Friday, March 7, 2014

The Secret Village – Not so Secretly Bad

Runtime: 89 minutes
Release Date: October 18, 2013
Rating: NR
Director: Swammy M. Kandan

Rachel is a journalist interested in studying ergot poisoning in a small Massachusetts town. Having grown up in a similar town, she often studied the Salem Witch Trials and knows that historians think it was caused by ergot poisoning. After doing some research, she learns that another town suffers from a similar outbreak every few years.

Not long after arriving, she finds that the woman she rented the house from also rented it to a young writer. Greg wants to write a new play, but he doesn't know what topic to choose. Rachel meets a local man named Paul, who agrees to help her with her research. After gathering some documents for her, she stops by his house and finds him dead. The more she delves into the story of the town, the more the locals make it clear that they don't want her there.

I really don't know what to say about The Secret Village. My roommate and I actually rented it a few weeks ago, but I didn't get a chance to watch it before it was due back. He pointed it out the other night when we were in the store, and we decided to go ahead and grab it. I made the mistake of checking the IMDB page for something and saw its low rating, but I thought there was no way it was actually that bad. Guess what? It was.

It was actually so bad that he and I were both struggling to keep our eyes open. We thought it was almost over, check the time, and it still had 45 minutes left. I started watching the rest of the movie the next day, and he actually decided to go up to his room and watch Netflix instead. I made it all the way through the movie but just barely.

The Secret Village is one of those movies that's actually a little hard to follow. Let's use one scene with Rachel as an example. She's walking into a restaurant, sees a creepy man following her, and runs inside. When she turns around, Greg is in front of her and the creepy guy is in the lobby. A few scenes later, she recalls the same event again, only this time, the creepy guy is in front of her and Greg is the one in the lobby. The director also does this thing where he uses the same scene but with different angles. Oh look, they're kissing...Now they're kissing again from a different they're kissing again...oh look, they're kissing again from yet another angle. Had he cut those moments out, the movie would have been a lot shorter.

I'm all for giving smaller films a chance, and I actually love some of the more independent movies. The Secret Village? It just made me sad that I watched Haunter last so I would have good memories of the night.

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