Kevin's Review: The Happening - A Different, But Familiar, Shyamalan

June 12, 2008

The Happening may not be a reboot of a previous storyline or character (ala The Incredible Hulk, also out this weekend), but it certainly aims to recharge M. Night Shyamalan's career. Since the writer/director (and sometimes actor) crept into the public consciousness with the Sixth Sense back in 1999, his career hasn't exactly gone skyward, save for the slight altitude gained from Signs in 2002. With his last two films, The Village and Lady in the Water, many started to believe that Shyamalan lacked the needed endurance. The Happening doesn't allay those fears completely, but it might help level out his reputation. With this film, Shyamalan embraces his first R-rating in disturbing, visceral fashion. While far from perfect, it's a blend of Shyamalan's trademark underlying distress and, for the first time, conspicuous acts of violence - the result of which is an unsettling fear and paranoia that follows you well after the film is over.

Unlike Shyamalan's previous, highly independent films, The Happening seems to take cues from a couple of other sci-fi thrillers, such as War of the Worlds and The Mist. One morning in Central Park something happens that causes masses of people to suddenly stop what they're doing and ultimately fatally attack themselves - jumping from buildings, shooting themselves, laying down in front of a riding lawnmower. The incidents are widely reported and in this post-9/11 world, naturally chalked up to a terrorist attack of some sort. Since the events are not isolated to New York, school teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) catches wind of the news and hops a train out of Philadelphia with his disaffected wife, Alma (Zooey Deschanel), and friend Julian (John Leguizamo) and Julian's daughter 8-year-old Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez). Their escape is cut short at a small town north of the city after the conductors lose contact with "everyone." Passengers and residents of the small town turn to the news and learn that the unseen phenomenon continues to spread, prompting most to flee northward to an area that appears unaffected.

Elliot, Alma, an Jess attempt to make their way to safety in The Happening.The Happening Review

Various theories are bounced around throughout the film as to the cause of the events, none of which are given any seal of approval. Being a science teacher, Elliot tries to systematically break down the evidence and happenings, which encourages the audience to consider the answer as well. This is first time where the film comes up short. The deconstructing dialogue and Elliot's self-talking proves malformed and often wrapped in forehead-slapping obviousness. The character's reactions and behavior prove equally stunted. The film does superbly well with the quirky Deschanel, but Wahlberg stretches his likability thinner than saran wrap. Other characters that come and go provide little color, beyond just a hue of blood red. Shyamalan also loses a few points for having a premise so reminiscent of other films. This might not be a criticism if it was anyone but Shyamalan, who we've come to trust him for his unique storytelling and creativity. That being said, he does an admirable job of adding his own trademark complexity and feel. He paces and texturizes the film in such a way that it feels like a classic (or maybe it's just reminiscent of one).

The idea that permeates the film more than anything, and which can be heard early on, is that "there are forces at work beyond our understanding." More disturbing than that is the idea that something could cause humans to go against their natural instincts - instead of fighting and fleeing, they stop and kill themselves. It's a fantastic angle. Considering Shyamalan's library of supernatural thrillers, The Happening is a refreshing and fitting complement. The film is certainly an outgrowth of the traditional Shyamalan formula, which people will either love or hate. Regardless of which camp you claim, it's hard to argue against Shyamalan being one of the most compelling, creative storytellers today. The Happening, happily, continues in that fashion.

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i saw the happening yesterday, and to be honest.........i think m. night shyamalan has starting to lose his edge, i even think lady in the water many times better. The story has a great concept, very promising, but lack of developments. In the beginning we already shown the mystery ala m. night shyamalan, the story evolve so fast to the appocalyse. But..........there's a big missing in the story. And that big missing is the explanation of what causing all the events from the beginning of the movie. I mean.......there must be something that cause the toxin to vanished. What is it? m. night shyamalan dont explained it here. Even in the end it only tells that this is only a warrant. I think thats why i dont like it. The movie, which is very promising from the start, became meaningless in the end. It's far way beyond my expectation so far. Shyamalan is a talented director, but i think this movie is is going to hit him hard.

