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The Happening

A movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

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Tension in the air...

  • May 4, 2010
Rating:
+3
I heard this was M. Night Shyamalan's best film since The Sixth Sense (Collector's Edition Series), so I wanted to see for myself.

I really liked this movie because it was suspenseful and moved along at a fast clip, but it's definitely not in the same league as The Sixth Sense. That was a gripping movie, filled with eerie, frightening happenings and great acting.

The opening scene of The Happening occurs in Central Park on a bustling, normal day. Two young women are chatting on a bench when suddenly all the others "freeze in their tracks." The girls are puzzled, but before her friend can stop her one girl sticks a sharp object in her throat and commits suicide. Thus begins a rash of suicides, construction workers jumping off girders in unison, police officers pulling their own guns and killing themselves... As the media and bureaucratic professionals try to understand and explain what's happening in the mid-Atlantic Coast states, people are fleeing the cities in droves.

The movie follows one couple, their friend and his daughter as they join with other survivors along the road west... As they strive to stay alive, their band gets smaller and smaller as people die off all around them, all by suicide. It proves to be "something in the air" and as they run for their lives, they learn little by little how to protect themselves. But the neuro-toxins in the wind finally catch up to them and...but this is one of the best scenes and I can't describe it without giving the plot away.

Even though this film had little graphics--simply an eerie wind blowing through the foliage--that, the pace and the music made it tense enough for me. And the good actors made it believable; just normal people with a fair share of problems trying to survive a disaster.

In my opinion, this is definitely not a horror movie; rather, it's a thought-provoking, creepy film that makes me wonder if something like this could really happen. There is a sweet love story between the married main characters that gives a satisfactory ending to the mid-Atlantic happening. And a frightening twist at the very end that gives the viewer further cause to wonder.

Not a masterpiece by any means, but it was very entertaining.

Reviewed by Betty Dravis, May 4, 2010
Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books

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November 18, 2010
Great review
 
August 08, 2010
Nice review. We rate this one about the same. I actually liked this movie (better than Lady in the Water and The Village) and I totally agree with you that it wasn't a horror movie but it is a portrayal of man's arrogance of denying that there are things he can never know, understand and can only guess at. Thanks, Betty!
August 08, 2010
Nice, informative comment, WOOPY. I can tell you're a deep thinker... lol I'm eager to read your review of this movie.
August 08, 2010
I just posted it just for you :)
August 08, 2010
U r spoiling me, Woopy! xo
 
1
More The Happening reviews
review by . December 01, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
** out of ****      In the past, M. Night Shyamalan has dealt with the ominous, the dark, the questionable, the humane, and even the beautiful. He has shocked me and with "Signs", I was most certainly riveted. But then came "The Village", which was a decent movie, but it was a big step down from "Signs". Then came "Lady in the Water", which I just could not find myself enjoying. M. Night Shyamalan tries to patch up his career with his first …
review by . August 08, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Man Cannot Explain Every Phenomena, But He Tries To Explain Through Deductive Reasoning...
Act of God- A direct and sudden event or action of certain unexplainable forces that could not be reasonably foreseen; it compromises all evidence and defies all attempts at explanation by Science.      THE HAPPENING is writer/director M. Night Shyamalan’s latest outing after his somewhat disappointing “Lady in the Water”. This director’s films are lyrical in tone but often has a darkness in their proceedings; Shyamalan‘s films are also thematic …
Quick Tip by . October 19, 2010
I enjoyed it, but this one didn't feel up to the standard of the first ones.
Quick Tip by . August 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
dumb dumb boring and dumb did i mention dumb?? lots of suspence leading up to NOTHING
review by . July 05, 2009
The Happening is Shymalan's first bad movie. But he still has yet to make a complete dud of a film. This one comes a bit close, but not quite. For one, the premise is much too good: Mother Earth strikes back, emitting from all of her greenery a toxin that is fatal for humans. Specifically, it causes them to kill themselves.From there, you can gather that the 90 minute runtime will be filled with confusion and hysteria as everyone tries to escape this strange Green Effect (by the way, that was the …
Quick Tip by . April 29, 2010
posted in MovieSucktastic
Movie Review Haiku: The Happening - Answers the question / "What's Happening?" with a curt / "Nothing worth watching."
review by . August 26, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
If you go into "The Happening" expecting an American style horror/disaster flick, you're bound to be disappointed. What you want from that kind of film are massive explosions, car crashes, tornadoes, zombies or monsters or ghosts, and big budget special effects, all tied together into some kind of coherent narrative with escalating action, leading to a climax in which (usually) the hero saves the world (or at least the local community) and achieves some kind of much needed reconciliation with his/her …
review by . July 08, 2009
M. Night Shayamalan got a huge career boost with The Sixth Sense.  When Unbreakable and Signs came out later, they were met with similar praise from fans.  People found his films to be something different and unique.  Shayamalan made his first mishap with The Village.  The idea of a big twist at the end of his movies didn't get old.  His twists just got weaker.  The Village was a movie that many found absorbing until those last few minutes when we learned of the twist.  …
review by . May 01, 2009
In our opening, people start committing suicide randomly,finding strangely violent cinematic ways to dispatch themselves -¬†and they haven't even seen this film yet. Cut to Marky Mark, a high school teacher in Philly who is making his kids fail their SATs by filling their heads with nonsense about disappearing bees. Are the bees related? What do you think? When the news of this potential bio-terrorist attack hits the school, Marky decides for some reason to get on a train with his not-quite-clear-how-estanged …
Quick Tip by . November 23, 2009
Should've been called "The Crappening." Proves M. Night is a one-hit-wonder.
About the reviewer
Betty Dravis ()
Ranked #83
BETTY DRAVIS was born in Hamilton, Ohio, one of seven children of John and Felda Barger. Her natural writing ability was nurtured by a “great Ohio school system, caring teachers, and a loving family.” … more
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You'd expect the end of the world to be no day in the park, but in M. Night Shyamalan'sThe Happening, a day in the park is where the end begins. One otherwise peaceful summer morning, New Yorkers strolling in Central Park come to a halt in unison, then begin killing themselves by any means at hand. At a high-rise construction site a few blocks over, it's raining bodies as workers step off girders into space. And all the while, the city is so quiet you can hear the gentle breeze in the trees. That breeze carries a neurotoxin, and what or who put it there (terrorists?) is a question raised periodically as the film unfolds. But the question that really matters is how and whether anybody in the Middle Atlantic states is going to stay alive.The Happeningis Shyamalan's best film sinceThe Sixth Sense, partly because he avoids the kind of egregious misjudgment that derailedThe VillageandLady in the Water, but mostly because the whole thing has been structured and imagined to keep faith with the point of view of regular, unheroic folks confronted with a mammoth crisis. Focal characters are a Philadelphia high-school science teacher (Mark Wahlberg, excellent), his wife (Zooey Deschanel) and math-teacher colleague (John Leguizamo), and the latter’s little girl (Ashlyn Sanchez). Instinct says get out of the cities and move west; most of the film takes place in the delicately picturesque Pennsylvania countryside, with menace hovering somewhere in the haze. There are...
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Details

Genre: Action, Adventure
Release Date: June 13, 2008
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: October 7, 2008
Runtime: 1hr 29min
Studio: 20th Century Fox
First to Review
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