Here is another installment of Upstream! We try to wade through all the offerings online, Netflix, OnDemand, etc. to find you the best options out there for streaming content. Usually these articles are dedicated to mostly lesser known titles that you may have missed their first turn out…sort of the buried treasure of late night viewing 😉 This time however we chose to help you avoid a landmine…and I mean a major one. M. Night Shyamalan’s monster movie without the monster, The Happening, is abysmal. This article will be FULL OF SPOILERS because no one should ever have to watch this horrible piece of film making.
I’m going to just jump right to the point…this is a scary movie that is not scary, a suspense movie with no suspense, and a monster movie with no monster…literally nothing happens in The Happening! Shyamalan must have at least learned a little bit from his previous failures with all his twist endings, he actually comes right out and tells you what is going on about halfway through, plants are pissed and they’re killing us…we don’t REALLY know EXACTLY why we’re pissed. There was no mention of the G8 Summit pissing on plants, NATO did not start randomly digging up trees, they weren’t closing down Central Park (where this all begins because we all know how dangerous that place is anyways). Nope, people just start acting weird, begin to moonwalk, and then kill themselves in highly creative ways. This was my first “huh?” moment in the movie. I could have understood a “rage virus” type of effect, or even a lemmings approach to culling the human herd (everyone walking off of a bridge for example), but each person took some highly choreographed method to kill themselves. There were exceptions of course, but if it really was just the people losing their will of self preservation then there were some real “Picassos of Suicide” they chose to follow in this film.
The film “stars” Mark Wahlberg (Transformers, Lovely Bones, The Italian Job), Zooey Deschanel (Elf, 500 Days of Summer), and John Leguizamo (Spawn, Ice Age). I say “stars” in quotes because my best guess is these actors were held at gunpoint and forced to act in this POS film, it is the only way I can figure they all put in such horrible performances. People accused Hayden Christiansen of being wooden in the Star Wars movies, he looks like Robert (f$%king) DeNiro compared to these thespians. I was honestly wondering if this was being played as satire through parts of the film, it was that bad. That ultimately falls on the director’s shoulders, and we all know there is already so much bad baggage there, he cannot carry anymore. Can I just ask, “Who in the HELL is giving him money to make these horrible movies???” I honestly could do better with a Jack and Jill book as a script and my Jr. High AV Club as crew…this film was AWFUL!
I’m going to spare you anymore right here…I watched this after pretty much knowing I shouldn’t and I relegated myself to thinking, “at least I can write about it” to make myself feel like I didn’t completely waste my time. Don’t you do the same…on every level this film is a failure, slow paced plodding script with little to no tension and ending that just kind of “happens”. It was one of the most poorly acted films M. Night has ever shot. It’s fitting this review is published on Friday the 13th, the film opened on a Friday the 13th in June of 2008. It taking this long to hit cable is also a sure sign of how bad it is. Don’t waste even a few minutes on The Happening, I have just saved you 91 minutes of your life, you can thank me later 😉