What Happened to THE HAPPENING?

By at July 1, 2008 | 10:05 pm | Print

The Saturday morning after The Happening came out, I took advantage of AMC’s A.M. Cinema and paid only $5 to see it. I just couldn’t risk it after all the negative reviews. (see our review roundup of The Happening)

The Happening Poster Image

So was it terrible? Kind of. And kind of not. The biggest problem with The Happening? It suffered from The Hypening. It is very difficult to watch a movie that’s been obliterated by speculation. You can’t help but pick on every little thing. The guy to my left kept saying “stupid, stupid, stupid.” And the girls in front of me kept throwing up their hands in frustration (but still cowered in fear at all the scary parts).

Writer-Director M. Night ShyamalanThe acting is definitely awful in some parts — and mostly by the extras. The majority of the movie’s tone is just bizarre, but it’s not completely horrible. I feel certain if this came from an unknown director, people would have actually enjoyed it. But M. Night Shyamalan has a reputation to uphold, whether he asked for it or not.

It’s been reported that Shyamalan said The Happening was supposed to be a B movie. It certainly wasn’t marketed that way (oh, this again…). If the marketing team made a trailer similar to, say, Blood Car, the audience would have been more on board for all the quirkiness. I know one person that managed to go to the theater with no knowledge of the plot or negative reviews, and he genuinely liked the movie (although, he did notice the bad acting – it’d take a robot slate not to notice that). Me? I thought it was just as good as Hitchcock’s “The Birds” – nature turns on the human race and it’s eerie but bizarre.

I might suggest renting The Happening but it’s not on a ‘must see’ list. It’s scary and unsettling but a little off-putting. Just like all the hype.

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