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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon September 27, 2008
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. The Happening is a movie I know I will watch again, one that might even grow on me to the point I go from lukewarm appreciation all the way to full-blown love like I have with Shyamalan's Unbreakable. In the end, I really can't come up with a reason as to why, even with its problems, this feature affected me like it has. Probably certain things just are a little bit beyond our rational understanding.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2013
The premise & opening of this film were very very promising, however this film did not deliver. I believe this is down to the filmmakers concern, as they often make mention of in the extras, that they were trying to keep certification down to an R. The premise of the story totally deserved an 18 & over film. That said there are some truly nice weird scenes early on, it's just a shame that they didn't keep the pressure up. It simply doesn't deliver. So so so much could have been done with this idea, it really deserves a better remake to tell the story properly.

However this is not the only fault. Zoey Deschanel is not at all believable. Mark Wahlberg, however, on the whole is good. Apart from the totally diabolically unbelievable "acting" in the 'Porch' scene. What the heck was that all about? Dire.

So...Excellent story idea poorly orchestrated. It's OK for entertainment but little more.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on August 6, 2009
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. I enjoy films like this that offer more than just entertainment for a couple of hours. Shyamalan takes his place with Rod Serling (and perhaps even Carl Sagan) as a modern speculative storyteller who seeks to understand humanity and our relationship not only to each other but to the cosmos.

I enjoyed The Happening enough to purchase the BD copy. I have seen both the DVD and Blu-ray versions. The Blu-ray offers a few bonus featurettes not included on the DVD edition, as well as improved picture and nice audio quality, and a textual commentary track with occasional PiP interview material. It is regrettable that there is no commentary track from the principals or writer-director Shyamalan on either version. But the high-def bonuses are a must for any who enjoyed this film.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 10, 2014
“Sir, we lost contact.”
“With whom?”

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. It didn’t get really good reviews in a lot of places, but we can’t all like the same things, right? It isn’t Signs but it is a great little movie for what it is – one of the earlier works of a brilliant man.

About M. Night Shyamalan

When you say fear of the unknown, that is the definition of fear; fear is the unknown, fear is what you do not know, and it’s genetically within us so that we feel safe. We feel scared of the woods because we’re not familiar with it, and that keeps you safe.

Born in India but raised in the posh suburban Penn Valley area of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, M. Night Shyamalan is the son of two doctors. His passion for filmmaking began when he was given a Super-8 camera at age eight, and even at that young age began to model his career on that of his idol, Steven Spielberg. His first film, Praying with Anger (1992), was based somewhat on his own trip back to visit the India of his birth. He raised all the funds for this project, in addition to directing, producing and starring in it. Wide Awake (1998), his second film, he wrote and directed, and shot it in the Philadelphia-area Catholic school he once attended–even though his family was of a different religion, they sent him to that school because of its strict discipline.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: < mwprods@mindspring (dot) com>
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on May 27, 2009
i really don't understand all the negative reviews and criticisms of
this film.i thought it was very well's very intense and
suspenseful,and and very builds up suspense from opening
scene,and doesn't really let up.i thought the story was creative,and
the reason for the events could be possible,even though it seems far
fetched.i did however,think the characters were nothing more than plot
devices,and almost caricatures.none of theme were really developed,and
there isn't really much in the way of acting going on.but despite
that,i liked the film,mainly because of the high suspense factor,which
i feel overrides the negative aspects of the film.for me,The Happening
is a 3/5
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on July 3, 2004
This concert is one of the most wonderful things I have ever seen! I have had it for three days, and I have already seen it six times! I love it SO much. When I think about this concert, I get a knot in my stomach. I love having that feeling of excitement, all because Ms. Barbra Joan Streisand. Thank you.

-Emily (...)
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on April 4, 2013
j'ai recu le produit en quelques jours et j'en suis satisfait le film etait en excellent etat tout etait ok
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2009
An interesting theme, but the film should have been developed more. Knight seems to focus upon the mundane, everday-life, within his films. (almost a made-for-tv approach). His films appear to have a touch of a '19th century feel' to them. This remains okay, but when your trying to sell a film (and dvd) to an audience, the film has to include the same technological inovations which people endure in everyday life. Unless of course, your filming a historical film or documentary, which this film clearly is not.
Steven Spielburg could have had a 'field-day' with this premise. Knight should instead commune more with some 21st century producers. Knight should realize he now has the budget to exceed earlier 'high-school film project' concepts. Having said this, his direction and camera angles remain a distinct feature within his films. Still, no reason to look back at his earlier successful films - and not ahead to new ideas. Diversification is the key to a successful career in the arts. Life indeed moves in circles, and eventually he can return to his earlier film concepts. Instead, Knight should start reading sci-fi novels for future film concept ideas. Then take the time and budget, to invest in modern special effects, including CGI.
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on October 23, 2014
Love this movie its great a must see and own movie
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2010
I really liked this movie because it was suspenseful and moved along at a fast clip, but it's definitely not in the same league as The Sixth Sense. That was a gripping movie, filled with eerie, frightening happenings and great acting.

The opening scene of The Happening occurs in Central Park on a bustling, normal day. Two young women are chatting on a bench when suddenly all the others "freeze in their tracks." The girls are puzzled, but before her friend can stop her one girl sticks a sharp object in her throat and commits suicide. Thus begins a rash of suicides, construction workers jumping off girders in unison, police officers pulling their own guns and killing themselves... As the media and bureaucratic professionals try to understand and explain what's happening in the mid-Atlantic Coast states, people are fleeing the cities in droves.

The movie follows one couple, their friend and his daughter as they join with other survivors along the road west... As they strive to stay alive, their band gets smaller and smaller as people die off all around them, all by suicide. It proves to be "something in the air" and as they run for their lives, they learn little by little how to protect themselves. But the neuro-toxins in the wind finally catch up to them and...but this is one of the best scenes and I can't describe it without giving the plot away.

Even though this film had little graphics--simply an eerie wind blowing through the foliage--that, the pace and the music made it tense enough for me. And the good actors made it believable; just normal people with a fair share of problems trying to survive a disaster.

In my opinion, this is definitely not a horror movie; rather, it's a thought-provoking, creepy film that makes me wonder if something like this could really happen. There is a sweet love story between the married main characters that gives a satisfactory ending to the mid-Atlantic happening. And a frightening twist at the very end that gives the viewer further cause to wonder.

Not a masterpiece by any means, but it was very entertaining.

Reviewed by Betty Dravis, May 4, 2010
Author of "Dream Reachers" (with Chase Von) and other books
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