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
Kristen Connolly has disowned this film and claims to hate it. She refuses to talk about the film when asked about it. See more »
When the woman at Rittenhouse Square Park (about 19 minutes in) picks up the gun (a semi-automatic Sig Sauer) that the police officer and motorist have just used to shoot themselves, the hammer isn't cocked. A semi-automatic handgun would have automatically cocked the hammer when it was fired and the slide blew backward to cycle a new round into the chamber. If the gun malfunctioned and the slide didn't blow back, the chamber would be blocked by the expended cartridge, and the woman would not have been able to shoot herself without manually clearing it out cycling another round into the chamber, which she clearly did not do. See more »
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 »
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 »
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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