One day, everyone in Midwich just falls asleep. Then they all just wake up. It turns out that during this time, every woman in the village was impregnated. And as strange as that sounds, it’s only the beginning.
So consider the look on my face when I found out that Village of the Damned was originally a book and that it was written by John Wyndham. It was a whole lotta happy. I’ve been meaning to get to this one for a couple of years now, and ultimately I thought it was good. It was suspenseful, it was eerie, and the concept alone is pure gold.
Then again, for whatever reason, Wyndham created as our hero here the most blow-hard of all blow-hards. The sort of guy in the science fiction flick who strokes his beard and chews his glasses while he considers every avenue, every possible fluctuation and permutation. And there were moments, folks, where that was just ridiculous to push through.
So why did I end up really enjoying it despite that? Because he also peppers the story with characters who happen to think Zellaby (the blow-hard in question) might just be full of it. Also, I can’t deny that Zellaby hits on some good points, which makes him more of a mixed bag. The guy that can annoy you in one breath and intrigue you in another, which made him seem very real, not just the scholar who’s always right. It made it so I could take in everything he said with varying degrees of skepticism and acceptance, just like the characters around him. Except for that “oh women are a mystery wrapped in an enigma” shit. He can keep that to himself.
Despite a character that verges on annoying, the story itself is well-thought-out and planned. It paces nicely. The fact that the solution to this problem is not a simple one is welcome, because it aids the conflict. The level of control the Children exert, particularly early on, is very scary. And that ending. The ending is absolutely worth the whole ride.