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The Happening


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Product Details

  • Format: NTSC
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Studio: Fox Video
  • Release Date: Oct. 7 2008
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001E7LY1W
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #29,177 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)

Product Description

The Happening

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jenny J.J.I. TOP 500 REVIEWER on Sept. 27 2008
Format: DVD
The movie's concept is certainly an unsettling one and the opening of the movie is quite a push. An unseen force is causing people to suddenly become disorientated, lose the ability to speak and then commit suicide in creatively gruesome ways that richly deserve the first R rating Shyamalan has garnered. The fact that it first happens in New York City causes people to think initially that it is a terrorist attack. As the invisible "plague" spreads through other cities in the Northeast, that possibility becomes less likely.

But of course there's an intimate story, one that revolves around high school science teacher, Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) who has a nutty problem worrying that his wife, Alma (Zooey Deschanel), is having an affair when all she did was enjoy a tiramisu one day with a guy named Joey, who keeps calling her. (Joey's voice is played by the writer-director.) Elliot's friend Julian (John Leguizamo), with an eight-year-old daughter in tow, Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez), has the real problem, as his wife is not with him during the epidemic. He leaves his girl with the Moores to search for her. As the Moores and Jess bolt from Philadelphia by train, they become stuck in the small town of Filbert, as railroad communications have broken down, whereupon they seek help from one of the nuts, Mrs. Jones (Betty Buckley).

The film's problems are that given the blandness of the leading two Moores, the dialogue is bereft of wit. Nor can the formerly remarkable Zooey Deschanel save the pic, an actress who is still playing loopy roles as she did in Miguel Arteta's "The Good Girl" but who has lost her former cuteness with advancing years.

I have no final thoughts to send this commentary out on.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Richard Daystrom on Aug. 6 2009
Format: Blu-ray
The Happening [Blu-ray]
The Happening is a suspenseful, spooky movie with occasional gruesome violence, unusual to date in a Shyamalan film. This 2008 movie is a thought-provoking thriller that provides hints, but no real answers to the apocalyptic crisis. The audience is left to sort through the possible causes of the cataclysmic Happening, as well as to decide what it was that ended the crisis as quickly as it began.

Was there an environmental catastrophe? Was there some earthly ecological consciousness that arose to fight off the harmful human presence that is destroying the planet? Was it a malevolent supernatural force that moved in the air, possessing and killing victims in its wake?

What stopped or slowed the phenomenon? Did it peter out as a storm dissipates? If it was some satanic force, did it just move on to another place (Paris) to possess its next victims? If the catastrophe was caused by an intelligence, ecological or supernatural, did it recognize the power of love, which halted it in its tracks?

The story focuses on the troubled relationship of a couple (Wahlberg, Deschanel) fleeing their urban life in search of anywhere safer. Both characters were played simply, pared down, but endearing and demonstrating a vulnerability and truthfulness.

I was reminded of the Biblical story of Lot and his wife, and their flight from the doomed twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Despite the couples' efforts in both stories, they failed to save the population (or fellow refugees) after repeated attempts.

I didn't find clear answers in the film, but enjoyed debating the issues afterwards.
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Format: Blu-ray
“Sir, we lost contact.”
“With whom?”
“Everyone.”

I admit it. M. Night Shyamalan scares the beejezus out of me. I have watched, and actually own a few of his movies. The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs are all on my DVD movie shelf. I have The Last Airbender on my list to watch, as I really enjoyed the animated series. I will watch his others, I just don’t really watch television all that much right now.

The Happening is only a 90-minute flick, and it was a good way to wake up this evening when I crawled out of bed. Sometimes, when I have had trouble sleeping it takes me a while to get truly conscious, so tea and a muffin and a movie are sometimes the perfect way to wake up.

I didn’t even really recognize that this was a Shyamalan film until I actually opened it up in my movie rental list. Bless Dish’s little heart for offering a great list of free movies!

The Happening one of Shyamalan’s best, but it certainly isn’t his worst. Not as bone-chilling as some of the others, what starts out as what is thought to be a terrorist attack becomes something much more, as humans begin slaughtering themselves in Central Park. The contagion spreads across the east coast, attacking smaller and smaller populations, until nearly the whole population is extinct.

Shyamalan has created a tight film, set within a short time period, which addresses the human depredation of the Earth – and the Earth’s capability to fight back. I got a huge kick out of it! I loved the idea of the Earth finally saying Enough! If you like Shyamalan’s odd, quirky style and a film which addresses our carelessness towards this beautiful blue planet we are blessed with, give this movie a try.
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