Critics often write The Village off as yet another M. Night Shyamalan suspense thriller, along the lines of The Sixth Sense or Signs. The film has the normal characteristics of a suspense thriller. The camera work and music often leave the audience on the edge of their seat and the plot doesn’t scare as much as it excites. However, The Village sets itself apart from its predecessors with its strong romantic theme. The movie centers around two story lines that define the genre of the film. The first story line involves the conflict between the people of Covington and the monsters that inhabit the woods. The romance of Lucius and Ivy makes up the second story line. These stories and the style of M. Night Shyamalan makes The Village the quintessential horror-romance film. Horror movies are defined by many characteristics, some of which The Village follows and others it does not. Most horror films include the theme of "unfamiliar invading the familiar" (Film Genre 7). In the movie, this theme is fairly transparent. The village acts as the familiar while the woods and the monsters that inhabit them are clearly the unfamiliar. Horror films also "contrast the known with the unknown" (Film Genre 7). In The Village, the color red represents the evil of the forest and the villagers call it the bad color. The village is in stark contrast to the woods with yellow serving as its thematic color. In addition, the film follows the horror staple of "nameless anxieties and fears" (Film Genre 7). Everyone in the village, aside from the elders, lives in a world of fear that they cannot explain. They know little about the monsters except that they live in the woods and that they are not supposed to anger them by traveling past their borders. The tension this creates appears in the multiple meetings between Lucius and the elders. Lucius does not see why he can't go to the towns and, unlike the rest of the villagers, he is not taken in by this specter of fear nobody understands. While Shyamalan's work could be considered a horror film based on the evidence provided, it would be foolish to classify it as solely belonging to one genre. The film is much more complex and the strong romantic relationship between Lucius and Ivy brings a new dimension to the story. Romance films are obviously characterized by "affectionate involvement of the main characters" (Romance Films). Romance is a broad genre, however, and the sub-genre that The Village portrays is the sacrificial love romance. Both Lucius and Ivy can be seen in the film sacrificing themselves for each other. Lucius's moment comes when the monsters come to the village during the wedding and he risks his life to save Ivy. Then, when Lucius is stabbed by Noah, Ivy risks her life trying to pass through the woods to find him medicine. While it would be unfair to classify M. Night Shyamalan's The Village into one specific genre, it does successfully pull together the horror and romance film genres into a satisfying package.
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"The Village (2004)." IMDb. Amazon, n.d. Web. 24 Jan. 2013.