The Happening

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Remo D
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The Happening

Post by Remo D » Sat Jun 21, 2008 12:23 pm

Okay--I had several things to check out ahead of THE HAPPENING, and I couldn't get the damn Supremes song out of my head in the meantime.

The feature itself did the trick, I'm happy to report.

I thought THE SIXTH SENSE was excellent even though I guessed the ending ten minutes into it. UNBREAKABLE is probably my favorite M. Night Shyamalan film. SIGNS worked well enough for me... and THE VILLAGE was physically painful. It kept me away from LADY IN THE WATER to this day, and I'm still told that I haven't missed much.

But I must admit that I found the trailers for THE HAPPENING intriguing, and I also found it amusing that the entire TV campaign was based on the fact that it was the director's "first R-rated film." Well, that wasn't the exact reason I checked the film out, but it certainly didn't hurt--and the film lives up to the rating in the first few minutes. In fact, THE HAPPENING boasts one of the most effective first acts in recent horror history as the population gradually falls sway to disorientation, followed by self-destruction...

Thankfully, we're no longer hung up on waiting for "the twist." Rather than attempt to 'outdo' himself by screwing with our heads, Shyamalan has served up a classic formula 'nature strikes back' thriller, plain and simple. Sure, you can try to tie it in to current events, but the theme's been with us for much longer than that. It's not terrorists--it's the plants. We're making life extremely uncomfortable for them, so they're striking back the only way they can--by releasing a neuro-inhibitor toxin into the air. And there's nothing we can do about it except ride it out and pray that nature simply runs its course and lets some of us live!

The film is packed with great characters and casting choices--from the learned (but still helpless) Mark Wahlberg to the neurotic Zooey Deschanel to John Leguizamo's math teacher (who hopes to find solace in percentages), while the shock moments do their job consistently (the most devastating scene has nothing to do with plants or toxins, it will suffice to say).

THE HAPPENING serves it up on a platter without a scrap of deception--it ain't broke, and Shyamalan didn't try to 'fix' it. Works for me.
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Post by DylanDog » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:17 am

I didn't like it at all. Waaay too preachy for my tastes. I don't like being constantly told how awful human beings are and as if the plot itself didn't do just that, you are actually subjected to a lecture about it right near the end. This suffers from the same thing recent Romero films suffer from. The message has become more important than the story. It's propaganda thinly disguised as entertainment. And I didn't even enjoy it from an entertainment standpoint. I felt John Leguizamo was probably the best actor in the film and his presence was pretty much wasted. The humor was distracting and the whole sudden "old dark house" set piece was really out of place. And boy, wasn't it convenient that they found a perfectly functioning radio out in the middle of nowhere just in time to be updated on the situation? Maybe the only thing that worked for me was the opening scene with the construction workers. That was a bit unsettling. But overall, I didn't like it at all.

I didn't see Lady In The Water either, but heard it was terrible and didn't care much for the Village so after this, I've got serious concerns with him doing the film adaption of "Avatar: The Last Airbender".
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Post by zach » Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:27 pm

Wow, this is the first review of the film i've seen that did not seriously declair it to be "the worst film in the history of film" or some variation thereof. I haven't seen it, but i've not seen one even remotely positive thing about the movie over many reviews that i've read. Dunno what that says, just throwing it out there.
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Post by Remo D » Tue Jun 24, 2008 8:07 am

Maybe I'm just becoming Roger Ebert in my old age--that's twice I've walked into a film expecting to hate it (GET SMART being the other) and walked out pleasantly surprised. I believe Ebert liked this one, too.

As for "the message," surely you don't think it was laid on as thick as it was in the 1970s with films like FROGS? You didn't get a ten-minute lecture from Steven Seagal at the end, either--you got a theory. Hey--if a dog doesn't like you, you know what he's going to do about it. But a plant? I thought that was reasonably fresh. The humor worked extremely well for me--especially when Mark Wahlberg tried his hand at talking to a plant and eventually realizing what he was doing... well, it worked because I enjoyed and believed in the characters throughout.

And he wasn't really a ghost, and Darth Vader wasn't really his father, and we didn't stop for a corn dance every ten minutes while we prithee we attempt to communicate with those of whom we do not speak in the woods... zzzzz...
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Post by wofshevy » Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:39 pm

Are you kidding me. This movie is PURE SHIT. The opening is ok but from there on out the movie turns into a joke. How can you EVEN suggest a movie to anyone that the main plot line is on running from the WIND. OHH watch out here comes the wind. Lets go that way. Oh wait its over here lets go there. And the acting in this has to be the worst. I mean how in the hell you gonna act horrified of the fucking wind. Get real man. Go see some some good movies like THE HULK,IRONMAN,WANTED. I can just see M. Night Shyamalan coming up for the idea for this movie. How can I fuck the studio on efx money so I can make more. I've got it Ill make a movie about people running from the wind. Shit the LOVE GURU was better then this and thats pretty fucking Bad.


