Village Of The Damned

Director John Carpenter takes a nosedive in this remake of the 1960 English chiller, itself adapted from John Wyndham’s novel The Midwich Cuckoo. Much of the problem devolves from David Himmelstein’s script, not because it transplants Wyndham’s story of a group of children born with supernatural and telepathic powers to a small coastal village in California but because it represents both a considerable dumbing down and a hokey inflation of material that originally depended on mood and subtle suggestion for its effectiveness. Apart from a few shocks near the beginning, this version comes across as more harebrained than suggestive. With Christopher Reeve, Kirstie Alley, Linda Kozlowski, Michael Pare, Mark Hamill, and Meredith Salenger. (JR)

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