The Happening (2008) Review
Written by: Gardenofstone10
Oh, The Happening, where to begin? I don't normally succumb to people trashing on movies. It's disrespectful to all the hard work that goes into making a movie an idea in the head all the way to something on the silver screen. For that reason, I give every movie a chance. This was one of the movies that SOOOOO many people gave negative reviews and even, in passing conversation, ripped a new one.
Despite all the negative things about this movie, one thing remained true as of start of watching and that is I didn't know who was starring in it. Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel were our shining stars and they both did a stand up job. Markie Mark, of course, is used to doing pretty boy tough guy roles and this one he steps down and does a more well rounded emotional role. Zooey is the same character in every movie and that's an emotional sweetheart impervious to mean people.
M. Night Shyamalan always has a way of throwing the viewers off in a movie. He takes a whole movie and balls it up into one cathartic moment that will forever drop our jaws. He abandons that technique for this movie, his first R rated movie. The first thing I noticed about this movie is that M. Night wasn't afraid to put blood and gore into this movie. First take was when a guy jumped off a building and we had a pretty little close up of his mangled body. Very appetizing!
As the movie progressed, it became apparent that there is no hope for humanity and no one is safe. Whether you've seen it or not, I won't talk about the ending but my previous sentence sums it up.
What made this film a 7 star movie to me is that M. Night downplayed this movie from the beginning. I remember multiple interviews where he said he wasn't taking himself as seriously and just wanted this to be a fun little B movie to help dislocate him from that typecast spoiler ending director. Knowing that, you can feel that he had fun with this movie. When a director has fun making a movie, we the viewers will have fun watching it.
It was also met with poor reviews because it was released in the summer, during blockbuster season. This isn't a blockbuster movie by any stretch of the imagination. Maybe if this were released in March or October, it would have been accepted on a higher level, but we'll never know. All I know is that this film is best viewed with an open mind and from there, you will find enjoyment. Peace.