The Happening (2008)

Genre: Thriller

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo

Synopsis: Plants start releasing a toxin into the air which causes people to commit suicide. A group of people flee to the countryside because they think they’ll be safe there.

Does anybody remember that time when M. Night Shyamalama’s name wasn’t synonymous with ‘wasted talent’ or ‘obnoxious self-gratifying masturbatory hubris?’ I mean, Unbreakable and The Sixth Sense were so good! Then you got Signs and The Village which were…OK…I guess. Then came Lady in the Water which proved that Shyoumalou not only wanted to have is cake and eat it too but also wanted to digest that cake, shit into his hands, and then throw that stinky wet turd into the faces of everyone who was silly enough to fork out $10 for a cinema ticket. The Happening is merely a continuation of that shit show. I won’t even mention The Last Airbender in any great detail otherwise I might get an invitation from the Earth King to go to Lake Laogai.

I have to admit that the premise is not bad at all. The idea of nature rising up to fight the human threat is a theme that had been utilized time after time and, occasionally, to great effect (Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and FernGully: The Last Rainforest for example). The problem I have with this movie is that the science behind it is just all wrong, and I say that as someone who hasn’t taken a science class since high school which was seven years ago. First off, it would take millions of years before plants could evolve to a point where they could release a toxic gas potent enough to kill every human in a populated area. Secondly, not every plant would be able to do this. The man in the movie lies to your face: plants do not fucking communicate with one another. They cannot organize genocide! Thirdly, tons of people would be naturally immune. Fourthly, botanists probably would have noticed plants being able to produce deadly chemicals before an event like this happened. Finally, people in cities would be the safest simply because of the lack of greenery so the whole progression of the movie is just flawed. DID ANYONE READ THE FUCKING SCRIPT!? God! Watching all these inaccuracies just made me want to throw my head into a glass window like the crazy old woman in the film.

Beyond the glaring scientific errors, this movie suffers from a lot of other problems like poor dialogue, terrible art direction (the shot through the jeep window made me want to eat my own head), and all the characters are super obnoxious. Mark Wahlberg plays a boring teacher who is the voice of reason in this all. Zooey Deschanel plays the cheating whore-wife except she didn’t actually cheat on her husband she just went and got desert with some guy (cue major eye roll). And then you get John Leguizamo who plays some douchebag math teacher. In the end I was seriously routing for the plants.

This movie is so goddamn frustrating I don’t think I can continue talking about it without my blood pressure rising dramatically. I will say this: go watch it. I need people to understand my pain.

High-lights:

  • They know it’s the plants killing people so why is the little girl allowed to play on a swing that’s strapped to some abused pony of a tree?
  • People running away from the wind and talking to plastic plants. WTF!?
  • The guy feeding himself to a group of lions was pretty epic.

Downers:

  • Everything. Absolutely everything. The lack of subtlety, the wooden acting, the fact that everyone’s listening in on a conversation between a mother and daughter for some reason as the daughter commits suicide. Every fucking thing will make your eyes bleed.

Summary:

This movie will cause you to bash your head against a wall whilst you curse the name M. Night Shyamalamalama. Having said that, this film is a must see. I strongly encourage people to watch this with a group of friends after toking a lot (and I mean A LOT) of weed. I don’t exactly know how to rate this film because it was so terrible so it doesn’t warrant a good score…but the actual event of watching the movie and venting my frustration was fun, almost therapeutic. I’ll give it a score to fully reflect the evil that Shyamawhatever released upon the world when he got the idea to make this movie.

6.66/10

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12 Comments

Filed under Crap, Good, Thriller

12 responses to “The Happening (2008)

  1. theipc

    This write up is greatness!

  2. You have both my respect for your intestinal fortitude and my condolences for having sat through this pile of cow feces. Or, for that matter, anything M. Night Shoop-boop-be-doop has done since Unbreakable.

  3. The Happening: good Supremes song, bad horror flick.

  4. Even fucking Mark Wahlberg hates this movie. His reasoning is awesome.

    http://collider.com/mark-wahlberg-the-happening-bad-movie/

  5. Oh, how you crack me up!

  6. Pingback: Celebrity children double feature: If I become famous I’m getting my tubes tied | bakedmoviereviews

  7. I tried watching this and gave up after 10 minutes.

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