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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
2,726 ( 339)
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

(at around 53 mins) At one point, Elliot talks about primordial bacteria in Australia killing off fishermen. Pyrethrins are a neurotoxin derived from Chrysanthemum plants, specifically those native to Australia. The toxin is commonly found in organic insecticides. Pyrethrins are highly toxic to bees. See more »

Goofs

Westover Military Base is an Air Force Reserve Base. The Private should be an Airman. 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 »

Connections

Featured in Nostalgia Critic: Signs (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Black Water
(1974)
Written by Patrick Simmons
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
The Happening: Woefully Acted, Barely Written and Just Absurd
8 February 2010 | by imagikingSee all my reviews

I suggested that my friends and I go to see this film in the cinema when it was released. As a result, I have never since been allowed to choose the film.

The Happening concerns a mysterious phenomenon which is leading to mass death and causing wide-spread panic around the world. Mark Wahlberg plays a high-school teacher thrust into the middle of this emergency situation with his girlfriend, played by Zooey Deschanel. They are journeying across the country to escape "the happening".

The premise is interesting to begin with, a message lying at the heart of the film. It is, however, taken beyond the point of redemption by Shyamalan. The script is simple, generic, unimaginative, boorish rubbish. Stupid, emotionless, and inhuman lines spoken by characters which might, with a degree of kindness, be described as two-dimensional. The relationships between them are entirely unbelievable and insincere. And the acting? Oh the acting... Wahlberg deserves a slap as the blandly irritating and vapid "hero" who appears to have only a single tone of mundanity available to him as a voice, and Zooey Deschanel is... well, simply, Zooey Deschanel isn't. Having Wahlberg speak to himself would have been less painful (oh wait, he does try that). The "expressions" of joy, fear, shock, and sadness upon Deschanel's face are entirely indistinguishable from each other, and indeed from emotion at all. Possibly the single worst "performance" I have ever seen. To make matters worse, both characters seem more attached to turning their heads to the side than they are to each other. You'll think they're trying to get something out of their ears. Perhaps its the sound of the dialogue, clunky and tacky as it comes.

Woefully acted, barely written, and just absurd, the only thing happening with The Happening is the steady flow of people leaving. Shyamalan continues his recent trend of awfulness, digging ever deeper his cinematic grave.


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