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Post by Latte Thunder » Thu Jul 03, 2008 8:51 pm

DylanDog wrote:I didn't see Lady In The Water either, but heard it was terrible and didn't care much for the Village so after this, I've got serious concerns with him doing the film adaption of "Avatar: The Last Airbender".
Let me sum up Lady In The Water for you this way.

Shyamalan's cameo graduated to a substantial role in the movie. Check this out: Shyamalan, whose ego, I'm told, supports its own weather system and ecology, plays an author working on some vaguely outlined novel that will, in the coming days, save humanity from itself. It's never explained why, but he is going to save us all. Paul Giamatti must have been fucking pissed off that he was upstaged by the director in an already really shitty movie.

I pretty swore off Shyamalan after The Village but my wife still held on until we realized how hard our intellect was being fucked in the ass by this hack during Lady In The Water.

Neither of us had any interest in The Happening. I like a topical flick but a certain degree of skill is required to simultaneously tell a story and weave allegory into the mix at the same time and few filmmakers have that ability these days. With climate change being the big fucking deal right now, Hollywood's blunt criticism of the Iraq war has taken a backseat. Want to be punched in the face by values? Check out that Day The Earth Stood Still trailer. With no scary Soviet Union and a superior nuclear stockpile to scare the shit out of us anymore they have to come up with something and it looks like Klaatu is going to pound you over the head with a reminder of your personal carbon footprint until the credits roll.

Sorry. Didn't mean to derail the thread.
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Post by Clark Chaos » Fri Jul 04, 2008 12:26 am

I was bored with the Happening.

Just missed the mark.
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Post by Remo D » Sat Jul 05, 2008 8:25 am

wofshevy wrote:Are you kidding me. This movie is PURE SHIT. The opening is ok but from there on out the movie turns into a joke. How can you EVEN suggest a movie to anyone that the main plot line is on running from the WIND. OHH watch out here comes the wind. Lets go that way. Oh wait its over here lets go there. And the acting in this has to be the worst. I mean how in the hell you gonna act horrified of the fucking wind. Get real man. Go see some some good movies like THE HULK,IRONMAN,WANTED. I can just see M. Night Shyamalan coming up for the idea for this movie. How can I fuck the studio on efx money so I can make more. I've got it Ill make a movie about people running from the wind. Shit the LOVE GURU was better then this and thats pretty fucking Bad.
Ah, but I believe I'm the only one who caught PROM NIGHT (the remake). There's a new standard of 'worthless' out there, and something that at least catches the vibe of the 70s eco-horror films that I actually enjoyed doesn't qualify. And by the way, I did see HULK, IRON MAN and most of the other 'big' summer movies and dealt with them separately. We disagree. C'est la vie.
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Post by wofshevy » Sat Jul 05, 2008 10:45 am

Remo D wrote:Ah, but I believe I'm the only one who caught PROM NIGHT (the remake). There's a new standard of 'worthless' out there, and something that at least catches the vibe of the 70s eco-horror films that I actually enjoyed doesn't qualify. And by the way, I did see HULK, IRON MAN and most of the other 'big' summer movies and dealt with them separately. We disagree. C'est la vie.
No I saw the Prom Night remake also. CRAP. BUt still that is better the THE HAPPENING.BUt I mean come on FROGS,DAY OF THE ANIMALS,STANLY,BEN WILLARD, PHASE 4 and just about any 70s eco monster flick is better then THE HAPPENING. Hell GODZILLA VS THE SMOG MONSTER is epic compared to THE HAPPENING. Please. The BEAR in this movie is about people running from the wind. Come on. BAd is bad and this is BAD. NO way around it. THE HAPPENING is one of the worst movies ever made. And thats saying a lot. Here this is the PERFECT ECO movie that you should be reccommening to people to see. THE RUINS. You may have I dont know.THE RUINS is a far superior PLANT ATTACK movie and done much better and with HORROR.

Al

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Post by Remo D » Sat Jul 05, 2008 2:07 pm

wofshevy wrote:No I saw the Prom Night remake also. CRAP. BUt still that is better the THE HAPPENING.BUt I mean come on FROGS,DAY OF THE ANIMALS,STANLY,BEN WILLARD, PHASE 4 and just about any 70s eco monster flick is better then THE HAPPENING. Hell GODZILLA VS THE SMOG MONSTER is epic compared to THE HAPPENING. Please. The BEAR in this movie is about people running from the wind. Come on. BAd is bad and this is BAD. NO way around it. THE HAPPENING is one of the worst movies ever made. And thats saying a lot. Here this is the PERFECT ECO movie that you should be reccommening to people to see. THE RUINS. You may have I dont know.THE RUINS is a far superior PLANT ATTACK movie and done much better and with HORROR.

