The Happening

We went to see the newest M. Night Shyamalan movie last night – The Happening starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel.  It’s an end-of-the-world type movie, but what sets this one apart from the others is that neither the audience nor the characters in the movie know what is happening to the population and why.  People just start acting strange – it begins in parks, where crowds of people freeze in their tracks, and then they begin to slowly and methodically commit suicide.  It’s really creepy!  I especially liked how little gore and there was and how tame the violence was, especially by today’s standards and with all the death that was occuring in the movie.  Before we went, I had read some bad reviews about it, but I didn’t find it boring in the slightest as some of the reviews suggested.  It was a gripping, intense, and interesting movie, not to mention effectively eerie.  I don’t want to give too much away, so all I will say is that I was hoping for more of a resolve and explanation at the end, but since I’ve seen other M. Night Shyamalan movies, I was also expecting even less closure than we received.  He writes, directs, and produces his own movies; they are usually thought-provoking suspense films, often laced with twists – I recommend The Village, Unbreakable, and The Sixth Sense to try a few.  Overall, I would say it was a really good doomsday-TYPE movie.  Please don’t think it compares to the movie called Doomsday – one of the most awful I’ve ever seen.  But The Happening has an interesting premise, and it achieves fright without overdoing the gore, which is unusual for scary movies in this day and age.  My one problem with the movie is Mark Wahlberg’s acting – at times it’s just awful!  I don’t know why he was cast in this movie, but at least he doesn’t ruin it.  Zooey Deschanel is good – didn’t even see any glimpse of her character from Elf -and John Leguizamo has a strong performance as well.  It is 90 minutes well-spent!

2 thoughts on “The Happening”

  1. John Lequizamo with a strong performance?! Interesting. There was lots of speculation about Shyamalan’s last movie (Lady in the Water… was that it? Missed it apparently with most everyone else) and if he could redeem himself with this.

  2. I guess I’ve never seen Leguizamo in anything else… and maybe his performance seemed alright cuz Wahlberg’s was so awful. I did see Lady in the Water – don’t remember much about it, but it doesn’t stick out in my head as a horrible movie – like the infamous 2 we hated – the Doomsday, Night Listener pair.

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