As far as I'm concerned, Village of the Damned is a perfect Sci-Fi thriller. Yes, it's that good! Everything about this film works. Director Wolf Rilla is not exactly a household name but he paces this film perfectly and uses just the right amount to special effects to achieve his goal. Sometimes simple is best and tiny tots with their eyes all aglow is exactly what this film needs!
If you haven't seen this film I won't run any of the plot. It should be enjoyed as it unfolds. The set up involves a strange occurrence in a small English village and the suspense ramps up from there. It keeps the viewers attention easily from start to finish.
One of the reason why Village of the Damned works is a strong cast. From adults to kids, everyone gives a strong performance. The family at the center of this Sci-Fi drama pulls off their roles flawlessly. George Sanders [The Picture of Dorian Gray, All About Eve] is Gordon Zellaby, the father. He embodies the quintessential Englishman with a stiff upper lip and a "stick to it until we figure out what the heck is going on" attitude. His wife, Anthea, is played by Barbara Shelley [The Avengers] with lots of drama. Unfortunately, she is not the fierce, empowered woman we would like her to be. But, hey, it's 1960, and we still have a way to go when it comes to women's roles in cinema. Their son, David, is embodied creepily by Marin Stephens, who has the strongest presence of the three on screen. He really makes this movie work effectively.
Put this on your must-see list. I can't find a fault anywhere in this enjoyable movie. A remake of Village of the Damned was done in 1995 with legendary director John Carpenter at the helm. One would think it would be a rousing success. But, alas, it falls short of the original.
For more info check out the film's entry in IMDB.