(2008)

Critic Reviews

34

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
75
A movie that I find oddly touching. It is no doubt too thoughtful for the summer action season, but I appreciate the quietly realistic way Shyamalan finds to tell a story about the possible death of man.
75
Miami Herald
Even when his scripts aren't working, Shyamalan knows how to frame shots and build suspense. The Happening, even more than his previous films, has a visual elegance and subtlety that helps to overcome the less successful aspects of the plot.
50
Some sure symptoms: The movie demonstrates a smart movie geek's obsession with the rhythms and gory details of horror storytelling, undermined by a pompous insistence on spiritual lessons of the tritest kind.
50
It's an entertaining movie, which is half the game, but it's not scary, which it should be. Neither is it something to be taken seriously, though it's intended to be.
50
As for The Happening, his throwback horror flick that plays like "The Birds" meets "The Blob," it's beyond good and evil. It's dumbfounding.
50
The Hollywood Reporter
The movie seems more like a '50s science fiction film of extreme paranoia or an episode of "The Twilight Zone" that even at a swiftly paced 90 minutes feels padded.
50
If what audiences are looking for is a thrill ride, or even a pervasive eeriness, The Happening's just not happening.
40
The film never builds past its initial idea, the references to 9/11 feel cheap, the good actors are wasted, and the bad ones are distracting.
38
Shyamalan isn't drawing the caliber of performances from his actors as he used to. Who can forget Haley Joel Osment's haunting portrayal in The Sixth Sense or that of Toni Collette, who played his mother, or Bruce Willis in arguably his best role?
25
Film critics have been asked to say as little as possible about M. Night Shyamalan's new scare film about the perils of messing with Mother Nature. Fair enough. But I will say this: It's not happening.
10
The Happening makes you wonder whether Mr. Shyamalan's own switch may have been flipped. How else to explain his film's befuddling infelicities, insistent banalities, shambling pace and pervasive ineptitude?

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