Monday, January 6, 2014

Mindless Movie Monday: The Secret Village (Warning: You'll Fall Asleep Before The Secret Is Revealed!)

While the premise of The Secret Village (beautiful young journalist seeks headline story by investigating the sinister history of a small town) seems intriguing, this film is pretty much a dud from the word go. I truly believe that anyone that would give this film an outstanding review is either related to someone who worked on the film or has quite possibly fallen and hit their head.

Rachel (Ali Faulkner) is a journalist that is staying in a small western Massachusetts town so she can look into some apparent ergot poisonings and other strange happenings that occurred as recently as a few years ago. (Of note is the fact that back in 1692, ergot poisoning was thought to be the cause of the apparent "bewitchments" of several young girls that eventually led to the deaths of proclaimed witches in Salem village.)

 No one in the village wants to talk to Rachel except Paul (Richard Riehle), who warns her people will not want her snooping around. He agrees to give her some back story but almost as soon as he starts talking, he winds up dead.

There are lots of folks walking around in black ritual cloaks, a freaky ghost-type woman who is in desperate need of a hair appointment, and mysterious strangers leaving notes on Rachel's door warning her to leave town. Borrring!

Rachel has a new friend, Greg (Jonathan Bennett) - a screenwriter who at the beginning of the film moves into the adjoining room of her rented house to work on his script. By the halfway point they are kissing and getting to know each other better, which feels just a little too convenient. When she divulges the mystery she's working on to him, he soon disappears, leaving her alone to face the "pure evil" alluded to on the cover of the DVD. Yeah, not so much.

The film just meanders on at such a ridiculously slow pace that you could probably could read a magazine or even do your taxes and not miss anything. There's a lot of walking around in the woods, searching houses for clues, mundane chase scenes, people injecting others with mysterious liquids in syringes, and basically a whole not of nothing going on. Not in the least bit frightening, I honestly could have fallen asleep several times. Zero zero zero thrills!

The acting is completely wooden, with sadly not one actor really having any redeeming quality about them. I really think most of the problem is the lame script, but the cast didn't seem to be able to pull themselves out of the abyss and make the material any better.  The lead actress is doing her best to look like Kristen Stewart, and perhaps she's hitting her mark in her quest to emulate her, for there are countless surprised expressions and rolling eyes, but no actual depth of feeling or acting chops to speak of.

Perhaps the worst element of the movie is the ghastly soundtrack.  With polarizing blasts of sci-fi-esque tones that have no real theme, it is just awful.  It matched nothing going on in the film, and the sound editing was awful as well, with loud and obnoxious noises combining with quiet dialogue you can barely hear.

I won't discuss the twist at the end because it's just not worthy of a mention.

I seriously had trouble getting through this movie. It was SO lackluster that when my husband came home from work and saw me trying not to pull my hair out he asked why I didn't just turn the damn thing off.  But I have sat through this crap-fest so that you don't have to.  Take my word for it.
Two thumbs down.

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