The original 1960 version of Village of the Damned is regarded as a classic of science-fiction and horror, and it remains one of the creepiest movies of its kind. Directed with occasional flair by John Carpenter, this 1995 remake trades subtlety for more explicit chills and violence, but the basic premise remains effectively eerie. In the tiny, idyllic town of Midwich, a strange mist causes the entire population to fall asleep, and when everyone awakes the town physician (Christopher Reeve) discovers that 10 women--including his wife and a local teenaged virgin--have mysteriously become pregnant. Their children are all born on the same day, with matching white hair and strange, glowing eyes, growing at an accelerated rate and raising Reeve's suspicion that they're not of Earthly origin. These demonic brats can control minds and wreak havoc with the power of their thoughts--so of course, they must be destroyed! Only Reeve knows how to get the job done, and his performance (the actor's last big-screen role before his paralyzing accident in 1995) grounds this otherwise superfluous remake with enough credibility to hold the viewer's attention. But for the real chills, definitely check out the original version--it's 20 minutes shorter but twice as spooky. --Jeff Shannon
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