A fantastic opening scene launches this tight, tense, and well-acted thriller directed by Wolf Rilla and based on John Wyndham's novel The Midwich Cuckoos. Wrapped tautly around the credits, the film's start finds the residents of the village of Midwich all blacking out simultaneously. They awaken several hours later, but in the days to come, a shocking discovery comes to light: all women of child-bearing age have been impregnated. This chilling premise doesn't suffer any let-up thanks to a script that keeps the viewer guessing and stellar performances from an excellent cast. George Sanders -- as he often did during a lustrous acting career -- steals the show in the role of a Midwich doctor who becomes the sole trusted human to the emotionless children who have the village frozen in fear. Barbara Shelley, Michael Gwynn, and Laurence Naismith add character and charm to the proceedings, but it's young Martin Stephens, as Sanders' alien son David, who really ratchets up the terror factor with an icy performance. In an amusing nod to Sanders' classic turn in All About Eve, one character is named Evelyn Harrington, Eve for short. Overall, the film moves at a gripping pace that culminates in a climax that is both explosive and surprisingly downbeat. The film was followed by a lesser sequel in 1964 titled Children of the Damned and was remade in 1995 by John Carpenter.