If you don't want to know anything about The Happening, then why in the name of God are you reading a review of it? Hop off!
The Happening (Winner of the "Vaguest Movie Title Since 'The Thing'" Award), for those of you who were living in a sensory deprivation chamber throughout the earlier part of the year, is the most recent offering from visionary wank-fart M. Night Shyamalan. Of course it's filled with social points, surprising performances from actors you previously discounted as being completely cardboard and of course the mandatory unnecessarily uncomfortable close ups of frustrated looking people.
That's pretty much par for the course in an M. Night film.
What's different is that this one was rated "R"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!11!!1!!!!one!!!!!! OMG U guyz!
The trailer and pre-release press were very aptly set up in a way to make people watching think "Oh my God, what if the things happening in The Happening really happininged?"!
Such is the way with semi-epic "Oh Gosh, what if something slightly weird, but not too chaotic, happens?" films.
In this film Mark Wahlberg's character (who should have been played by William H. Macy in order to make this film about 523 times less douchey) is a school teacher (See? Why is Wahlberg teaching children things? Truly this is a work of horror beyond compare...) and soon becomes aware that trees are communicating with grass and sunflowers and telling them to send out magical "Take 4 steps backwards then kill yourself" beams to all the humans in the vicinity.
A truly magnificently terrifying concept that Mr. Shyamalan has presented us with. If plants could make us all take 4 steps backwards and kill ourselves what would happen, man? Good God! It would truly be The Happening!
Yeah, unfortunately the whole concept of plants being able to release some sort of spore into the air that evokes the exact same reaction in every single one of the highly developed Homo Sapien psyche's it encounters is about as likely as M. Night Shyamalan's next movie not trying to mess with your head in one way or another.
Yes, bees are disappearing and yes, if we're to believe the crazy cross eyed weirdo in the movie, plants can emit some sort of spore that attracts a very specific wasp to deter a very specific caterpillar when it feels threatened by it's presence - but these things are insects.
Did you know that there are parasites that can completely envelope ants, snails and spiders minds and have them do their bidding? Turning them into effective "zombies"?
It's true! But there's a very good reason why no-one with half a brain created a movie in which those very same parasites were responsible for a zombie outbreak and it's because it doesn't make sense. There's a huge difference between controlling, distorting or completely destroying the mind of one of the most simple and low functioning creatures on the planet and being able to control the mind of any mammal, never mind the human brain.
Don't get all environmental on me!
The Human brain would be far less susceptible to any sort of mind controlling spores, even in as simple a way as we have communication and understanding to get us through such crises.
It's not like a movie couldn't exist where weird spores were affecting us in some way... why not make the spores just make people go a little nuts? Sure, suicide rate is up but everyone isn't killing themselves in exactly the same damn way!
That doesn't make any sense!
You could have murder rates up... people pressing their own eyeballs out through their noses, people hallucinating that their long deceased ancestor is talking to them through their bathroom mirror beckoning them to kill every pet Pug in the neighborhood, people stapling pancakes to peoples heads... a whole manner of messed up shit happening! People going nuts in their own little ways all over the place creating chaos!
But instead we have a bunch of people calmly stepping off buildings and Mark Wahlberg looking like he's on the verge of a very minor breakdown, from which he will only recover with a huge dose of Chamomile tea.
Screw this film, M. Night, your next one had better be about 100 times better.
(It wasn't that bad actually, just unrealistic... unlike Unbreakable, that made perfect sense!)
The Happening Movie Site
NOTE: To see how this film should have gone down, watch The Signal, which I reviewed a couple of posts back...