Widescreen, BluRay DVD.From M. Night Shyamalan, the writer-director of The Sixth Sense and Signs, comes a gripping thriller about a family on the run from a mysterious and deadly phenomenon. Academy Awardr Nominee Mark Wah... more »lberg (2006 Best Supporting Actor -The Departed) stars as Elliot Moore, an ordinary man trying to save his family from a terrifying, invisible killer. As Elliot begins to discover the true nature of what is lurking out there, it soon becomes clear that no one 'and nowhere' is safe.« less
"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."
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."
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. "
They're not kidding...it's bad
LUCAS | Southern, California United States | 10/12/2008
(1 out of 5 stars)
"I saw the rating of this movie but STILL, the concept interested me and curiousity got the best of me so I bought it.
I'm not one to pretend I'm some acting expert and I can usually sit through bad acting but when the entire movie consists of it AS WELL AS awkward dialogue and scenes, then you've got one bad movie. Other reviewers have mentioned the plastic tree scene, and my opinion is that it would have been fine if there had been other "light-hearted" scenes like this to pull you away from the drama then it wouldn't have been so glaring. However, this tree-talking scene was all by itself, therefore making it unnecessary.
I also thought it was stupid that the cause of "The Happening" was explained fairly early in the movie, thus leaving out the fun of the audience having to figure it out along with the characters. What was the point in that!? OK so the farmer reveals his guess and it turns out to be true so you would think that character would have more of an impact in the movie, traveling with the main characters. However this is NOT true of the farmer couple, they really don't have much purpose. This just seemed weird to me because even though he was kooky I thought we'd get to know him! And then he dies off camera! STUPID
Then you have the ridiculous "love" sub-plot of the two main characters which isn't fleshed out very well. YAWN
The premise of the movie seemed so cool, which is why I watched the whole thing, but with bad acting, bad dialogue, no character development, and awkward scenes this movie drowns in its own misery."
There's Something Happening Here (What It Is Ain't Exactly C
Mark Eremite | Seoul, South Korea | 06/14/2008
(2 out of 5 stars)
"We all know what started it. The Sixth Sense. Let me clarify, though. THE SIXTH SENSE was NOT a success because of its third act twist. Shyamalan's breakthrough film succeeded because he created believable characters dealing with a solid, definable conflict that came to a powerful, relatable conclusion AND THEN he introduced a twist. And not a cheap, showy, carnival twist, but a twist that ADDED TO (not reversed or mutated) the gut-wrenching emotional climax that preceded it. Although it got all the press, the twist in THE SIXTH SENSE was simply the icing on the cake of that film. And as any eight year-old kid who's been to a wedding can tell you, if you only eat the icing, all you get is sick.
Shyamalan has languished ever since, but only because he ended up falling for his own hype. He tried (and, I believe) set up an equally satisfying emotional bedrock in Unbreakable, but he expected his twist in that film to BE the resolution, instead of supplementing it. Bad idea. A twist is NOT a conclusion.
His characters and his conflict and even his conclusion were more solidly established in Signs, but -- whoops -- he was dead-set on tacking on one of his patented twists, and the story he'd created didn't really need one, so the twist came across as being not just unnecessary, but also ludicrous.
The Village came closest to reliving the old Shyamalan magic, and that was APART FROM the silly twist. Here we have a decent story, well-acted and well-established characters, and beautiful cinematography to boot. But, ruh-roh, here's that twist again, in this case, a twist that doesn't ADD to the climax, but which completely reverses it, casting an unflattering light on all of the characters and events and turning them into frightened, self-deluding caricatures.
Perhaps flailing against what he realized was a fatal adherence to his own fading glory, Shyamalan created Lady in the Water, the least twist-y of all of his films. He sets up a mythos, creates a filmic architecture out of a vague fairy tale, and gives us a sleight-of-hand ending that is only about as impressive as your average street side game of Three Card Monte. Not a bad movie, but certainly forgettable.
And now? THE HAPPENING.
Something happens, that's for sure. Suddenly people are freezing in mid-dog walk, they're losing their places in their books, talking nonsense, and next thing you know, they're jabbing themselves with hair pins, jumping from roofs, and hanging themselves with garden hoses. It's a biological attack! Terrorists!
The funny thing about THE HAPPENING is that Shyamalan doesn't even bother keeping his cards hidden. Elliot Moore (a Scooby-Doo-ish Mark Wahlberg), our protagonist, takes a quick Chemistry teacher-esque jab at guessing what's going on, and it's fair enough to say he comes close. At least close enough to matter. Because, aside from the actual "happening," there's almost nothing to the movie, other than a small group of people trying to find a place where it ISN'T happening.
And that solid emotional core that made THE SIXTH SENSE such a hit? Those definable characters? That relatable sense of suspense and connection? It's all a joke, here, and I'm not kidding. In fact, Shyamalan openly mocks the emotional Tootsie center of his film. When Moore discovers that his wife, Alma (played by a perpetually wide-eyed and vacant Zooey Deschanel), may have been unfaithful (he finds out, I'm just not going to tell you), the moment is used as a source of huckster's levity. In fact, every instance where character development is pursued is used to either add gags or fake punch (stinging orchestral "scares" or the sort of creepy vibes that are normally expected to accompany ambiguous, world-wide catastrophes).
The sad news is that Shyamalan still has not learned to go back to what initially made him such a hit. In fact, my guess is he's so desperate to reclaim that magic that he made the worst mistake of all. THE HAPPENING? The ENTIRE MOVIE is the twist. And that's all it is. If you're wondering what that means, then I'll rewrite THE SIXTH SENSE, in the spirit of THE HAPPENING:
Bruce Willis: "I WILL save this poor little boy, because I am an award-winning child psychologist."
Haley Joel Osment: "Did you realize you're a ghost?"
Bruce Willis: "I'm a ghost? Nooooooooooooooo!" (continues screaming "No!" for ninety minutes)