In the 2004 film, The Village, the villagers wear yellow as a "safe" color to protect themselves against the creatures that live in the woods beyond the borders of their village. The color yellow is to show the creatures that the villagers mean them no harm and that peace is to be maintained between them.

Ivy Walker (who is blind) needs to breach the borders and go into the woods. It is revealed to her by her father that the creatures actually do not exist, but they were simply used as a scare tactic to prevent the villagers from venturing into the woods and going to "the towns."

Ivy still wears her yellow cloak. She falls into a hole and gets her yellow cloak covered with mud. Realizing that something is following her, she gets extremely nervous and frantically tries to wipe the mud off of her cloak to reveal that she is wearing yellow.

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If Ivy knew that the creatures were not real, why was she trying to reveal the color of her cloak?

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    An automatic, irrational reaction? (disclaimer: I haven't seen the film) May 3, 2016 at 22:38

2 Answers 2


The Yellow clothes are a type of 'Elder Endorsement', a ratification or 'pass'.

The village guardians who dress up as the beasts know that if someone is dressed in yellow they have been given the Yellow cloak under the supervision of a village elder, so it is a sanctioned activity.

If someone is found wandering without one, it will be assumed they're not supposed to be there. It's unlikely the 'beasts' would harm her, but they'd certainly interfere and try and scare her off/back to the village. Ivy possibly doesn't know what they're capable of.

Of course, Ivy could at this point tell them she knows they're not really beasts and knows what they're doing, but within the narrative of the film her maintaining her cloak's yellow lustre removes that possibility.

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    It seems reasonable that even though Ivy has intellectual, logical reasons for no longer fearing the monsters, that might be very little benefit when set against her lifetime of emotional, irrational fear of them. May 4, 2016 at 15:39
  • Remember that her father also mentioned that he had “read rumors about monsters in these areas in history books”. I think that also contributed in a way to keep the fear alive within her even though he had revealed the elders’ deceit. There really COULD be creatures in these woods that we’ve never encountered, we just used that idea to create our own to keep everyone indoctrinated and inside the village. You can even sense her fear as she recalls what her father said earlier about those rumors, especially when she realized the cloak is muddied and ruined. Jan 5, 2021 at 3:31

I know I'm late to the party but I think I have a better answer. When her father showed her that the monsters aren't real, he did say that they based them off of rumors in the past that there had been monsters in those woods. Before Noah attacks dressed as a monster, this line of dialogue is actually heard again (to represent the words in her head).

At this point, Ivy is afraid that the monsters are real, in spite of the fact that the elders had been faking it. She has reason to believe this too as her father said they were based off of past rumors and she is being chased at that moment. Of course, this is wrong because the monster attacking her is later revealed to just be Noah. This is why she was afraid to take off the cloak as if they were real maybe it would help her.

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