Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Happening

The Happening, 2008, directed by M. Night Shyamalan.
starring: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel.

"A strange, horrible and unprecedented crisis begins in Central Park. A high school science teacher, his wife and a young girl do what they can to survive it." (IMDB).

I'm kind of at a loss. What exactly was the point? This would have been ridiculous even as a 30 minute short, let alone a feature length film. (Although if it were a 30 minute short, he would have done well to study Jordy Verill's lonesome death in Creepshow before proceeding; a little ridiculous comedy could have made this much better). And while I appreciate the concept of heralding us all to treat the Earth better, this could have been better disseminated by instead doing a documentary on the amazing chemistry-changing abilities of plants, using some of the suicide scenes as crazy, what-if scenarios for shock value. 

Was this supposed to be scary? The acting sure was. And I suppose I can give that old girl, Mrs. Jones, some credit for being extremely Mother Bates during all of her scenes, but other than that? Blaaaaah. For a tiny moment toward the end, I actually thought that the M. Night Shyamalan Twist was going to be that crazy old Mrs. Jones was really some sort of botany-crazed witch who had learned to communicate with her garden and was consequently getting the plants to make everyone crazy at her command. I think that would have been a better story, actually.

And I couldn't stop giggling at this ridiculously serious Marky Mark; it was as if each scene was an out take of Dirk Diggler explaining to Amber Waves the organization method of his wardrobe ("they're sorted by color as well as designer. . . ")


Jess B. said...

I went and saw this opening night. BADDDDD mistake. I loved the other M. Night movies (yes, all of the previous ones) until I saw this. I think it was the worst movie I saw that year. The acting was awful, but I don't think it was the actors. I don't think ANY actor would have done well with that directing and script. I'm glad you got the chance to include it in your list of worst movies EVER.
PS...worst moment in the film: trying to out-run the wind. Classic.

That Chick who likes to Procreate said...

i don't honestly mind any of his other films either. you're right about the script, it was really bad.

Donald said...

This is the only M Night movie I haven't seen. His films range from being pretty good to really awful. Six Sense is a classic (if a bit overrated), Unbreakable was dumb but fun, The Village and Signs were both dumb but incredibly scary and tense.

Then he turned to shit, I think. The Lady in the Water (or whatever) was awful. Then Airbender was even worse. I can't imagine how bad the Happening was. Nobody defends that one.

Why is Marky Mark a famous actor anyway? He's ok in small doses, but how did he become a leading man?

That Chick who likes to Procreate said...

i know, there were no ab shots OR pants-dropping. what gives?

Donald said...

What's even stranger is that he's an Oscar nominated actor. WTF? He didn't win, right?

Justin Garrett Blum said...

I've never seen this one, either, and I probably never will. I read the spoiler a long time ago and thought, "Fuck you, M. Night."

I don't know...I think this guy would be better off reviving the Twilight Zone or something. I did like Sixth Sense and Unbreakable, and Signs wasn't too bad, but he has become more and more indulgent and bad since then.

Anna said...

yes! TZ revival, i'd be his biggest supporter.