June 29, 2009

The Happening (2008)

"The Happening" is a simple film with a simple plot: mankind has ruined the planet so much that plants now see us as the enemy and are giving us a warning that if we don't stop then they can (and will) wipe us all out.

The plants are releasing a neuro-toxin into the air which causes people to kill themselves rather than each other (which is a bit different to most plague-based horror films). In some ways it was similar to the vignettes in James Herbert's "The Fog".

I enjoyed it for what it was. It wasn't horror just science-fiction with an over the top "green" message. But it was no worse than an extended "Twilight Zone" episode and reminded me a lot of the "Quatermass" TV series from the late 70s. Just replace John Mills with the much tamer Mark Wahlberg and you pretty much have the same thing,

Zooey Deschanel (Emily "Bones" Deschanel's sister) was really beautiful in it and it was nice to see John Leguizamo and his deformed grinny-gog mouth committing suicide too. David Eigenberg would have been less distracting and a lot more believable in the role especially as his voice sounds identical.

I wouldn't buy "The Happening" on DVD when it comes out because I'm not much of an M. Night Shyamalan fan anyway but it was certainly a lot better than "Lady in the Water".

People are bitching about this film all over the internet. I think it's just become trendy to bash M. Night Shyamalan's films now. The only negative thing I'll say about it is that if it was meant to be a horror film then it really needed some more gory deaths. As a teenage-friendly sci-fi flick with a blatant environmental message I think it succeeded even if it was a bit slow overall.

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