The Happening dir. by

17 June 2008

Cast: , , , ,
Rated :

IMDb ; Other reviews

I just don’t know. I really wanted to like this film. The few trailers I saw really seemed to hint at an interesting film. And despite the low-key opening weekend I was expecting some form of entertainment. I didn’t get it.

The Happening has a wonderful start. That scene in Central Park really works, it is creepy and morbid and effective. But once we get past that opening scenes we never reach that intensity again. We never reach anything but meh. I’m not sure exactly what Mark Wahlberg was doing throughout this film, but it didn’t seem like acting to me. Or maybe it was just the character; an overly clichéd teacher, so full of earnestness that he’d almost make you sick. And Zooey Deschanel? wtf was going on there. Did she really intend to come across as slow? Cause if she was aiming for quirky she missed the boat.

I’m not even going to go near the plot. But I’ve come to a realisation about Shyamalan’s film; the plot doesn’t really matter. I think that this is part of the reason Signs annoyed me so much. The plot was crap, it is here too, but Shyamalan’s films are all about people and how they react. Which’d be fine and dandy, only in this film the characters aren’t really there. They are confused and act in a fairly believable way in that regard, but as actual real 3 dimensional characters? Nope, not working.

And don’t be holding out for a twist. There isn’t one, there is nothing, just an end. Disappointing in the extreme.

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7 Responses

  1. weenie says:

    I want to watch this film…not excited about it, just intrigued. Not read any reviews and didn't read yours either….sorry – will revisit!


  2. jean pierre says:

    i think it might be a shyamalan condition that the actors undergo. in his films so many of his actors develop this overly wide-eyed earnestness that either turns them into the wahlberg model of cardboard samaritans or deschanel imbiciles.

    i was afraid of this. this night guy has such nice ideas and then he cocks them up so spectacularly.

  3. jean pierre says:

    "condition that the actors undergo"? that doesn't quite work.

    you know what i mean though?

    (there must be a better way to word this…)

    by the way, how is that little blogging spirit feeling inside you? is it getting better? are you feeling it, as you said?

    i hope so. although, if not, no pressure.

    its just yours is really one of my absolute favourite blogs to read. theres nothing like it. when you let go and you just let your thoughts pour out you write such funny and, almost incidentally, insightful stuff

  4. Fence says:

    Don't worry weenie, I don't read reviews before I've seen a film either. I just tag them and eventually hope to get back around to them :)

    I think you are right JP, it must be M. Night's direction that makes actors like that, cause Wahlberg, at least, can really act.

    And thank you for the compliment.

  5. Alan says:

    4 stars? I think that's remarkably kind. I think Shyamalan has gone a long way on the reputation of one movie, but I've kind of enjoyed the ones since even if they weren't as good. Unbreakable was kind of dumb but the dynamic between the two main characters was good. Signs had a stupid ending, but it cranked up the tension well. And The Village may have had a twist you could spot in the first five minutes, but it had its moments. This one was just dreadful. The characters were one-dimensional, the actors looked like they were sleepwalking, there was no tension whatsoever and the situation was just ridiculous. Add the fact that nothing added up if you gave it more than ten seconds thought, and quite frankly I came out of the cinema feeling like I'd been mugged.

  6. Fence says:

    4 might be slightly generous Alan, but there were parts I liked. The opening scene. The random craziness of the old lady in the house.

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