Director M. Night Shyamalan NOT at his best. Mark Wahlberg, John Leguizamo and others wasted their time making this flop of a movie. The trailer for this looked great but the movie fell short.
Mark D. from N DARTMOUTH, MA Reviewed on 7/18/2019...
at first, this movie is intriguing with its basic plot setup. But, when you find out the gimmick of the movie, I'm sure you'll be quite disappointed and feel as if you've wasted your time with this drivel.
Disappointing entry from the mind of M. Night Shyamalan.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
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.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Craig S. (InnerMacro) 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.
3 of 3 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 7 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.
6 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
Cathy K. from STANTON, MI Reviewed on 1/7/2011...
I don't usually seek 'thriller' movies, but I'm glad I watched this one. It had enough suspense to keep me watching, enough gore to freak me out, but not so much that I had nightmares! Overall, I enjoyed this one!
5 of 9 member(s) found this review helpful.
Chad B. (abrnt1) from CABERY, IL Reviewed on 7/9/2010...
After how awful The Village & The Lady In The Water were I wasn't expecting too much from this film. It's a decent horror film and has a few effective moments. Not the best, but far better then his last few movies.
2 of 9 member(s) found this review helpful.
Alice H. (singlegalkansas) from TOPEKA, KS Reviewed on 2/26/2010...
This was one of the worst movies because M. Night didnt really have a story.
4 of 7 member(s) found this review helpful.
Lisa C. from SUSSEX, WI Reviewed on 1/19/2010...
I hated lady in the water, I don't remember why. I liked every other one of M. Night Shyamalan movies I know of (Signs, the Village and this one The Happening). I did like this The Happening, have not seen it in awhile and don't remember why but I thought it ended kind of abruptly. I think that about a lot of movies. When it ends you are like, ok thats it?
4 of 9 member(s) found this review helpful.
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."
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)