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The Happening (2008)

R  |   |  Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller  |  13 June 2008 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.1/10 from 155,430 users   Metascore: 34/100
Reviews: 1,255 user | 318 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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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?


The exact answer to Julian's math riddle, with the average month having 30 days, is $10,737,418.23. (The answer is not $10,737,418.24, because Julian is asking about the total sum of the amounts from all days, and every amount is an even number except the amount on the first day: $0.01. Therefore the total sum must be an odd number of cents.) In addition, when the month in question has 31 days, then $10,737,418.24 would be the amount on the 31st day and the total sum after 31 days would be $21,474,836.47. See more »


After dinner, Ms. Jones tells the group that the guest room is up the stairs and to the left. Given the position of the stairs to the room when Elliot talks to Ms. Jones from the top of the stairs, the room was to the right. 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 »


Features The Great Dictator (1940) See more »


Jealous Heart
Written by Thomas Richard Smith Sr.
Performed by Marsha Thornton
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/MasterSource
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

It might be cliché, but it has to be said: The Happening is not happening.
12 June 2008 | by (United Arab Emirates) – See all my reviews

Shyamalan has proved to us earlier that he can be as good as the best with masterpieces of cinema with The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable. Yet, since then, he has declined steadily. Signs and Village were good movies, but with Lady in the Water and now The Happening, he has touched a level of incompetence that could never have been expected of him.

The Happening is about a pandemic that is gripping north-eastern USA. It starts with a stunning sequence of events that show people succumb to an unspecified threat – the brilliance of this opening repeated only once more for a five-minute sequence towards the end of the movie. Unfortunately, Shyamalan's writing is a big let-down for the rest. As the focus moves from metropolitans to towns and from crowds to smaller groups, the sense of fear is lost – the biggest sin a horror movie can commit. In the oft repeated criticism for its director, this movie would have been best served as a half-hour episode of Twilight Zone to make it really work.

And to add woe, the actors do not do much to better the experience – Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel are grossly miscast as the protagonists. Any of his previous leading men (Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson, Joaquin Phoenix and Paul Giamatti) can be imagined to have done a better job for the Science teacher that Wahlberg plays. The camera scrutinizes the performance to a degree that requires an actor with strength in emotions – Wahlberg instead brings a physical presence that the role does not need. Zooey, on the other hand, struts around like in a Disney movie, not for once threatened by the pandemonium.

This time, though Shyamalan humbles his vanity – you don't see him on screen. He now should swallow his pride and leave the writing to the writers. Armed with a better script, we can still expect Shyamalan to make his future movies worth waiting for. For now it is only the memory of the opening sequence, which can be proclaimed as mind-numbing greatness, which is really worth taking away from this movie.

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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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