B4tS on Jun 13, 2008


I saw The Happening yesterday too and while I loved the concept, the movie was pretty bad. I've been a big fan of Shyamalan and loved Sixth Sense, Signs, Unbreakable AND The Village. The script, plot and character development needed a lot more work, the editing was bad and both Wahlberg and Deschanel were acting so bad that I didn't feel or care for their characters. Zooey Deschanel in particular felt like an amateur in The Happening. Either that or the actors were given very strange direction from Shyamalan. John Leguizamo on the other hand was great and his character felt much more believable. If he had played the protagonist instead the film would have improved a bit. The Happening had lines of dialogue and entire scenes that were probably supposed to be serious but didn't make sense and just felt awkward and silly. A lot of these could have been cut from the movie. The Happening was OK, but far from great. 5.5/10. Right now I just hope Mark Wahlberg learned to act a bit better before he shot his scenes in Peter Jackson's "Lovley Bones"...

Andreas on Jun 13, 2008


Zooey D was on Letterman the other night to promote this-she was overwhelmingly lacking in buzz or charm,and the film clip they played (a scene where Mark & followers were in a field,gunshot sounds) made me laugh out loud.It was like a bad horror show with all these small side characters incessantly screaming "Oh no,not us!"/"We must survive!" or things like that-that said,I'll still watch this because as unbearable as his past films were,there was always at least one notable aspect in the direction worth staying for-and of course,the unintentional humor helps too (bryce dallas in The Village was completely unconvincing as a blind woman,it was like a staged parody)...

twispious on Jun 13, 2008


Shyamalan's worst movie yet. And that's saying a lot! The dialog and story are as if it were written by an 8th grader. The actors appear to have been left to fend for themselves - the acting and characterizations are all over the place. Egad! 3/4 of the staff of my theatre (and their guests - about 40 people) watched this and we're all in agreement on this one (it's been nick-named The Crappening). An interesting idea that went nowhere. No surprises. No ending. You can leave half-way through the film and not miss anything. I think the folks calling for Uwe Boll's resignation from the film making got the wrong guy.

Soup on Jun 13, 2008


I just came back from seeing the happening and nothing happened... no, not even a twist.... and what you think are supposed to be dumb red herrings are actually what is supposed to be driving the story...

Alex on Jun 13, 2008


From the clips I have been seeing, the acting seems like it is atrocious in this film.

Zach D. on Jun 13, 2008


Yeh...I should have prefaced my review with my ingrained affinity for Shyamalan. And I know I'm definitely in the minority on this one. While most certainly sloppy at times, the film does present some interesting questions and scenarios...and in provocative fashion, doesn't answer them. It makes you think. Most movies tie everything in a neat little bow.

kevin on Jun 13, 2008


I'm not sure how I felt about it. And I've been looking forward to this movie for a long time. 1) I think it went downhill after the lion attack clip. First of all, what kind of phone was that? Ipod Iphone Hi-Res, Hi-Def Apple Super Computer? Why was the picture so clear? Why would you show a stranger lions killing someone? Why did the lions even attack? Don't these people work with animals every single day? Just because they wave an arm in their face lions will suddenly think hmmmmm, dinner? 2) The old lady? Why? For so many reasons. Than I actually thought she was the one causing it. When she was praying in the garden and turned towards Marky Mark and the winds picked up. I really almost pooped myself when I thought she was the reason for it. 3) I understand the plants were causing it. But what was causing the tornado like winds helping the plants to spread their toxins? I guess it was just a lucky day for killer plants that it was the windiest 24 hours in history. 4) The acting. What? When gunshots are going off and Marky Mark says oh no. What was that? 5) That Einsten quote? Is that based on fact? Anyone ever heard of it before? 6) Are we supposed to expect a sequel? Shymalan has never ended a movie like that. With the.... uh oh. It's still happening scenario. 7) I don't know

