picture isn’t scary! Especially so for a 6-year-old who happened to see a trailer for VILLAGE OF THE DAMNED on a black-and-white TV and had nightmares for weeks afterward.
It’s the story of a small town in England where suddenly, mysteriously, everyone passes out. Weeks later, all the women of childbearing age discover they’re pregnant – and they give birth to oddly platinum blond children with mind control powers. Where did they come from? What do they want? No one knows… and no one dares to upset them, because they’ll kill to protect themselves.
65 years after its premiere, VOTD is still nicely creepy, and worth curling up with on a rainy afternoon. The first 10 minutes or so, when outsiders are trying to figure out what’s going on in the village, are beautifully photographed and paced. After that, things get a little overly melodramatic, and the film never actually answers a number of questions. But that’s not the point. What VOTD does best is pose those questions: What if the place you thought was safe… suddenly isn’t? What if your child (who might not be your child at all) turns out to be a threat not only to you, but the entire town? And how far are you willing to go to solve the problem?
You can find VOTD on Amazon by clicking the poster image. (You can also find it on YouTube, if you don’t mind its being broken up into 15 five-minute segments.) Or, if the concept intrigues you, you could try the remake with Christopher Reeve and Kirstie Alley, although it just pads and pretty much goofs up a compact, eerie little movie. VOTD no longer terrifies me the way it did when I was 6, but it’s well worth a watch. So grab some popcorn, turn off the lights, and start wondering about your kids…