It Simply Ain’t “Happening”

Here’s what the critics are saying about M. Night Shyamalan’s latest movie The Happening:

  • a “woeful clunker of a paranoid thriller.” –The Wall Street Journal
  • “The Happening deflates from its grisly, early promise to repetitive images of people running through fields, the unlucky ones suddenly stopping, then searching about for convenient ways to do themselves in.” –The Associated Press
  • “Shyamalan’s throwback horror flick plays like The Birds meets The Blob; it’s beyond good and evil. It’s dumbfounding.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer
  • “What a bunch of nonsense—effective nonsense, chilling nonsense, occasionally wrenching nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless.” –Village Voice
  • “Here’s a movie trivia game I wish I didn’t have to play. Is there any major director who has made six consecutive films, each one markedly inferior to the one before? A case can be made that the answer is M. Night Shyamalan.” –Time
  • “It pains me to say this because I have always been an M. Night Shyamalan fan. Heck, I even defended him on Lady in the Water. But here’s the “inconvenient truth:” This movie totally reeks. It’s a flick that only Al Gore could love. The plot fizzles and falls flat after the first intense 15 minutes; I was ready to leave, but I was concerned that people would think I was scared (I wasn’t–I was bored out of my gourd). The scenarios are implausible, the dialogue is wooden and stilted, and Mark Whalberg’s flat, expressionless performance is an insult to geeky high school science teachers everywhere. Please, if you value your hard-earned money whatsoever, save the $9 and go see Kung Fu Panda instead. If M. Night Shyamalan was hoping to resuscitate his flagging reputation with this film, I’ve got news for him: It simply ain’t ‘happening.'” –Mike the Eyeguy, Ocular Fusion

    1. Mike the Eyeguy

      Of course, if The Happening is really intended to be a cynical, “wink-wink” send-up of some of the more whacked-out doomsday scenarios of hardcore environmentalism, then it’s brilliant, and my hat’s off to him.

    2. mmlace

      Thanks for the review! I love a good suspense/horror flick, and had seen previews for this, but was undecided as to whether or not it would be any good. I was leaning more towards the not-so-good, and probably was not gonna see it. Now I definitely won’t.

      I will, however, go w/my mom and my 4-year-old nephew to see Kung Fu Panda later this afternoon!

    3. Keith Brenton

      I wrote off M. Night Shyamalan after seeing The Village.

      What a colossal waste of time. How utterly implausible. As if you could possibly prevent technology from overflying and impinging on even a huge tract of privately-owned secluded real estate anywhere in the world these days, let alone the northern hemisphere and presumably this continent.

      Two hours of my life I will never get back.

    4. Mike the Eyeguy

      I gave MNS a pass on The Village, mainly due to Bryce Dallas Howard. I’m a sucker for blind redheads.

      The most implausible moment for me in The Happening was when the train suddenly stopped in rural Pennsylvania because, according to the conductor, they “had lost contact…with everyone” (not a spoiler, it’s in the trailer).

      Meanwhile, all the disembarked passengers are talking with friends and relatives on cell phones.


    5. That Girl

      I saw the movie Saturday night. Total waste of my free movie passes!

    6. Mike the Eyeguy

      I bet you’re kicking yourself that you didn’t go see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull instead.

    7. Keith Brenton

      I’ll bet Zooey Deschannel is cute, though. She always is.

    8. Mike the Eyeguy

      It’s funny that you should say that, because I didn’t think so at first, but by the end of the movie she had kinda grown on me.

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