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Oct 21

The Happening

thehappeningGenre: Thriller
Year: 2008
Country: USA

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, Ashlyn Sanchez, Betty Buckley

 

We’ve sensed it. We’ve seen the signs. Now… It’s Happening.

 

Odd occurrences are happening in the city of New York and the US government quickly puts out a state of emergency, blaming the strange suicides that keep happening on a possible terrorist attack. Elliot Moore is teaching a science class when all of this is going down and he quickly gets his family on a train to Philadelphia.

Before they get to their destination, the train stops and everyone is let out in a small town after reports of another strange event has taken place and this time it is in Philadelphia instead of New York. Soon it becomes clear to Moore that these things aren’t being done by humans, but rather to humans by possibly nature itself.

The Happening starts out with a very interesting premise with strange suicides happening all over the city. It had potential to possibly go somewhere and become chilling, scary and suspenseful but failed to do any of that right off the bat. The biggest flaw of the film comes from it being terribly written, acted and directed. It is just a decent story executed incredibly poorly.

You can’t really have a film like this without decent leading characters and I cannot understand what they were thinking when they came up with the leads for this movie. Mark Wahlberg is so odd and awful as Elliot Moore and while I might not be his biggest fan, I know he can do so much better than this and I’ve never seen him so unbelievable before in any film. His co-star Zooey Deschanel might look cute, but she comes off very odd in this film and the two of them have no chemistry whatsoever. They are also going through some sort of crisis, which isn’t dealt with very well in the film either. The addition of the child character Jess adds absolutely nothing either.

After he made a big name for himself with The Sixth Sense, Indian born filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan has kept himself within the realm of thrillers that rely on mystique and end twists. He has also made himself become a very dull director and this film has to be his lowest point in his career so far. He is trying to say something with the movie and that’s fine, but when the movie is terribly boring the audience won’t care about any type of message, regardless of how positive or on point it might be. And he should probably stay away from writing dialogue for any movie ever again if he wants to stay active in Hollywood.

The Happening is a terrible movie tha you will only be able to sit through if you find the concept interesting enough or if you have a few beers with a couple of friends and enjoy it is a “bad” movie to laugh at. It surprises me to no end that a film like this could be greenlight with a budget of nearly 50 million dollars, I would not recommend anyone to give a single dollar to see this film.

 

 ★☆☆☆☆ 

 

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