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The Happening
The Happening
Actors: Mark Wahlberg, John Leguizamo, Betty Buckley
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
R     2008     1hr 31min

A paranoid thriller about a family on the run from a natural crisis that presents a large-scale threat to humanity.

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Movie Details

Actors: Mark Wahlberg, John Leguizamo, Betty Buckley
Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Creator: Zooey Deschanel
Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Sub-Genres: Horror, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Mystery & Suspense
Studio: 20th Century Fox
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Dubbed,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 10/07/2008
Original Release Date: 01/01/2008
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/2008
Release Year: 2008
Run Time: 1hr 31min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 21
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French, Spanish
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Joanne R. (Joanne) from BRISTOL, CT
Reviewed on 8/30/2015...
The premise of the movie was a good thought, the acting not so good. There was no real sense of the urgency that you would have thought would have been happening.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Craig S. from WAUSAU, WI
Reviewed on 2/3/2015...
While this movie is NOT, in fact, about beatniks in the 60's at a really cool party . . . perhaps it would have been better if it were.

M. Night Shyamalan takes another good crack at it but falls short around second base. His movies would be more entertaining if he could just preserve the mystery a little longer. The cat is out of the bag in about the first 20 minutes of the film. He might as well have just named the movie "Revolt of the Plants" instead of 'The Happening' as it becomes immediately obvious what is going on. A title like that needs to have some serious mystery throughout - but in this case, it so 'happens' that a hippie gardener pegs it within hours of the initial outbreak. And not just by way of speculation . . . I mean he nails it DEAD ON. I understand that the guy was just a plot device to help explain what was going on in the movie but, was he even necessary? I mean, the main character (Wahlberg) is a school science teacher! I thought for sure he would use some of his scientific skills to solve the mystery himself, but he might as well have been a carpenter for as much good as he did toward applying his trade to the matter at hand - hey! maybe if he WAS a carpenter he could have at least boarded up the windows and stuff better.

I'm also not sure what walking backwards has to do with killing yourself, but several characters in the movie do so. Shyamalan seems to work his way backwards with quality of his films as well - 'Unbreakable' was the tipping point for me as far as worthwhile movies go. His subsequent movies worsen progressively, by the time I had seen 'The Happening', I decided the pattern would continue and therefore I no longer see his movies.
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Christina H. from AMSTERDAM, NY
Reviewed on 10/30/2012...
We just love this movie and we're so glad someone had it to send out to us!
2 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Heather M. from BERNARDSTON, MA
Reviewed on 8/5/2012...
There is a cool concept lost somewhere in this awful film, but it is so horrendously boring I would not be surprised if no one noticed that. M. Night Shayamalan is capable of such wonderful movie making, but this isn't it. There are no characters worth caring about and the "events" in this movie are non-events and dreadfully boring. They somehow leap to some bizarre and unbelievable conclusions about what is happening and mysteriously divine that it will all come to a conclusion if they can just survive to some random point. It's stupid and insulting and far too much of a leap given the paltry facts available to the audience.

Like I said; there is a cool concept here and I think it is executed far more successfully in the book; The Nature of Balance; by Tim Lebbon, than it is in this film.

5 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Is it happening?
Judy K. Polhemus | LA | 10/11/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)

"OK...Umm...Uh...OK, just stall words to keep me from getting started. OK, here goes.

First the negative: "The Happening" just is not happening as a successful film. Did M. Night really think a movie with the wind blowing trees and grasses would be frightening? Or that the addition of music as a character with the wind would be ominous enough? Perhaps it is with Mark Wahlberg that he expected the movie to be scary. After all, Wahlberg is noted for his intense acting and those serious facial contortions. One scene shows a side view of his face all screwed up. All I could think was how deeply creased his forehead would one day be! A scary movie should not allow me to think that!

However, one of the few really scary parts occurred when the greenhouse guy was in the scene. First, he tells us that plants respond to human voices (true, long-time studies have confirmed this) and that they can respond negatively as well--deep foreshadowing! After the close-up of his misaligned facial features, I fully expected this dude to be hit with neurotoxins and go beserk. Didn't happen. Red herring!

Another really scary part involved the old woman living in isolation, who revealed herself to be beserk without help of neurotoxins. Maybe that was M Night's point: Nature needs to help along the deletion of unsavory human beings, especially including Average Joe (the construction site jumpers--it is no telling what they have done to the plant world!!), but also the truly insane (the old woman who wisely chose to live in the safety of isolation).

I'm going to leave the last three months alone. I could tear into the problems there, too.

Now the positive: Some of these comments are just the reverse of my negative ones. For example, the addition of Wahlberg in the film was a plus because of his intensity. He pretty much makes the whole plant thing believable--well, almost believable. I was even convinced his and Alma's love stopped the neurotoxins. Actually, because of the mystery entwined throughout the story, there is no reason not to think their love stopped the toxins. In other scenes the galloping fear of toxins seemingly increased the plant rampage.

Overcast skies, wind and music, discordance between words and actions, palpable fear, Wahlberg's panic attack, the Hitchcock-like house and old woman--all lent themselves to an increasing sense of unease to dis-ease. The film does work in some ways.

I leave further arguments to others."
Shockingly bad
K. Sebastian | 10/08/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Let me preface by saying I'm not a troll that 1-Stars movies lightly. But this? It plays out like a parody of those old 1950s movies, before things like film-acting and special effects were invented (just kidding...uh...somewhat...).

Its been a looooong time since I've seen actors phone in their performances like Wahlberg and Leguizamo have done here. NO, WAIT! Tim Allen in ZOOM, yeah, its about that speed.

Truth is, though, when things fall apart, I'm a "blame the director" type of viewer (but come on guys, didn't you watch the dailies???). Fascinatingly misdirected by Shymalan, you will swear you're watching a student film. And I liked everything he did up 'til Lady in the Bathtub.

Beware: Zooey's facial expressions aren't for the faint of heart."
What happened?
CKH | 06/14/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)

"Easily one of the worst movie of all time, Shyamalan had lost the magic after the sixth sense, which is one of my favorite movie.
At the end of the movie, You still do not know, what had happened, is it an absurb revenge of the tree?. All you saw from the beginning to the end of the film are this disturbing images of people commiting suicide. The characters are poorly developed, the story was ridicuously absurb and script is full with confusing, silly and preachy lines.