Running Time: 91 minutes
Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo
Directed By: M. Night Shyamalan
Rating: 3 out of 10
A devastating and unpredictable crisis breaks out in a United States park and has citizens battling for their very survival.
I wonder if director M. Night Shyamalan is on the CIA and FBI’s most wanted lists as this guy makes more bombs than most terrorist organizations. It wouldn’t surprise me if he co wrote The Anarchist Cookbook either the way his career is going. The Happening was supposed to be a new chapter in M. Night’s career as this was his first R rated movie which allowed him for more creative license. He wanted to put his last couple of movies behind him and really get back to the movies he is lauded for, being The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. He captured none of his early genius and put together a truly bewildering film of staggering awfulness. The film is based on an unknown event where people lose the will to live. What is causing this phenomenon? Is it a terrorist attack? Could it be an army experiment gone wrong? Or maybe even a natural occurrence? All good questions and all should have taken the viewer on a great journey to discovering the truth. But after a great opening scene where the unknown event starts, the film then spirals out of control. The opening scene is confusing but in a good, creepy sort of way that made you think this film has the goods. However with the introduction of high school science teacher Elliot Moore played by Mark Wahlberg it proves M. Night doesn’t learn from his past mistakes. I really like Wahlberg so it pains me to write this about him but his role could be included on the worst acting roles of all time. His nasally high pitched delivery coupled with his bizarre personality were the scariest thing about this film bar none. Scene after scene this confusing character drives the movie further down the rating scale with his unbelievable words. It is unfair to single Wahlberg out though as he was not the only one destroying this film. His wife in the movie Alma Moore played by the normally reliable Zooey Deschanel also was way below par. Her awkward brooding delivery missed the mark time and again and was another major distraction to this film. The random character introductions in the film were also failures as there doesn’t seem to be a normal person alive in this film. This event is supposed to make you lose the will to live not turn you into the weirdest people in the United States of America. The random scenes of thrills and violence that happen very occasionally throughout this film are actually well thought up and nicely done. Although having to sit through line after line of terrible dialogue to get there makes it not worth the wait. When the ending does come you may think the unknown event maybe happening to you as you will probably also have lost the will to live. M. Night needs to get back to basics as every movie he has done seems to have super overblown crazy characters that just kill the movie. I cannot give this movie my recommendation as a movie titled The Happening does not have much happening at all besides Mark Wahlberg conversing with trees.
T Factor + If you are a fan of M Night Shyamalan’s work then this could score higher on the rating scale.
T Factor – If you like your horror movies full of bloody action then this could score lower on the rating scale.
If you liked this film reel recommendations: Quarantine, or The Crazies.