Movie Stats & Links
20th Century Fox
themselves in a variety of ways. Don't let your kids
|If you want her to
hold you when she gets creeped out.
themselves in gruesome ways.
|There are some
really good chuckles.
|I'm torn between
the scene with the tigers and our heroes at Mrs. Jones'
|"You know, hot
dogs get a bad wrap."
|M. Night Shyamalan
|Barry Mendel, Sam
Mercer, M. Night Shyamalan
I try to abide by the rules of the movie theaters, or at
least obey the sign that says I shouldnít be bringing in my
own food or drink into the theater, so I have been okay with
paying $3.00 for a bottle of water and $3.00 for a big
pretzel whenever I caught a movie at my Kerasotes theater in
Naperville, IL, but that was until today, because as I went
to go and see "The Happening," the latest in creepiness from
M. Night Shyamalan, which actually ended up being a movie
for teen-central (even though it was rated R), a group of
kids came bounding into the same row I was in, proceeded to
plop their butts to the right of me, and I noticed, out of
the corner of my eye, that yes, I donít know how the dude
got it past the high level of security at the theater, but
he had a pizza box, and from the smell wafting my way, the
box was not empty.
A Movie Review
Enough of food choices at the movie theater, I suppose I
should just get to "The Happening," and tell you I liked it,
but not because itís an M. Night movie you want to believe,
nope, this was campiness at the movies in all its form, and
if you see this movie, expecting that, you will probably
have a great time.
Letís get to itÖ
Probably the best thing to ever happen to M. Night
Shyamalan was giving such a fantastic twist in a nearly
perfect movie when he did "The Sixth Sense," but maybe the
worst thing to ever happen to M. Night Shyamalan was giving
such a fantastic twist in a nearly perfect movie when he did
"The Sixth Sense," especially, since then, we always just
want to equate M. Night to "Twistedness at the movie
theater," that we will sit there trying to figure out how he
will give our mind that "Ahhhhh! Now I get it!" moment,
instead of now just letting him be a writer and director.
"The Happening" is not that "Twistedness" movie, in fact it
isnít even close to that movie, instead itís a movie of
bizarreness, tales of plants able to kill all of us at their
whim, and a crazy lady who will make you laugh and give you
the creeps at the same time.
Yup, weird things are afoot in the northeastern part of
the United States, namely that people are just suddenly
stopping in their tracks, maybe walking backwards for a bit,
but then trying to find any way to kill themselves, or just
die. Mark Wahlberg is the nerdy science teacher, Elliot, in
a marriage to Alma (Zooey "She of the biggest, most
beautiful blue eyes" Deschanel), and their marriage is
having some issues. But when people are dropping dead in New
York City for no apparent reason other than maybe a
terrorist attack, Julian (John Leguizamo) convinces the
not-so-happy couple to catch a train to Harrisburg to hang
out with his Mom.
But things arenít that simple, especially for an M. Night
movie, because the train decides to stop at a no-where town
because, well, they canít communicate with anyone on the
East Coast, we get a quirky couple, thinking hot dogs are
the perfect food yet knowing what actually might be going
on, giving a ride to Elliot, Alma, and Jess (Julianís
daughter whom he so nicely abandons), but strange things are
still afoot in the farmlands of Pennsylvania, eventually
leading our couple, with friendís child in tow, to the house
of Mrs. Jones (Betty Buckley), who might just be one of the
creepiest characters ever.
The winds seems to bring badness and it might just be
from Mother Nature and the plants she grows, but in the end,
love will prevail, and sure, M. Night gives a warning about
the world, maybe one that will only manifest itself when we
venture back into nature and sense a breeze coming, and
wonder "Can this actually happen? Is the hot dog dude
actually right?" Ah, the movies!
From all of my reading about this movie before it opened,
and from Mr. Shyamalanís explaining the B-Movie nature of
this movie (whether he actually meant it or not), I went
into seeing "The Happening" as just a good time, and you
know what, I got it. The crappy part is that the advertising
campaign has been focusing on the "seriousness" of this
movie, about its being from M. Night, but not just saying
"This movie is wack! Bring your own pizza but you might want
to stop eating it when dudes start walking off the girders,
plummeting to their deaths!", as the pizza dude next to me
I donít know if M. meant it this way, but this is not a
movie for serious thought, and if you take it the right way,
as almost a zombie movie from days gone by, you will
probably get a kick out of it. Hell, if you take it that
way, who wouldnít like to see a zoo animal caretaker in the
middle of the lions den, feeding them with his arms?
You will probably hate "The Happening" if you are looking
for "The Sixth Sense." If you are looking for a campy
zombie-ish movie, you will love it. For me I got it, or
maybe I didnít, from the start, but Iím still giving it 4
stars out of 5 because I had a great time, laughed at how
some of the people decided to "off" themselves, and damn,
Mrs. Jones actually got the hairs to stand up on my arms.
Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!!