15 March 2013

The Happening

The Happening (2008)
  • Director: M. Night Shayamalan
  • Based on Book: no
  • Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Lequizamo, Ashlyn Sanchez, Betty Buckley
  • Personal “oh yeah him/her” reaction, i.e. have seen this actor/actress in:
    • Mark Wahlberg: Planet of the Apes (2001), The Perfect Storm
    • Zooey Deschanel: Almost Famous, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, The Good Girl
    • John Lequizamo: Moulin Rouge, Romeo and Juliet, Repo Man, Miracle at St. Anna
  • Why bought: Included in box with Day After Tomorrow
  • Seen: November 23, 2012

The film starts with an interesting concept: something is suddenly causing people in cities to get weird and kill themselves.  People start fleeing. The epidemic spreads like wildfire in the northeastern states of the US, our heroes with them.
It’s scary. Just the wind in the treetops is sinister, and it turns out it’s the trees themselves that are sending out toxins to kill the human marauders killing the planet.  Not a bad idea. Nature fights back.
Otherwise it’s a run of the mill flee-the-disaster film in which everyone else dies. This one attempts to put more into it with some appealing oddballs, some likeable kids, (two of whom get killed by humans – that was a shock, they were nice kids), a couple with a shaky marriage taking care of the ten-year-old daughter of their best friends who caught the suicide bug.  The old woman in the house where they seek shelter is a truly spooky person. 
Unfortunately there were too many banalities to make the movie really interesting. One watches it with a touch of ho-hum under the excitement.  Worth watching if you don’t expect a masterpiece.

4 ½ * of 10.

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