Brian Ricci on Jun 13, 2008


Hey Kevin, I enjoyed ur review .. I read this after I saw the movie this morning... I loved the movie.. May be its not well made for those who doesn't want to think much it might not be as interesting as they expected or you wrote.. Shyamalan put lots of theories in this film.. which might be little confusing for many people.. As per the movie.. Nobody knows what is really happening.. So everybody comes up with their own theories and few comes close to wats really happening... If you think like what ever people saying in this movie is the right theory.. then it will lead you to the confusion state.. Even those attack on large number of people is just an assumption by the people.. It can be right or wrong.. The whole story is from people's perspective.. I can not believe some critics questioning about that.. I was glad to read your review.. I would say you were the one watched the movie carefully.. Only the Trees perspective can tell what has happend and why has happend.. This movie will leave you with lot of questions.. The general perception will be " its the warning from trees for wat we have done to the earth" I guess people will not have any problem in getting that message.. I felt Shyamalan did goodjob.. I loved this movie.. I am watching it again next week..

Suresh on Jun 13, 2008


**SPOILER** The people kill themselves because the just saw "The Happening".

Scorpio on Jun 13, 2008


haha...well played #10...but, honestly, I don't understand why folks are so harsh to Shyamalan...presently on Rotten Tomatoes, The Happening is ranked below Drillbit Taylor -- really?

kevin on Jun 13, 2008


To Brian, I can agree the performance could been better.. but Its fair enough.. 1. Well if you think lion won't attack you when you enter into their cage.. I would ask you to test with urself once.... If he is a cageman or the lion trainer then Its questionable.. But you donno who he is.. 2. The lady.. she is crazy.. and her part does prove the point that plants are attacking people even when they are alone.. That was their only hope to escape from the trees when they were on the field before.. But after the old lady part that they comes to know its the end of life.. 3. Trees making wind blowing.. I don;t think its questionable.. I think Mark talks about how science are impartant for all... I guess you got what I meant.. 5. May be They should have written E= MC ^2 to keep everyone feel happy ? come on man... 6. I donno wat to say... Its more about human relation... In the end Mark and Joey are happy... You expect happily lived ever after song to make it prominant ? Didn;t want to be harsh on this topic.. but man.. I give it back when someone tries to be so mean...

Suresh on Jun 13, 2008


Tries to be mean? To who? I'm giving my opinion. 1) He was wearing a zoo uniform. 2) The plants left the lady alone until they got there. 3) There were plenty of times when they were in an open field with no trees at all and heavy winds were blowing. 5) That was a legitimate question. I was just wondering if it was a real quote. come on man... 6) What are you talking about? I'm talking about the people in France or wherever. And its happening all over again. Hence me saying that about the sequel. I'm not trying to be harsh either. But when someone tries to call me out on my opinions and is just wrong...

Brian Ricci on Jun 13, 2008


It seems there's another Happening. In this one though... people are affected by the toxic spreading of M. Night hatred once again. Must be the "cool" thing to do... Personally, I've loved all of his movies... Sixth Sense on down to Lady in the Water. Not every movie has to follow the hollywood premise. Not every movie has to tie everything up and hand it to you on a silver platter with a little bow on top upon its ending. Everyone's killing (excuse the pun) the acting... Ok, if you came into this movie expecting Oscar award nominee performances than you have fooled yourself. Aside from maybe Boogie Nights I've never thought of Marky Mark as an actor extraordinare. Everyone on this site liked Rambo and Sly didn't exactly turn in a Daniel Day Lewis performance. So put the acting off to the side. No one's eager to see this flick for its acting. This movie is what it is and sci-fi/horror/thriller fans should enjoy it.

