The Happening - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Happening Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ December 29, 2008
Not bad not good. Just there. I guess it was an interesting idea. But something felt off.
Nikhil N.
Super Reviewer
½ October 30, 2011
Such a good premise to build off of, but it fails horribly in terms of acting and writing. The movie caused me to laugh a lot more then I wanted to. This was not a thriller. This was trash.
The Gandiman
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2012
Almost everything is so godawful about "The Happening" that it's practically impossible to pinpoint just one thing to critique about it. M. Night Shyamalan, who many thought had hit rock bottom with "Lady in the Water" actually delivers a film even worse than that.

An inexplicable natural disaster is causing people to commit suicide and that sets in motion a tale of survival that has the potential to be quite thrilling. Instead Shyamalan struggles to build a fully realized film out of this one idea. What ultimately kills the film for good is the ultimate explanation, which is one of the most absurd in a major motion picture.

Poorly conceived "The Happening" is potential gone bad. Really bad.
Super Reviewer
July 28, 2008
I have mixed feelings with this one. Amid all the bad reviews, I found myself intrigued by the premise and the tension was nail-biting and kept me on-edge throughout the whole movie (I kid you not... the whole blowing trees and tension music drove me crazy at times). However, I understand why some might not feel as on-edge as me, as I realized that there was not much happening in "The Happening".
Super Reviewer
June 3, 2012
This is the funniest horror comedy I've seen in years. I never thought that M. Night Shymalan would create a horror comedy, but it's yielded some interesting results. This film takes all of Shymalan's dumbest tropes and seems to trounce over them in a spectacular fashion, with hilarious scenes of death, intentionally stilted acting- Oh wait. This is actually supposed to be a real horror film. Oh... In all seriousness, this movie is perfectly awful and unintentionally hilarious in so many ways that it seems like Shymalan gave up halfway through writing the script. The movie is built for a RiffTrax and manages to be perfect fodder to make fun of. It's mercifully short at the very least, but this really is a terrible movie. The idea has a lot of potential, but the movie squanders any of that potential only a few minutes into the bloody thing. If you need a movie to laugh at, this is the ticket.
Super Reviewer
½ August 15, 2011
I remember shortly after "The Sixth Sense" and "Signs", M. Night Shyamamlan was being labeled the next Alfred Hitchcock. Whoever came up with that comparison should be shot in the face and then spit on. "The Happening" is humiliating garbage. Shyamamlan managed to make cardboard cutouts of every actor involved. Not that it matters, because the dialogue is as contrived as it is ridiculous. As far as horror goes, the scariest thing that happens in this movie is an occasional, and sudden gust of wind. Yeah. Avoid, "The Happening" at all costs. In fact, just avoid M. Night Shyamamlan altogether.
Super Reviewer
June 15, 2008
This is an interesting film actually, the story is pretty flimsy but its very factual and it could even happen, not to the extend in the film but its possible, as the facts are true.

Its not very scary or meant to be scary but it is quite spooky and eerie, it does come across pretty well with the atmosphere. People are killing themselves in a zombie like fashion and in all manner of sick ways (the zoo killing being a good one) and it is a little unnerving to see that. As the story starts to build and you understand what may be happening you do feel a slight chill down your spine, you wonder how you could ever escape from it, it seems impossible and you'd be doomed. The film does convey that chilly disaster feeling very well, but as it goes on it does lack abit of bite.

The cast are OK, abit wet really, Wahlberg just seems to soft and unfazed by it all haha none one is anything special frankly. There arent too many effects so I can't really comment there. Its an OK film with a cool idea but its lacking something.
The ending is abit strange too, didn't quite follow, I'm guessing the problem starts up in another country?? but a different type or different effect on people, I dunno, not bad.
Super Reviewer
½ January 22, 2011
Not that bad...
Super Reviewer
½ July 26, 2011
I heard this was bad but I just had to see for myself when it was on TV. Yep really bad, despite the director and actors involved this is very poor. The acting stands out as being really bad, almost hard to take them serious in some scenes. The script is bland and the story just odd and not really exciting. Avoid it!
Super Reviewer
½ January 18, 2011
Elliot: Can this really be happening?

Those were my words as well as I watched this. "Can this really be happening?" Unfortunately, yes it is happening. How could this happen? How could a director who once made such great movies as The Sixth Sense, Unbreakble, and Signs, make this completely amateurish movie. Everything about it should be in a shitty B-movie made by some college kid who has always had a dream of being a filmmaker. This shouldn't happen when your name is M. Night Shyamalan.

For one thing, the story and writing couldn' be any worse. I was in complete shock listening to what the characters were saying. Are you fucking kidding me Shyamalan? The two leading actors are two I normally like. Wahlberg is normally pretty good and Deschnael while nowhere near a great talent; is normally charming and entertaing. In this movie both are really bad. I don't think it's all there fault though. It still all falls back on Shyamalan. He's the one who gave us and his actors shitty material to work with. He's the one that gave them the garbage dialogue.

