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The Happening (2008)

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

Director:

M. Night Shyamalan
Popularity
3,293 ( 739)
3 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Mark Wahlberg ... Elliot Moore
Zooey Deschanel ... Alma Moore
John Leguizamo ... Julian
Ashlyn Sanchez ... Jess
Betty Buckley ... Mrs. Jones
Spencer Breslin ... Josh
Robert Bailey Jr. ... Jared
Frank Collison ... Nursery Owner
Jeremy Strong ... Private Auster
Alan Ruck ... Principal
Victoria Clark ... Nursery Owner's Wife
M. Night Shyamalan ... Joey (voice)
Alison Folland ... Woman Reading on Bench with Hair Pin
Kristen Connolly ... Woman Reading on Bench
Cornell Womack ... Construction Foreman
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

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


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

USA | India

Language:

English | French

Release Date:

13 June 2008 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Green Planet See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$48,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$30,517,109, 15 June 2008, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$64,506,874, 18 September 2008

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$163,403,799
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Frank Collison, who plays the nursery owner in the movie, played "Victor" in The Village (2004). See more »

Goofs

On the train, Julian tells Jess that Mommy has gotten on a bus to the "town of Princeton". Anyone living in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area just calls it Princeton. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Alternate Versions

SPOILER: The DVD contains a deleted scene of a piano recital that suddenly becomes tragic; there's also extended versions of the Lion attack and porch shooting scenes that had to be dialed back to avoid an NC-17 rating. See more »

Connections

Featured in The Happening: I Hear You Whispering (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

Smooth As Silk
Written by Stephen Lang & Marc Ferrari
Performed by Stephen Lang
Courtesy of Marc Ferrari/MasterSource
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
If it's intentional, it's still a bad film
15 July 2008 | by supah79See all my reviews

I'm a Shyamalan fan. He's not afraid to take chances. And he believes in himself and his story. Most of the time, that helps. Gems like Unbreakable en The Village would never have seen the light of day if someone other than Shyamalan came up with it. His direction always makes sure his story gets the maximum effect. I like his screenplays because they always consist of two things: originality and well written characters. His new feature has neither. It's that simple. As a Shyamalan fan, I felt this disappointment a little with Lady in the Water. But now, it's twice in a row.

In a nutshell: Beginning in Central Park NYC, people are effected what is first believed to be a neurotoxine causing people to behave irrational, even to the point of suicide. But then the survivors start to uncover signs that it's not terrorists, but nature itself spreading this virus: yes, it's nature against men. And nature is winning.

I thought Wahlberg was a very poor choice. His range as an actor is far too narrow to play in any production that needs a little nuance. In other words: he shouldn't be in anything else than a movie about cops or (ex-)marines. Also the rest of the cast is surprisingly aloof. This includes Zooey Deschanel, who looks like she's a live-action version of a Manga character. Can those eyes be any wider?

The way the information is brought to the viewer is simple. There is a hinge of a critical message about massmedia, how we get our information and how we as a society are depended on TV, mobiles phones etc. to get in touch with each other. But it's nothing major. Because there really isn't much to tell. The first 15 minutes are the most interesting. Although the very first scene with the two women on a bench in the park (in hindsight) is telling. I really had my doubts about everything: the acting, the actions taken by the characters, the total mood and feel of the film. Once it goes into the 2nd act, the movie becomes more and more (non intentional) laughable and silly.

After seeing this I read that Shyamalan intended this to be an expensive B-movie, in the tradition of Romero etc. If that's the case, then my original rating of 5 (outta 10) should be a 3. Because nowhere in the movie does this become apparent. If you want a good homage, take a look at Zach Snyder's Dawn of the Dead (although that's really a remake.) I don't like a these talented filmmakers who want to take $100 million budgets, to make movies who look like they've been made for $10.000. But at least someone like Tarantino or Rodriquez adds originality and a real love for the genre.

The Happening is really bad as a serious film. As an homage it's boring and without heart. Take your pick. But you will be disappointed either way.


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