Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Happening


  • Released Internationally on 11/06/08
  • Released in Malta by KRS on 11/06/08

Preview (01/06/08)

In a nutshell

One of the best writer/director/producers of the past ten years, M. Night Shyamalan, is back. He burst onto the scene in 1999 with The Sixth Sense, and has since provided consistently brilliant and inventive movies (apart from the rather messy Lady in the Water in 2006).

Why we’re hyped

After a series of rated-12 films, it looks like Shyamalan has decided to get dark and disturbing just in time for Friday the 13th. Not much of the plot has been given away, apart from the fact that it’s about some worldwide phenomenon which hits suddenly and has humans dropping like flies (sometimes literally). But the recently-released R-Rated trailer adds a disturbing level of detail to what’s going on, and trust me, it isn’t pretty. Plus, this is Shyamalan, so there’s no way that this is going to be some run-of-the-mill disaster movie.

Who’s in it?

Starring duties fall to the consistent Mark Wahlberg (Boogie Nights, Three Kings), and he’ll be ably assisted by Zooey Deschanel (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy) and John Leguizamo (Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge!). But in this case, it’s the guy behind the camera that matters most.

Review (11/06/08)

So what’s happening?

I would tell you what's happening, but that might ruin some of the fun. And anyway, once the deceptively soothing opening credits are over, you'll soon have a pretty clear idea of just how distressing things are going to get. Shyamalan gets straight to the point here, and we're soon immersed in one of those familiar scenarios of a large scale disaster, seen from the eyes of a few individuals.

The good

This is no run-of-the-mill disaster flick, and Shyamalan thankfully does away with all the American flag-waving pomp and military strategy meetings that often plague these sort of films. Instead, he cuts to the chase, and takes us on one young family's scared journey through the whole series of events. He's in top form when it comes to keeping you uneasy, and with a mix of inventive shots and scenes, numerous off-kilter characters, and an unsettling score from James Newton Howard, he presents us with probably his most disturbing film yet.

The bad

For a film that keeps you on edge for so long, this one fails to deliver as much as I'd hoped. Shyamalan seems to come up with great concepts and then develop them into great films (seeing dead people, discovering you're a superhero, villagers never leaving their village, etc.), but here despite conceiving a great concept, he just leaves it at that, and left me yearning for more. The explanation and conclusion might make some viewers laugh, and might make some viewers frustrated, but I doubt they will make any viewers feel satisfied.


Trailer: (High-res QuickTime)

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