I really wish I would have just listened to the reviews and not watched this. It's pure torture. I still did hold out some hope that Shyamalan will make a great movie again. But then he brought us The Last Airbender, so that hope is almost all gone.
Super Reviewer
July 4, 2011
By the time the movie ended, I seriously wondered whether the film is suppossed to be either a paranoid thriller or a comedy in which M. Night Shyamalan paradies himself. This film is so bad, it works its way to being good again. Mark Wahlberg is absolutely hilarious playing a science teacher(a part that does not fit him at all). Zooey Deschanel gives a performance that is so monotone that it makes the plants in the film look more emotive. The plot is rediculous to point that one wonders how the script got past the writing room. Every attempt at suspense or horror is made un-intentionally funny. When viewing this film, it helps to watch it expecting a comedy rather than a suspense flick. My normal rating is 1/5, but on the so-bad-its-good scale it is a 4/5.
Super Reviewer
March 18, 2011
A mess, I am a fan of Shymalans The Sixth Sense and Unbreakable and Signs, but that was years ago and now hes making bad movies like this, its sad. Wahlberg and Deshanel are horrible in this. The plot is random crap that keeps happening (A.K.A The Happening). Who in there right mind thought of a movie about a disease that makes people commit suicide, thats right, M. Night did. Do you wanna know how it got horrible reviews, because it sucked!
Super Reviewer
April 30, 2009
Love this movie. Very good acting and loved the suspense :) Mark & Zooey are great :)
Super Reviewer
½ June 14, 2008
When an unidentified airborne contageon causes people to kill and mutilate themselves in vast numbers, a small group of friends flee the city to find refuge. There's something about the modern disaster movie that means everyone making them seems to forget to attach an ending. I Am Legend, 28 Days Later, The Day After Tomorrow, the list goes on. MNS's crack at the genre chooses to make the aggressor invisible which COULD have worked (I suppose...) but it felt like a "spot the zombie" competition where there was an apocalypse but the apocalypse seemed to forget to show up. I must admit I was almost glad that one of his trademark "twists" didn't come lumbering over the horizon, and the scenes of mass suicide and self harm were effectively creepy, but in a film like this you need a pay off of SOME kind. ANY kind. In the end it was like watching Lost; it was pretty to look at and enjoyably enigmatic while it lasted, but the so-called ending makes you feel like you've just been jerked around for the past hour and a half. I know MNS has got another good film in him, and i wish he'd just get his shit together before everyone loses patience with him. A decent exercise in atmosphere, but the biggest problem with The Happening is that nothing does.
Super Reviewer
January 18, 2011
After reading tons of negative reviews for M Night Shyamalan's The Happening, I was skeptical about watching it. However I was surprised that it wasn't all too bad. The film wasn't as bad as Lady In The Water and the anti climactic The Village. The Happening is not a perfect film, but it definitely delivers genuine tense, chilling moments. Shymalan's The Happening presents a natural disaster where plant life seek out to poison the human race on the East coast of the U.S in an unexplained phenomenon. People are forced to flee as The Happening causes people to kill themselves. The Happening is a good film, not one of Shyamalan's best, but not his worst. However in recent times, his work has suffered greatly, and he's become a parody of what made him such a creative director, now with the release of The Last Airbinder, it only only proves to be closer to the truth. But The Happening at least offers a decent enough story to keep you interested, and is quite a psychological Horror experience. I enjoyed this film, but like I've said its not perfect. There are two scenes that the film could have done without, the scene where Mark Wahlberg talks to the plastic plant and the scene where he makes that joke about the cough syrup. Those two scenes felt odd and heavily misplaced. But for what it is, The Happening isn't too bad and is simply an average film. Watch it, and make your own opinion of it, don't listen to the professional critics. This film is fairly entertaining even if it's not excellent.
Super Reviewer
June 15, 2008
although this is definitely my least favorite of shyamalans films, it was still a great movie that gets better with each reflection. it was less involved and more simple than shyamalans earlier work, and the acting and diologue were a bit weak at times, but the story was far more profound than people seem to be realizing based on reviews i have read. like some of shyamalans other films, people just arent thinking and are missing the point. the sign at the model homes near the end of the film sums up the purpose as it reads "you deserve this". this notion that humans deserve big homes and fancy things is not reality because we are not God, rather we answer to him. the subtle but effective theme of mankinds selfishness perpeates the film, and environmentalism seems to be a lesser point then mankinds refusal to think through the way we live. there is also a strong biblical theme of destruction being folllowed by rebirth that was profound if people caught it. great flick.
Super Reviewer
November 6, 2010
M. Night Shyamalan's "The Happening" is one seriously goofy film. I'm not sure why viewers take the movie so seriously, it has B-Movie written all over it. From it's wacky title, to it's silly premise and it's oddball performances, "The Happening" is just one strange little movie. Since the film so willingly embraces it's exaggerated 1960's, drive-in, paranoid sci-fi flick roots, it carries a light charm through it's brisk runtime. I enjoyed the film on all of those levels and I think "The Happening" shows Shyamalan at his most playful and childlike.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2008
A few great sequences pepper the tumbling shit-fest that is the Happening. Is this M. Night's anti-vegetarianism tale? It was like everyone (except Tak Fujimoto) really came together and fucked this one up together. Wahlberg and Deschanel deliver performances so wooden I can only assume it's some veiled effort at a meta-pun.
Super Reviewer
June 17, 2008
I kind of regret having wanted to see this so badly. The only real scares it generates are watching the people affected by the virus slowly succumb to it and kill themselves. There's something about seeing someone so calmly harm themself that's really unsettling and rather jarring. So is seeing the aftermath: like the shots where our protagonists drive past dozens of corpses hanging by thier necks from telephone poles, trees or hydro towers. The most frustrating thing about this movie is that Shyamalan doesn't know what he wants to do. His characters are as confused as he is, and the best plan they can come up with is to mill around the countryside aimlessly and cluelessly. He breaks his own rules; he establishes one code of behaviour for the virus and then has it behave in a different way twenty minutes later. And the requisite twist at the end? The lamest one yet. You know what would be a surprise ending from a Shyamalan movie? If he didn't lob some noodle-armed curveball.
Super Reviewer
½ September 13, 2008
Good. A few things that kept me from actually loving it, but it was good none-the-less. A bit freaky cause you really don't know what is causing the "drama" but not creepy enough to give me the shivers.
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