The Happening

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, Ashlyn Sanchez

The Happening Poster


This review has no spoilers.

I put off watching this movie for awhilem I had heard that it was pretty horrible, and I haven’t enjoyed an M Night film since Unbreakable. I never did see Lady In The Water, but I heard it was one of his better films, so it’s possible he hasn’t entirely gone downhill. You wouldn’t be able to tell that he once had talent by watching this movie though, it’s a jumble of failures with little to no redeemable moments. It’s bad to the point that there is no single tipping point for where it all went wrong. There are just so many different factors that all failed with this movie, it’s hard to believe that M Night actually thought he had a great film on his hands.

The story felt like it had once started with a pretty cool idea, but then through a substantial process of adding plot points and subsequent dumbing down of the plot, the movie ended up being neither interesting, nor compelling. You never feel like anything is really at risk, the “enemy” of the movie never feels very dangerous and there is a severe lack of urgency in the film. Add that to the fact that you never get that attached emotionally to the characters, and you end up feeling bored and indifferent.

Wahlberg, Deshanel, and Leguizamo are all very talented actors, which is why it was so disheartening to see them act so horribly in this movie. Every character felt wooden, and you get the sense that the actors were just sleep walking through their lines. There was also absolutely no chemistry between Mark and Zooey, which considering the romance and their troubles was the major plot device, made the movie almost a chore to watch.

I will admit that some of the suicides in the film were interesting and looked pretty real, but that’s not the sort of thing I look for in a movie (which is probably why I never bothered watching the Hostel series). I have basically lost all respect for M Night, and at this point I doubt I will watch another of his movies unless he really steps it up. I wouldn’t recommend watching this movie, you aren’t missing anything by not seeing it.


~ by Hobbes on October 6, 2008.

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