C-Young on Jun 13, 2008


@13...whether that quote is actually attributable to Einstein is in question; but, the phase does get at the very real, mysterious condition on the rise called Colony Collapse Disorder, in which bees simply abandon colonies and just disappear (not vanish, per se, but fly off and just die). This is really just an illustration of Shyamalan's disposition on this film -- that there are things are work (detrimental things to humanity and nature) that cannot be explained.

kevin on Jun 13, 2008


Okey.. I understand and my apologies.. I propably misunderstoon you before.. I took this as personal attack with Shyamalan... I been reading these all over the places... I don't understand why people are attacking him.. I could still explain my views to ur new questions.. But its not I am trying to protect the movie... Honestly.. I don;t remember him wearing any uniforms.. he was wearing plain blue and brown dress if I remember it correctly.. Plants left the lady alone.. yeah.. She was living alone in that place and that place was not under attack b4.. She tells in one scene noone lives here ... and she offers food as they are strangers or travellers.. I didnt mean to say only trees could cause windblowing... I said Trees can generate windblowing.. But anyhow I mistaken you and my apologies for tat..

Suresh on Jun 13, 2008


Look. There are rules you ahve to follow when making a movie. A logical flow that has to be followed throughout the course of the film for the plot to pass through and finally achieve its goal at the end. Shyamalan in The Happening not only broke those rules, it pretended those rules didn't exist. When you present a presmise, like a bunch of people randomly killing themselves, you have to give off clues. Ok. So there's the plants. uh-huh. There's the Nuke power plant. A lot of them in the east coast. Right. Military experiments. Okay. After that we are told "There are some things in nature you cannot explain." While this is true, WE WERE PROMISED SOMETHING DIFFERENT--a resolution. Its like somebody promising warm apple pie in the next room after giving you a whiff and as you go to the next room uncover the plate, you get a half eaten waffle. I wish there was some serendipitous lesson we could get from this experience. But there wasn't I did not walk out of the theater with a renewed view of nature and it's power because I've known all along, as do most of you, that nature can be quite a bitch somtimes.

The rocketboy on Jun 13, 2008


I agree with you most of the time Kevin but this was just bad. Ity was somewaht silly bad so I wouldn't completely bash it because it is somewhat entertaining but no where near a 7.

Ryan on Jun 13, 2008


M Night shyamalan is an interesting director in my book. This doesn't mean he's great, but it means he comes up with some good ideas that don't quite get the greatest treatment. I think the problem is he set the bar for himself extremely high with 6th sense, and now none of his other movies can really capture the magic that 6th sense had. Unbreakable was good, Signs was terrible, and both The Village and Lady in the Water were alright, but they couldn't hold you like 6th sense could. I want this movie to be good, and from the looks of it it might be on par with at least lady in the water and The Village. The line that M Night likes to stride is the "reveal too much/reveal too little" line, and that's what either made his movies good or terrible. Both Signs and Unbreakable revealed enough at the end to feel satisfying, while Signs and the Village revealed far too much and made the work seem very contrived. On the other hand, lady in the Water revealed too little, and really didn't try to explain any of the happenings (no pun intended) during the movie. If this movie can ride that line successfully, then I think it'll be a good movie. Now... I gotta actually go watch it and give a real review...

yh on Jun 13, 2008


Lol, this movie is a joke. Shammy needs to get the hell out of Hollywood because he is really losing his edge.

MrSatan on Jun 13, 2008


Man this was boring - not on top form at all!! It just didn't 'HAPPEN' pun intended! Firstly, the film quality itself felt a departure from M's usual fair - all the clever lighting and long lasting shots replaced with distant long shots and awkward closeups. Bring back the quality from signs please! Secondly - so the movie can be summed up by the bees mysteriously disappearing/or going off to die... so what?! The whole movie was just plain slow and I kept thinking - so what??? The film felt very dis-jointed and inconsistent... the old lady - what the f££k? ok... please tell me I'm missing the point and this wasn't all about some guys running from the wind. Finally, at no point did I feel fear or tense, no one was at risk other than one's self... in other words if it affected someone in a group, they just moved on, they didn't have to fear that person because they were only harming themselves... this is a poor premise for a movie. Should have gone to see Hulk... I take back what I said in the article about M and his future - he's heading downhill with tripe like this!

nha on Jun 13, 2008


I saw this movie today and to sum it up.... They should of called this movie "Nothings Happening"

CrypticHill on Jun 13, 2008


Why is everything saying M. Night is losing his edge? He's already lost it! Isn't that apparent at this point? I agree with what so many others are saying online. He needs to direct his next film that's written by someone else. Because he's clearyly a terrible story teller.

