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. . . ")