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The Happening

A movie directed by M. Night Shyamalan.

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The Crappening or The Sick Sense?

  • May 1, 2009
  • by
Rating:
-5
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 wife.  More deaths follow, the train stops en route, and my brain is literally rocking back and forth in my skull wondering if any of this is remotely salvageable.

A bunch of third-tier characters kill themselves in imaginatively gruesome ways, and Mark uses his science teaching skills to figure out the virus is highly communicable and travels through the air. Genius. A botanist whom he happens across tells him: it's the plants - they've had enough of our non-recycling polluting ways and oak trees are throwing the kill switch on humans. And he believes that. So what better way to escape than with a bunch of strangers spending the new 20 minutes of screen time walking across a field? More people die, surprisingly enough, and their group gets ever-smaller. Then some teenagers get blown away by a shotgun-weilding fully-signed-up-NRA-member. 

Finally they reach the house of a crazy old hermit woman (as in, 'doesn't leave the house', rather than 'looking like a crab'). She harasses the crap out of them, forcing some high school-level acting from almost everyone in the same scene. She dies too. In a relationship moment, Mark's wife tells him about some tiramisu she ate with another guy and wonders if that's cheating. I missed what he said because I went to the bathroom. The next day, they leave the house and mysteriously the virus has completely gone, just like the $10 from my wallet and *just like a scientist on a TV report at the beginning said it would*. They live.

In the epilogue, set in Paris (the first time M Night has stepped outside of Philly for a long time), stereotypical French people are walking next to the Eiffel Tower, carrying baguettes and garlic and probably smoking too. They start to kill themselves, just like in the film's opening in Central Park. The wind is heard through the trees as The Happening continues. 

This summary just saved you two hours. You're welcome.

Needless to say, it's hard to know where to start with this screamingly bad, fake eco-tale, from the demented mind of once-brilliant M Night Shama..??..lan. He casts himself in every movie, just like Hitchcock did. Wahlberg's performance spawned a series of sketches in SNL where he talks to chickens and road signs. Nothing is explained, foreshadowed, justified.

If your kid wrote this as a school project, you would be concerned - but how it ever got greenlit as a $57mm Fox-backed feature is possibly the biggest mystery in the whole thing. I think it's fair to say there won't be a sequel.

--
For convenience, here are my ratings for M Night's movies:

  • The Sixth Sense: 8/10
  • Unbreakable: 6/10
  • Signs: 5/10
  • The Village: 4/10
  • Lady in the Water: 3/10
  • The Happening: 1/10
  • His next project: 0/10

What did you think of this review?

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Post a Comment
December 02, 2010
We all know the real reason they began killing themselves is because they were casted in an M. Night Shyamalan movie.
December 02, 2010
Yep - the cyanide pill is in the contract.
 
December 02, 2010
LOL! still an entertaining review!
December 02, 2010
Thanks! Someone has to stop this guy.
 
May 08, 2009
Lol, the Sixth Sense wasn't great if you guessed the secret up front, but these movies have descended into the realm of pointless nonsense. I saw a poster for this film on the NY subway and it had been graffiti'd to read "Nothing Happening", which pretty much sums it up! I hadn't noticed the Crowe thing - interesting.
 
May 08, 2009
Funny stuff. I thought UNBREAKABLE was a bit better than and THE VILLAGE was a lot worse. THE SIXTH SENSE hinged on a twist that I figures out in 10 minutes and my daughter got as soon as she heard the character's name was Dr. Crowe--she's got a master's in literature. Crowe...impending death?
 
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 . March 15, 2011
one spoiler      The thing about The Happening is that its probably the funniest mass-death movie ever made. For a horror-thriller thing about...well...mass death, that's not a good thing. This movie is a big part of the reputation that M. Night Shyamalan has gotten today, but you watch this and say that he doesn't deserve it. With the proper effort put in, this movie could have been a decent horror-thriller movie, but with no effort whatsoever put in, The Happening …
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 …
review by . May 04, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
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 …
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.  …
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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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