Rob on Jun 13, 2008


I saw the film today. While I would agree it is not a flawless film, I would have to say that it is probably Shyamalan's best film since Signs.

Sean Kelly on Jun 13, 2008


I think it's an epically bad film. Nothing works...the plot...the's all just so bad. But... I was never actually bored. I can't explain it. I was sitting there thinking, 'this is a truly shit movie,' but I was still engaged on some level. I think it was because I had faith that MNS could turn it around with a stunning resolution. When that didn't happen I felt duped.

Derek on Jun 13, 2008


This is for Brian: Do you honestly think that lion keepers go IN with the lions all the time? This is not circus buddy. A lion keeper that would enter the exhibit while the lions are in there would get attacked. Period. No question. By the way, I'm a zookeeper.

MP on Jun 13, 2008


everyone is hating because the movie didnt do what you wanted. thats horrible, you go to a movie to see what the director saw and interperet that and see the underlying themes in the movie. spider man 3 had one of the biggest openings in history, and it was on a level of batman and robin in how bad it was. i thought it was a good movie, its not winning any oscars but damn loosen up, how bout you go and direct a movie and then see how many people just like you tear to shreds, but wait you thought it was brilliant.

aust on Jun 14, 2008


Sixth Sense is a classic. Signs is close too it. Everything else he's made has been very sketchy. Unbreakable is in my top 5 of worst movies ever. It had great concepts, and great actors, but the ending was terrible. There's no way anyone watched the trailer (with the horrid acting) and thought The Happening was going to be great. I like Wahlburg, but the performance in the trailer was enough to keep me from seeing this. Plus Shamalamalama loves to screw with the audience too much, which always leads to dissappointment. I saw The Incredible Hulk instead. Great flick. I'll wait for The Happening to hit Red Box for a $1 rental.

TCox on Jun 15, 2008


to brian 1) if thats what he signals the lions to do for feeding (but he would have meat in his hands) and there is none then the lion would probably attack and seeing the other lion do attack would probabaly cause the other one to do so 2) i never really thought that i kind of figured it was the plans when the weird beared dude in the beginning said that it was i mean it all started in parks and when the wind picked up it sends the toxins that the plants produce 3) theres almost always wind just because i think it wouldve been a little worse in the meadow when they were running from it because there is no close by natural barriers to block or weaken it 4) ive never been a very good judge of acting 5) yes it is a real quote ive heard of it before and the bee problem is real i talked to a beekeeper at the farmers market asking if it has affected him at all and hes lost 3 of his colonies. he believes it a disease but scientists say its from cell phone reception causing them to be disoriented in theyre migrational patterns when theyre pollinating ^^^honeybess pollunate 2/3 of the worlds food supply so if they die were fucked^^^ 6)i dont think its like him to make a sequel 7) me neither overall i liked the movie it made humans seem like the pest and finally made them vulnerable to the environment after weve destroyed it for years. I dont think the probability of it is high but it is an interesting concept that maybe there are things that are beyond or grasp to understand. i mean cats cant learn how to speak english its just not possible so what are the boundaries of our brains? i think the plants attracting certain wasps that kill the caterpillars that feed off of it is interesting as well can anyone tell me if its true or send me a link talking about it PS-grow up its peoples opinion stop being so godamn sensitive

