The Happening’s mood ring tells me it’s feeling dismal yet pretentious.

July 6, 2008 at 6:50 am (movies) (, , )

Saw The Happening a couple of days ago. Warning to all; the trailers are much better than the movie, and since directing The Sixth Sense, M. Night made, in this order, Unbreakable, Signs, The Village, Lady In The Water. You seeing a pattern here, a downslide in quality? Yeah. Lists of the good and the bad after the jump.

 

The few good things in the movie.

Several death scenes. Despite the overacting annoying nameless worker, IMO the construction scene early in the movie was quite good after the first couple of bodies. Just hearing the thumping sounds and knowing what they were, with the occasional one falling into the background. The thumping steadily gets faster until nameless worker looks up, and we see all these silouettes toppling from the rooftop. Creepy and effective.

Ditto for all the hanging bodies, that was great. I think I’d prefer it if they’d done a bit more of this, just showing corpses [preferably with one more mass corpse shot] rather than always showing people killing themselves. The ones on the road don’t count, there were like three of them way off in the distance, it was hard to tell they were even people.

The boys getting shot – sort of. The buildup was very silly, but just seeing the shotgun slowly appear was very nice and suspenseful. Until stupid Elliot ruined the moment, [i]twice[/i], by doing the slo-mo heroic run that took it right back to silly again. In this movie, five seconds of nice and suspenseful makes the list.

The kid. Mostly. She was a cutie and she didn’t have as many lines to clunk through as poor Mark and Zooey.

 

The bad.

-It was the f*cking plants making everyone kill themselves.

-Unlike other movies with plants as the enemy, this one really tries to convince us that this is an actual risk in real life.

-And it’d not like, triffids or anything. These are the pretty little flowers trying to make us off ourselves.

-Long after things were established, everyone kept questioning them. Again and again and again.

-They full-on marketed that rating, and then failed to deliver. There was one bit of profanity – from the movie that is, not the audience. More importantly, where was the gore? That dude that got his arms ripped off by lions was the goriest scene in the entire movie, and yet we were watching it on a crappy quality vid taken from a fair distance away when the lions actually rip off his arms, they cut away to Elliot watching the video. Both freaking arms. What exactly did this get an R in the US for? Not that gore changes the quality of scary flicks, but in a crappy horror I find that some blood and guts at least makes the crap a little more exciting.

-Nobody would run. The larger group behind them had the toxin in them and the smaller group [i]literally stopped walking altogether[/i] just so they could ask Elliot what they should do now that the suicide-inducing toxin was right behind them. Seriously.

-Acting. I felt so sorry for them, they probably came in thinking “Oh, sucidal apocalypse horror, that sounds way cool, I can expand my range and it’s from the guy who directed The Sixth Sense, this is going to be so great,” and instead got killer daisies, a 100% a** script, and I’d bet my life some really bad direction just to top it all off and make absolutely sure these usually fine actors sucked.

-It’s supposed to be environmentalist, but the more obvious conclusion is, “kill the trees before they kill us.”

-“Oh Alma, I love you so much I want to go outside and kill myself romantically.” “Sure, me too. And we can’t just leave little Jess alone out here.”

-Sh*t was so random. Why were the crazy lady or the model house in the movie again?

-So not only can plants talk to each other, they have power over the wind. Nothing ridiculous about that.

-“The greenery is trying to murder us, let’s pack up and run to the countryside!”

-This movie is logical! It has science types giving scientific explanations for everything! The brilliant scientific reason for all the weird shit? It’s an act of nature, and we may never fully understand it. Genius!

-Was tiramisu a euphanism? That’d put a different spin on the ending when she found out she was knocked up.

-But seriously, that much fuss over her having a meal with another guy?

-The jokes were very out of place and not so funny. It wasn’t like it was poking fun at itself either. Occasionally someone would just go off on their own little weird spiel about something random [“Hot dogs! Cough syrup!”] and then it would be straight back to 100% serious again.
-Their love is so powerful it makes shrubs stop being evil. Oh, and at least this wasn’t in the final version, but apparently in the draft this wasn’t just implied.
Not kidding.

-Although that was taken out, the mood ring part wasn’t, leaving us with another entirely unecessary part of the plot, that doesn’t really make sense because despite what Mr Science Teacher Elliot says, mood rings are about as accurate as a blind man with a dart board. I have to wonder how much research M. Night did for this if he doesn’t even know that.

-What was with the constant close-ups of everyone’s faces? I don’t need to see their tonsils or count how many nose hairs they’ve got.

-It seemed convinced it was a good movie. In the long run, it’s nice that M. Night is genuinely trying to make good films instead of churning out no-effort mediocre pieces just for the box office, but for this movie specifically? Nothing like a crap that thinks it’s made of gold.
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2 Comments

  1. matt said,

    anybody think its retarded nobody covers thier mouth? its an airborne toxin, when you breath it you kill yourself, shall we tie some cloth round our faces to stop at least try to stop the toxin? na why bother?

    its just like the other film he did, signs, so an ultra advanced race who have mastered space travel have come to take over our planet, a planet with water covering most of its surface, it also falls from the sky, whats the aliens one vunerability? water…….

    brilliant

    im sure a super advanced race would have done some research.

    M. Night Shyamalan = Retard

  2. missbittens said,

    I didn’t think that they should cover their mouth, although I thought it was weird nobody tried holding their breath. And you’re totally right, they should have covered their mouths with something.

    The aliens in Signs were so stupid. And it was very contrived that the little girl left glasses of water all over the house. It’s not like they couldn’t have just used a hose, anyway.

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