Dr. Venkman Reviews: 'The Happening'

by Joey Paur

I really wanted to be surprised by ‘The Happening' deep down I didn't think it would be good, but I really wanted it to prove me wrong. I am sorry to say that it didn't. I wanted to walk out of the movie and be able to write up a good review, but I can't. What happened to M. Night Shyamalan? He used to have such a promising future ahead of him. After this who knows where M. Night will end up.

The first thing I noticed was the dialogue in the film, it was flat and monotone. Every character sounded like the same person. M. Night could not write for all of the characters they were all the same person but played by different actors. Speaking of actors the acting was laughably bad! And they are all good actors! I love Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel, but they were terrible! Zooey looked like a deer stuck in the headlights through the whole thing. Mark acted like a 10 year old kid. I wasn't sold on it. John Leguizamo was good but he wasn't in it long enough. I have to say the best acting award for this movie goes to Betty Buckley who was the scariest part of the film! She played Mrs. Jones, and if a movie was built around that character it would be a pretty intense and scary film. It would be much better than ‘The Happening'. The part of the movie that involves Mrs. Jones was my favorite part of the film. It was just so creepy! Everything else is pretty forgettable. There were also a few funny moments that I laughed at throughout the movie but thats about it.

I hated the premise of the movie. I hated the explanation of why everyone was killing themselves. On that note the only reason this movie was made was to show the different ways people can kill themselves with whatever they had available for shock value, add in the special infomercial message and there it is. After awhile it just got boring watching people off themselves. This movie was marketed as M. Night Shyamalan's first rated ‘R' movie. I would have to say it was a light ‘R'. I thought ‘Lord of the Rings' and ‘The Incredible Hulk' had more violence than this movie did and they got a PG-13 rating. I think M. Night really held back on what he could have done if he wanted a ‘R' rating.

The Cinematography was really good and there were some really nice shots throughout the film. But I felt that the movie was smaller than it should have been. There was so much happening yet everything was confined and seemed small. He didn't quite hit the epic scale it should have been.

This won't be the last we see of M. Night Shyamalan. He has his next project ‘Avatar: The Last Airbender' set up with Nickelodeon. I am interested to see what he does with that. Hopefully he can think outside the box than what he is used to doing because it is very different than anything he has done before. One thing he needs to brush up on is how to direct his actors.

‘The Happening' is by far M. Night Shyamalan's worst movie yet. I think it will bring in a decent amount of money though. It's the type of movie people want to see until after they have seen it. But no matter what movie you end up watching always remember to enjoy your time at the movies.

-Dr. Venkman