You all knew it was going to “happen.” M. Night Shyamalan‘s The Visit is set to hit theaters this week. It’s a horror film with incredibly eerie trailers about grandkids staying with their strange and perhaps murderous grandparents. “Would you mind crawling in the oven to clean it,” says the Grandma in one scene from the preview. If this was not Shyamalan, it would be really freaky without second thoughts. Unfortunately, we live in a world where The Happening exists. The Happening was one of the greatest film experiences I ever had, but for all the wrong reasons. I was psyched for The Happening. The previews were great and scary, the people throwing themselves off buildings, the lawnmower, a girl stabbing herself in the neck! Instead, within minutes the packed house was hysterically laughing. When the suicides started, the laughing got LOUDER! By the midway point, it had become clear that this wasn’t just a bad movie. It was a spectacular trainwreck of awfulness, in the great tradition of Manos: Hands of Fate. People walking out cackled, “It might just be the worst movie… EVER!” So, for those nervous about The Visit, here is the Honest Trailer for one of the absolute suck-bombs of all time, M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 debacle, The Happening.
Check out Episode 12 of the Flix of Doom podcast, the official movie podcast of Geeks of Doom, with hosts Empress Eve and Justin Vactor, and guest Dave3 of Geeks of Doom.
In this episode, we’ll be delving into the mind of M. Night Shyamalan with our review of his new film Devil, and we’ll also be taking a look at his film-making career as well as bringing you the latest movie news and box office results.
Click HERE to open the podcast player in a new window.
Full Episode Guide is here below, along with player.
The Happening 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.