Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Starring Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo
Fox Home Entertainment
Release Date: October 7, 2008
The Happening is an unbelievably bad movie. When I say “unbelievably,” I mean it quite literally; as in I actually can’t believe how bad the movie was, especially in light of fairly positive reviews from some of my most respected sources when the film first hit theaters, such as Roger Ebert and, yes, Geeks of Doom. I can’t believe the depths of bad acting that generally solid actors like leads Mark Wahlberg and Zoey Deschanel can apparently sink to under M. Night Shyamalan‘s directing. And more than anything, I can’t believe major Hollywood studios are still bankrolling films by this continuously diminishing director.
Okay, maybe that’s a bit far. I should probably back off a little at this point and offer a confession: I haven’t seen a single M. Night Shyamalan movie in full since 1999’s The Sixth Sense (which I liked, but I was only in junior high when I saw it, so hell, who knows if I really liked it). Without trying to cast aspersions onto other reviewers, perhaps that’s part of the reason I was so astonished by how awful The Happening is. I haven’t become slowly more disillusioned with Shyamalan with each passing film, and I have yet to witness last summer’s apparently equally horrendous Lady in the Water. But whether it was a case of too-high expectations or something else entirely, the fact remains that The Happening left my mouth hanging open in a way that Shyamalan and crew likely didn’t intend.
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