Movie Review – The Secret Village (2013)

The Secret Village
Directed by Swamy M. Kandan
Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment
Release Date: December 17, 2013

The secret village

When I watch a movie for review, I usually categorize it in one of several ways. For example, there are some movies that blow me away; they are well made, the acting is good, and the story is excellent. There are also films that are mediocre overall but still good because the production was top notch or the story was original. Then there are films that are so bad, they’re good. And finally, there are those movies that just outright suck, usually because there is no continuity to the story or even no story at all.

I’m not sure where to classify THE SECRET VILLAGE. It is not a good movie at all, however it does not even really qualify as a ‘so bad it’s good’ sort of film. I guess I should just call it a dud all the way across the board.

If you are not familiar with THE SECRET VILLAGE, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Vertical Entertainment:

In this chilling suspense thriller, a journalist Rachel is determined to unravel the mystery behind an outbreak of strange events in a small town. She meets with a local who is willing to share the events which are reminiscent of the Salem ergot poisonings. However, with the local’s sudden death, and her friend’s disappearance, all leads come to a dead end. Rachel is left alone to unravel the villagers secret.

It pains me to say this movie is a miss. I really wanted to like it. The plot synopsis makes it sound dark and sinister…but unfortunately, the film is neither. The result is a bland, lifeless production that looks like it came from a high school AV class.

THE SECRET VILLAGE is shot ok, although there are barely any moving camera shots, and the stationary scenes begin to drag on after a while. The production value looks very low, and while I’m sympathetic to low-budget films, this didn’t feel like even that for some reason. The whole film just felt…odd.

The acting is almost nonexistent, with the actor’s portrayals coming across as cardboard caricatures. There’s no real reason to be vested in them at all, which makes the ‘plight’ that Rachel endures ho-hum and not intense in the least. And speaking of tension in the film, there is none. I literally fell asleep twice during the film and had to rewind it to catch what I missed…which was, well, nothing.

The story of THE SECRET VILLAGE is a convoluted mess that flips back and forth between the past and present with no rhyme or reason. Whereas some might call this art, I call it confusing and boring. There are elements never used or even explained in the film (like all the people in black robes that are never explained or fleshed out), and the big ‘twist’ at the end of the film is almost a cop-out.

The promo for THE SECRET VILLAGE says it is inspired by real-life events, but I couldn’t imagine what the basis for this film was. I would daresay that is just a marketing ploy, however I cannot confirm that. In my opinion, this film is one secret that should be kept and never shared with the rest of the world.

The film is available next week if you want to check it out.


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