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In this heart-pounding apocalyptic thriller from M. Night Shyamalan, the writer-director of The Sixth Sense and Signs, an unstoppable event threatens the world's population by attacking the most basic human instinct of all - survival. Academy Award Nominee Mark Wahlberg (2006 Best Supporting Actor, The Departed) stars as Elliot Moore, an ordinary man trying to save his family from a terrifying, invisible killer. As Elliot discovers the incredible possibility of what is happening, it is clear that no one - and nowhere - is safe.
You'd expect the end of the world to be no day in the park, but in M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening, a day in the park is where the end begins. One otherwise peaceful summer morning, New Yorkers strolling in Central Park come to a halt in unison, then begin killing themselves by any means at hand. At a high-rise construction site a few blocks over, it's raining bodies as workers step off girders into space. And all the while, the city is so quiet you can hear the gentle breeze in the trees. That breeze carries a neurotoxin, and what or who put it there (terrorists?) is a question raised periodically as the film unfolds. But the question that really matters is how and whether anybody in the Middle Atlantic states is going to stay alive. The Happening is Shyamalan's best film since The Sixth Sense, partly because he avoids the kind of egregious misjudgment that derailed The Village and Lady in the Water, but mostly because the whole thing has been structured and imagined to keep faith with the point of view of regular, unheroic folks confronted with a mammoth crisis. Focal characters are a Philadelphia high-school science teacher (Mark Wahlberg, excellent), his wife (Zooey Deschanel) and math-teacher colleague (John Leguizamo), and the latters little girl (Ashlyn Sanchez). Instinct says get out of the cities and move west; most of the film takes place in the delicately picturesque Pennsylvania countryside, with menace hovering somewhere in the haze. There are no special effects (apart from a wind machine and some breakaway glass), but the movie manages to be deeply unsettling in the matter-of-factness of its storytelling. Especially effective is its feel for what we might call the surrealism of banality. One warning sign that someone has been infected by the neurotoxin is irrational or erratic speech and behavior, yet Shyamalan has a genius for dialogue that sounds normal and everyday as it's spoken, yet flies apart grenade-like a second later as its logic (or illogic) sinks in. Then there's Deschanel's eye-rolling dodginess about the messages some guy has been leaving on her cellphone. Or the fellow (Frank Collis) who addresses his greenhouse plants as though they were his children--has a stray toxic zephyr wafted his way, or is this just his idea of normal? --Richard T. Jameson
Beyond The Happening on DVD
Jumper on DVD
Street Kings on DVD
Deception on DVD
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Excellent movie. It starts with a high school science teacher asking his students why are all the bees are gone?
Life deteriorates from there. Read more
I disagree with some of the other reviewers on this one. This movie creeped me out with the really strange but chilling storyline about Nature
apparently taking revenge on... Read more
This movie was beneath Mark Wahlberg. I was stunned that he made this movie. It was one of the worst movies I have watched. Do not recommend at all.Published 22 days ago by Heidi Souvenir
I dont know why everyone is so negative about this movie. This is now in my top 20 comedy movie list.Published 28 days ago by palmbranches84
|Topic||From this Discussion|
It's like Zooey doesn't know what movie she is in!
Aug 28, 2009 by G. Broschart | See all 5 posts
|M. Night Shyamalan keeps getting better||
i agree, this is shaymalan's best....and i'm not even a huge fan. i think that the mood he sets w/ pacing and imagery is the obvious genius, but i'll take exception to the other reviewers that claim that the story is garbage.....use your imagination folks, don't expect all directors to lay... Read More
May 31, 2009 by M. Chen | See all 10 posts
|of course i`ll buy this item||
You are truly sad. I "recomandate" you get some help.
Sep 1, 2009 by Couch Potato | See all 2 posts