Allie Eastman on Jun 15, 2008


To all of the people saying that this movie was disliked because it didn't "wrap things up in a nice, neat, Hollywood friendly bow," I submit the fact that the only theory explaining what was going on given any credence involved the plants. Other theories were casually mentioned, then discarded. Everything pointed to it being the plants, and by the end of the movie, even the authorities were saying that was, in fact, the case. The only thing to seriously dissuade the audience from this was the fact that Mark Wahlberg's character says early in the film that an explanation will be slapped on anything we don't understand, but it's still just theory, leaving it open to possibly have been something else which was either discarded or not mentioned at all. In the interest of fairness for the sake of argument, let's say we completely disregard the 'plant' theory being 'wrapped up' and confirmed. The Carnegie-Mellon professor on the news said the event would reach peak intensity around nine a.m. and suddenly cease. That happened (wrapped up neatly without further explanation). Mark and Zooey adopt the girl and have a child of their own (wrapped up neatly, happy ending for protagonists). A biology expert on television said that it was a naturally occurring purge of threatening organisms from the environment, akin to the red tide, to which the interviewer replied that we could believe that if it happened anywhere else, which it immediately did (wrapped up neatly). There is less ambiguity upon opening a box of Cheerios than was found at the ending of the Happening. People who didn't like the movie didn't miss the point, they didn't glaze over some subtle nuances or simply not understand the inherent philosophical depth of the movie. They simply judged the movie based on the final product put in front of them, and found it to be lacking.

vertigo on Jun 16, 2008


Also, as a post-script, I think rating this movie 7/10 is bordering on being worthy of a Nobel Prize in the field of generosity, but to each his own.

vertigo on Jun 16, 2008


Mark Wahlberg absolutely sucked ass, I usually find him a pretty good actor but somethimg was offset here. As for the crazy old lady, she was the scariest part of the film which is really quite sad.

TDKassassin on Jun 16, 2008


I'm truly mixed in my feelings regarding this troubling film. You're totally engrossed during the entire thing, yet you constantly question, "Why?" For example, when they came upon that dilapidated house where the two boys are shot, I truly expected that in the house the men who shot them were somehow responsible for what was going on, like some military experiment gone wrong (a la The Mist). In the beginning, and at the end, one solitary individual finds themselves still normal amidst a sea of people disoriented and about to commit gruesome suicide. Wouldn't the girl in the beginning or the long-haired foreign guy at the end be just as infected by the toxin at that point as the hundreds of people near them? Props to the actress playing the old lady towards the end of the film. She was terrific at playing a truly horrifying old bitch. I was scared for sure. Honestly, though, I was beginning to think that when Mark Wahlberg was separated by his wife in the other end of that talk-pipe thing that they were going to be trapped, unable to go outside without dying, and that the screen would fade to black with both of them sobbing hopelessly at either end. I thought the fact that it all suddenly abated and everything was fine until the second apparent "happening" seen at the end was rather strange. All in all, however, the film does have that sort of intrigue that made "Signs" one of my personal favorite films. As a true sci-fi geek (take it or leave it, I sure as hell ain't alone), I feel this film is pretty worthy of at least one or two viewings and definitely a good personal, gratuitous analysis. It is definitely, however, lacking of the magic that was "The Mist." That movie is amazing in the realm of sci-fi/horror. I watched this one before the Hulk, and I'd have to say that they are equally resonant in my mind so far, but I'm looking forward to Star Wars: The Clone Wars and Transformers 2 to a much greater degree than the Marvel Avengers/Captain America/Hulk films that are suddenly very much upon us.

Alex Kane on Jun 18, 2008


Explain to me how you think Get Smart deserves a lower score than this film....please..........someone.

