The Happening (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Happening (2008)



Critic Consensus: The Happening begins with promise, but unfortunately descends into an incoherent and unconvincing trifle.

Movie Info

"The Happening" is a lightning-paced, heart-pounding paranoid thriller about a family on the run from an inexplicable and unstoppable event that threatens not only humankind, but the most basic human instinct of them all--survival.more
Rating: R (for violent and disturbing images)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 7, 2008
Box Office: $64.5M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Mark Wahlberg
as Elliot Moore
Zooey Deschanel
as Alma Moore
Betty Buckley
as Mrs. Jones
Frank Collison
as Nursery Owner
Jeremy Strong
as Private Auster
Alan Ruck
as Principal
Victoria Clark
as Nursery Owner's Wife
Alison Folland
as Woman Reading on Ben...
Kristen Connolly
as Woman Reading on Ben...
Cornell Womack
as Construction Foreman
Curtis L. McClarin
as Construction Crew Me...
Derege Harding
as Train Conductor
Kerry O'Malley
as Woman On Cell Phone
Shayna Levine
as Teenage Girl in Jeep
Stéphane Debac
as French Bicyclist
Cyrille Thouvenin
as French Bicyclist's F...
Babita Hariani
as Medical Corresponden...
Alicia Taylor
as U.S. Reporter
Edward James Hyland
as Professor Kendall Wa...
Armand Schultz
as Talk Show Host
Sophia Burke
as Student Named Laura
Alex Van Kooy
as Boy in Class
Charlie Saxton
as Student Named Dylan
Kathy Hart
as Vice Principal
Lisa Gunn
as Teacher In Auditoriu...
Rick Foster
as Railway Police Offic...
Marc H. Glick
as P.A. System Conducto...
Don Castro
as Philadelphia Police ...
Bill Chemerka
as Taxi Driver Sal
Jan Ellis
as Older Woman with Dog
Jann Ellis
as Older Woma with Dog
Mary Ellen Driscoll
as Woman Passenger
Greg Wood
as Passenger at Counter
Peter Appel
as Diner Owner
Eoin O'Shea
as Passenger 1
Michael Quinlan
as Passenger 2
Lyman Chen
as Passenger 3
Brian O'Halloran
as Jeep Driver
Megan Mazaika
as Jeep Passenger 1
Richard Chew
as Jeep Passenger 2
Rich Chew
as Jeep Passenger #2
Keith E. Bullard
as Man in Crowd at Cors...
Ashley Brimfield
as Woman in Group
Mara Hobel
as Woman with Hands Ove...
James "Jimbo" Breen
as Farmhouse Voice
James Breen
as Farmhouse Voice
Carmen Bitonti
as Mangled Construction...
Brian Anthony Wilson
as Arguing Man in Crowd
Greg Smith Aldridge
as Zoo Employee
Ukee Washington
as Local News Anchor
John Ottavino
as Network News Anchor
Sid Doherty
as Radio News Anchor
Wes Heywood
as Radio Voice
Nancy Sokerka
as Radio Caller Fay
Julia Yorks
as Young Woman Voice on...
Bill Shusta
as Radio Newsman
Kirk Penberthy
as Radio Announcer
Alex Craft
as Truck Passenger Boy
Allie Habberstad
as Truck Passenger Girl
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Happening

Critic Reviews for The Happening

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (41)

At first, a great deal happens, then nothing much happens for quite some time, then something so underwhelming happens that one is left wondering, 'Did that really just happen?'

Full Review… | November 16, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

[A]n astonishment, so idiotic in conception and inept in execution that, after seeing it, one almost wonders whether it was real or imagined.

Full Review… | September 22, 2008
The New Republic
Top Critic

The Happening is an awful letdown, yet it leaves you with something new, as a gently waving tree -- that classical image of pastoral tranquillity -- mutates into a harbinger of doom.

Full Review… | June 23, 2008
New Yorker
Top Critic

The Happening is his first hilariously awful film.

Full Review… | April 17, 2015

Wahlberg is atrocious, as wooden as the trees terrorising him.

Full Review… | October 14, 2012

Horror film is long on peril, but thin on plot.

Full Review… | December 19, 2010
Common Sense Media

Audience Reviews for The Happening


Not bad not good. Just there. I guess it was an interesting idea. But something felt off.

John Manard

Super Reviewer

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.

Nikhil N.
Nikhil Nandu

Super Reviewer

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.

The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

The Happening Quotes

– Submitted by Augusta M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Henri L (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Seth S (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Rocky F (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Happening on our Movie forum!