A simple premise executed in a very sophisticated fashion, Village of the Damned is a smartly scripted & aptly narrated sci-fi horror that comes enveloped with a sinister vibe from its opening moments, and is a downright spooky chiller that has effectively managed to stand the test of time over the years.
Directed by Wolf Rilla, the film opens with a wicked sequence that shows the entire Midwich population falling unconscious for no apparent reason and it sets the tone for the rest of the story while grabbing the viewers attention from the get-go. And with an air of mystery already instilled, the plot only gets more intriguing & interesting as it progresses.
Showcasing terrific restraint in his direction, Rilla keeps things simple & to the point from beginning to end, and never tries to go overboard in his attempt to frighten his audience. The events play out at a relaxed pace, characters are more or less compelling, build up is taut & effective, plus there is an eerie quality to it that permeates almost every frame.
Coming to the performances, Village of the Damned features a fine cast in George Sanders, Barbara Shelley, Martin Stephens & Michael Gwynn, and they all chip in with fabulous inputs. Sanders is totally at ease with his character and plays his role with smooth comfort. The children are legitimately creepy, both in how they behave & communicate and them acting as a single unit makes them even more menacing.