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The Happening (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  13 June 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.0/10 from 156,782 users   Metascore: 34/100
Reviews: 1,255 user | 319 critic | 38 from Metacritic.com

A science teacher, his wife, and a young girl struggle to survive a plague that causes those infected to commit suicide.


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3 wins & 9 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Joey (voice)
Woman Reading on Bench with Hair Pin
Woman Reading on Bench
Construction Foreman


Elliot Moore is a high school science teacher who quizzes his class one day about an article in the New York Times. It's about the sudden, mysterious disappearance of bees. Yet again Nature is doing something inexplicable, and whatever science has to say about it will be, in the end, only a theory. Scientists will bring out more theories, but no explanations, when a more urgent dilemma hits the planet. It begins in Central Park. Suddenly and inexplicably, the behavior of everyone in the park changes in a most bizarre and horrible way. Soon, the strange behavior spreads throughout the city and beyond. Elliot, his wife, Alma, and Jess, the young daughter of a friend, will only have theories to guide them where to run and where to hide. But theories may not be enough. Written by J. Spurlin

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

park | teacher | school | nature | bee | See All (214) »


We've Sensed It. We've Seen The Signs. Now... It's Happening.


Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violent and disturbing images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:







Release Date:

13 June 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Green Planet  »

Box Office


$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£1,632,055 (UK) (13 June 2008)


$64,505,912 (USA) (12 September 2008)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Shot in 44 days. Shooting started August 6, 2007, exactly eight years after the theatrical release of The Sixth Sense (1999). See more »


The plot armor on Elliot and Alma could not be more obvious than when the hermit with the shotgun flat out murders two teenage boys without warning, and THEN says the others have until the count of 3 to go away. See more »


[first lines]
Woman Reading on Bench with Hair Pin: I forgot where I am.
Woman Reading on Bench: You're at the place where the killers meet to decide what to do with the crippled girl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Moving clouds form the backdrop for the opening and closing credits. On the end credits, they've become stormclouds with lightning. On the end credits, M. Night Shyamalan's name vanishes. See more »


References Fatal Attraction (1987) See more »


Black Water
Written by Patrick Simmons
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Believe it...
12 June 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I hate this. I want to tell you guys that this was Shyamalan's comeback and that this film is just as terrifying as you've been promised. But, I cannot.

The film starts off actually quite well. Minus some less than stellar acting (in fact, its horrible) and some just as bad dialogue, I really thought that maybe this film could pull it off. Disturbing death scenes ensue.

Then, bring in Mark Wahlberg. What happened to this guy? Nominated for an Oscar for his turn in The Departed, Wahlberg seems like a safe bet, but in actuality, he's playing a role that just isn't made for him. This role was made for someone nicer. Walhberg has been typecast time and time again as the angry and bad-ass guy, and now I see why. He's good at that and god awful at being nice.

No one else is particularly good either. Zoey Deschanel disappoints, John Leguizamo (Everyone in this movie has a name that's difficult to spell), and all of the extras are just as bad. There is not a single moment of good acting in this movie.

And all of that is because of how rushed this film feels. This is one of those movies that it seriously felt like the director was working on a very limited budget and then took the first take for every actor, none of them had a chance to get into their roles (or so I hope).

It's obvious who will get all of the blame for this (M. Night Shyamalan) and it's really too bad. I can't say that the plot is necessarily bad, it isn't, and with maybe one more draft the script would've been good. The faults of this film all land on Night's shoulders though. I hate to say it because I am very much not a hater of his (I love The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and Signs) but I'm forced to say I hate this movie. Not so much for how bad it actually is (it's very bad) but because I really had faith in the director. The trailers almost felt promising and Shyamalan (am I even spelling this right?) promised me that I'd walk out shaking. Instead, I was shaking my head in disappointment.

One thing I'd like to add on though, I can tell that they were going for a Hitchcock vibe and the best way I feel that I can describe this is "a very bad version of The Birds." That is all.

792 of 1,334 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Finally, i watched this film and was surprised Akhi1
John Leguizamo jimmyr5595
Seriously, how bad is this movie? payback122
why didnt they use gas masks zyggums
B-Movie? robbbbo
This movie is fantastic. I_am_alive_DUH
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