Al
Feel free to look up my take on THE RUINS earlier in this forum (you'd have to look it up as REMO D. RUINS PROM NIGHT AT THE SPOOK SHOW, I believe). I certainly do agree that THE RUINS was better than THE HAPPENING (and as a Godzilla nut, if I had to choose between SMOG MONSTER...). On the other hand, I'm not going to turn back and pretend that I didn't enjoy a film that I did enjoy simply because somebody vehemently disagrees with me. If you truly think that PROM NIGHT was superior to THE HAPPENING, or that THE HAPPENING was genuinely one of the very worst films of all time, I'm not about to tell you that you "should" believe otherwise.
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Post by wofshevy » Sun Jul 06, 2008 9:52 am

Remo D wrote:Feel free to look up my take on THE RUINS earlier in this forum (you'd have to look it up as REMO D. RUINS PROM NIGHT AT THE SPOOK SHOW, I believe). I certainly do agree that THE RUINS was better than THE HAPPENING (and as a Godzilla nut, if I had to choose between SMOG MONSTER...). On the other hand, I'm not going to turn back and pretend that I didn't enjoy a film that I did enjoy simply because somebody vehemently disagrees with me. If you truly think that PROM NIGHT was superior to THE HAPPENING, or that THE HAPPENING was genuinely one of the very worst films of all time, I'm not about to tell you that you "should" believe otherwise.
Its cool. If you liked the movie you did. I just dont see how. But to each his own. I just wanted to warn people how bad it is.
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Post by Rainbow Brite » Sun Jul 06, 2008 7:08 pm

I am one of the 3 people in the planet that liked Lady in the Water. I actually loved it. I have seen it many times. I think Paul Giamatti's humble acting makes this movie shine for me. and I believe Mnight deserves his pretentious ego. He writes, directs and acts in his films. In my movie watching world, he can have his own weather system as you put it. I think he deserves it.

The happening however, just wasn't happening. The only redeeming part of the whole movie for me was the mark w stint about the cough syrup and the pharmacist. That got a good laugh out of me. Otherwise. I thought it stunk.

:(

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Post by Irrylath » Mon Jul 07, 2008 5:13 pm

Rainbow Brite wrote:I am one of the 3 people in the planet that liked Lady in the Water. I actually loved it. I have seen it many times. I think Paul Giamatti's humble acting makes this movie shine for me. and I believe Mnight deserves his pretentious ego. He writes, directs and acts in his films. In my movie watching world, he can have his own weather system as you put it. I think he deserves it.

The happening however, just wasn't happening. The only redeeming part of the whole movie for me was the mark w stint about the cough syrup and the pharmacist. That got a good laugh out of me. Otherwise. I thought it stunk.

:(

word sistah! I love Lady in the Water...and The Village. This one, however, didn't do it for me...though some of those deaths were gruesome and have stuck with me. I'm not sorry I went and I don't hate this one, but I doubt I'll watch it numerous times once I buy it for my M Night collection of goodness. :D It's lacking the character development and empathy for me...and the running from the wind thing=lame.
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Post by Frank the Hammer » Wed Jul 09, 2008 11:44 am

It's so wierd. The Village is one of my favorite movies. I must watch that thing 5x a year.

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Post by DylanDog » Wed Jul 09, 2008 8:38 pm

That is weird.
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Post by Clark Chaos » Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:49 am

I liked Lady In The Water, enjoyed the whole story and set up. So you are not that alone Rainbow. :D
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Post by Rainbow Brite » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:10 pm

Clark Chaos wrote:I liked Lady In The Water, enjoyed the whole story and set up. So you are not that alone Rainbow. :D
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Post by Jonathan » Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:49 pm

I enjoyed Lady In the Water.

I went to the Happening with a self-proclaimed Shyamalan fanatic. She said he either makes movies that are brilliant or movies that suck. No in between.

I wouldn't say the Happening sucked. If it wasn't for me finding great humor in the fact that Marky Mark is the worst actor in the world (sorry Keanu), and they actually casted him as a science teacher(!), I think it would've sucked.

This would be a great Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie.
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Post by imperator_Drakul » Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:29 pm

have yet to see this one, and Lady in the Water was one of the most boring movies i've seen with a laughable score. but that's just me,you know, my opinion.

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Post by Remo D » Sat Jul 12, 2008 10:33 am

All fine by me--that means I get to like THE HAPPENING and not feel guilty about it... wow, had no idea what a thread this would become!
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