The Happening – A Review


The Happening

The Happening opened today, 11th June, 2008 in Trinidad and this is my incomplete review that may seem a bit disjointed.

Walking forward out of the cinema, as opposed to walking backwards, I came up with some alternate taglines for The Happening:

Froward Ever, Backward Never

The Answer, My Friend, Is Blowing In The Wind

If you have to see one movie for the summer you must see The Happening. That sounds like a marketing line from a biased reviewer but it is just my opinion. The Happening was a haunting movie that was fun, gruesome, intense, dramatic, sad, chilling, disturbing, intelligent, believable and yet sprinkled with humor. Though The Happening is an R-rated movie you would love, it is not for the squeamish regardless of age. I am not sure if Shyamalan wanted to prove something to his critics but he wasted no time in getting to the point. It was pure cinematic efficiency. As usual, Shyamalan’s characters were mostly believable except when there was a need or two for an unbelievable one. The atmosphere created was one of suspense and hope. You will jump, believe me, you will. The cinematography by Tak Fujimoto under Shyamalan’s direction was once again outstanding so please, finish your popcorn early. But that wasn’t all as Shyamalan called on James Newton Howard once again to settle the score, and settle it good.

Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, Ashlyn Sanchez, Betty Buckley and M. Night Shyamalan pulled it off and pulled it off in style. Mark Wahlberg was outstanding with Zooey Deschanel and John Leguizamo giving good support. Ashlyn Sanchez has a bright future ahead. Betty Buckley was simply bloodcurdling. M. Night – spoiler ahead – did not appear; at least physically.

I can’t figure why, but The Happening is a movie that is strangely satisfying in an unsettling way.

But in the end they wanted more.

Wednesday 12th June, 2008 – update: – I want to see this movie again and who is this Joey character anyway.

Friday 13th June, 2008 – further update:I just had this thought – People and critics are once again going to end up reviewing Shyamalan and not The Happening which will be an injustice to the movie.

The Happening Poster The Happening - The TeamMark WahlbergThe HappeningThe FieldThe Happening - The TicketClouds

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3 thoughts on “The Happening – A Review

  1. Pingback: the happening review | Hottags

  2. He knows how to use the element of suprise, that’s for sure — I screamed and almost threw my popcorn.

    Betty Buckley was perfect.

    Shyamalan does get a bad rap, my stepson and friends call him “Shyamalame”.

    I think so many people have gotton so cynical they can’t appreciate the craft — he makes really good movies around simple ideas.

    I’m not in love with every moment of his films — there are moments he flirts with making me roll my eyeballs, but it’s always just short of a full eyeball roll because I can’t think of how I would have played it either.

    But I’ll spend my money on someone who is working a craft over someone who is knocking me over the head with blatant gimmicks any day.

    …he did go for the gore on this one though, didn’t he? Still wasn’t overly gratuitous.

    Okay, and does your ticket stub say 45 dollars?! 45?

  3. Yep Kim, that is $45 Trinidad and Tobago dollars, which is about $7.00 US.

    I like about Shyamalan movies and it started for me with Unbreakable and not Sixth Sense. Your assessment is very close to what I would have said if I only knew how 🙂

    The blood and gore part of The Happening was probably what the production houses, UTV and Fox, wanted. In the end a movie might be “good” but if it doesn’t make money then there would probably be no more money for new movies.

    The Happening is doing well by comparison to Lady In The Water but probably not at the blockbuster level some might have expected. The production cost for The Happening is stated at $60 million and so far has made about $130 million.

    http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2008/HAPPN.php

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