Tyler on Jun 20, 2008


Okay, I'm just baffled that so many people are sticking up for this film. It was just simply terrible. You can like the idea all you want, but the movie itself was one of the worst films I have ever seen, and this is coming from someone who even enjoys watching sci-fi channel movies. I like the idea; it's terrifying. Nature canceling out humankind? Scary! But why suicide? I kept thinking to myself, "Well, why not just make human hearts fail? Why not have people just stop taking care of themselves, die from starvation, lack of nutrition? Why not poisonous gas?" I know a major point of the movie is the idea of the unexplainable, but the entire time I thought "Well, he just wants a way to make it gory, and suicide fits that." Gory, to me, is not scary. Gory is cheap. I was struck speechless by the quality of acting. I love Zooey Deschanel; I have enjoyed her acting in every movie I have seen her in, whether or not the movie itself was quality. Likewise with Mark Wahlberg. I thought he was good in I *heart* Huckabees, and even the cheesier movies, like the Italian Job. Their collective acting was terrible, though! Not just terrible, but mind boggling! It sounded as though they memorized the lines, and just spit them out on screen. Either they were miscast, rushed, poorly directed, or just completely wrong for the parts. I wanted to like this movie. But it's just bad. Its concept cannot save it. It could have been good, but it failed miserably. It felt like production was rushed or something; I don't understand how any of the people involved were comfortable releasing it the way it is.

Allison on Jun 20, 2008


I just saw "The Happening" and I can see how so many people can come up with clever titles to review it. An Inconvenient Film? Check. What's "Happening" To M. Night's Career? Check. A Dark Night for M. Night? You get the idea. I agree with Allison's opinion that this was a very bad film. I don't know who to blame for that, actor or director. The dialogue was completely expositional at some points. John Leguizamo, what do you do? Oh right, you teach math, I know because you talk about probabilities. Mark Wahlberg, you must teach science because you use the scientific method to explain things. So on and so forth. I really was interested in the concept when I first heard about it. Any writer knows there are three basic conflicts, man vs. man, man vs. himself, and man vs. nature. The final of the three is one that is rarely touched upon, aside from crappy films like Twister, Dante's Peak, etc., and I really have always found the idea of nature rejecting mankind's presence to be a terrifying thing. It is what made people flock to An Inconvenient Truth. What is scarier than realizing things are beyond our control? Man isn't master of his or her domain. I have been a fan of M. Night's work. I liked the Sixth Sense, found unbreakable to be a very clever way of putting comic book ideals into the real world, loved Signs, and even thought the Village would have been okay had they put an ending where the monsters turn out to be real. (A twist on the twist) I skipped Lady in the Water and after seeing this film am seriously beginning to question if M. Night has jumped the proverbial shark. It's a shame to see someone who's clearly talented not put more effort into his films. Or maybe I am wrong and M. Night expended all his creative brilliance over 5 years ago.

Adam Lee on Jun 21, 2008


Um okay me and my friend are haveing a debate about the happening about the lion part. i know im right but she begs to differ, you see she said that the animals get infected too but i dont think so cuz the dog in the park would of got infected too so anyway the guy in the lions enclosure well of corse the lions were out side at the zoo but she says the lions are inside....idk why she just wants to try to prove me wrong well when he let the lions, him....wouldnt the lions get infected or what ever you call it, too? cuz if he is out side and the lions are out side then they would get infected but she just refuses to belive that the lions were out side she says they were inside aswell as the people but the lions were in a glass cage 😐 yeah.... this is her side of the story now..... ok she thinks that the lions are inside and then the people are inside too but the lions are in a glass cage but i dont think so well any way she said the guy walked in to the zoo and then he opened the door and made the lions eat him. but i think that if he is a zoo keeper and then he would have to stay on duty until he goes into the lion pen WHICH is out side and then he gets infected but she dosent belive me she wont give up so plz tell me what you think

kristi jackson on Jun 28, 2008


Having just seen The Happening (thanks, Internet!) I have to agree with Allison - great review and exactly how I'm thinking. Retitle it "WTF?" as that would sum up both the state of mind of the characters, but also that of the audience. I just can't believe how awful the acting was in this. All of them. Even the people standing around not saying anything looked fake and unnatural. It was like a small town community theatre project was accidentally given a ton of money to make film. Just awful.

Robert on Jul 7, 2008


comment no. 37 is damn funny...that's the twist we are looking for

abc on Sep 5, 2008

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