The Happening (2008)

M. Night Shyamalan’s 5th outing since 6th Sense, and still not meeting up to the mark set by that stellar example of the craft.  (My hair stood on end when you-know-what was revealed.)

This film, perhaps because people like to compare Shyamalan’s films, has suffered from an incredible assault from critics – amateur or professional alike.  If you’ve heard anything about it, what you’ve probably heard is that it’s awful.

The movie as a whole isn’t awful, but some moments definitely are – and shouldn’t have made it into the final cut. For instance there’s a scene where a man ends up in a zoo enclosure with a pride of lions, they attack him and rip his arms off – but the physics just don’t work at all, it’s a completely ludicrous scene, and not one that fits consistently with the internal logic of the movie – they pull his arms off, one then the other, while he remains standing.  It doesn’t make any sense, and is more what I’d expect to see in something like Gore Gore Girls.

The violence is visceral, with numerous gruesomely realistic (excepting the lion scene) deaths portrayed graphically on screen.

The extended sequence with the pistol was quite something.

Mark Wahlberg in probably his worst performance in years, not sure if it’s due to writing, directing, or decisions he made for himself, but he uses an odd tone of voice that doesn’t let up.

Oh and his wife/the love interest (Zoeey Deschanel) has a weird goddamn face, probably all due to her eyes – it’s like she’s on some sort of tranquilisers the whole time, or she’s just woken up from a coma, or who knows what.

If you like movies, go and see it for yourself, don’t just drink second-hand haterade – it’s better than a lot of people are giving it credit for.  (If you don’t like movies, why the hell are you reading this?)