Friday, June 27, 2008

The Happening

Genre: Horror
I feel sad to say this.
I have always been a huge M. Night Shyamalan fan.
While many others consider Sixth Sense to be his only good work, I've always staunchly defended his other films such as Unbreakable, The Village, Signs and The Lady in the Water.

But the Happening.
Sadly, it just ain't happening.

While the plot has good ideas and nice touches, the overall approach to the narrative just falls flat in achieving a good thriller feel. M. Night Shyamalan's magic exists at the start with wonderfully composed shots, nice buildup to suspense and intriguing presentation of characters. But then, he falters, as if suddenly crumbling under his own weight, as the movie stars to stagger in its attempts to scare, starts to cause people to laugh in its attempts to emulate Asian horror moments when the talent is speechless and acts via his/her eyes alone.

The score, surprisingly, seemed ill-fitting for the movie, which really is hard to believe since it was done by James Newton Howard - who also did Sixth Sense, Batman Begins and other well scored films.

It was hard to accept many of the lines as well. After everything that has been going on, with the wife and the kid heading to the shed outside the house even AFTER they've discussed it might be the plants doing the killing, he cries out to her to shut the doors and windows and she asks,

"What's Happening!?!??!"

Uh, yeah. Sure. Were you told to portray your character that dumb?

So sorry, M. Night. I love your work and your creative vision but this is one movie that is getting a really low grade from me from your filmography.

Kasi, hire me na lang next time.


  1. I'm afraid I would have to disagree with you on this one. Perhaps I went in with no expectations and came off with more on my bag. But I'm no director and to base my critique on angle shots may be off. But I felt that Shyamalyan had a statement to make with regards to man and his environment and how man has been less than pro-active and conscious of the effects of his actions with regards to the environment.

    Not to spoil anything for those who haven't seen it, I always reply to this movie that it will depend on who is watching it. I've had more scare expectations from the VIllage and that came out wrongly paced for me. But as it is to each his own.

    But I agree that if he would like to go further in the game, he would have to match the brilliance of 6th sense or go up one notch from where he is. :)

  2. The M. Night magic has gone since The Village, I think it's time for him to switch to a lighter genre, say Drama. That's what "happening" right now.

  3. Thats just the thing, the statement and idea is genius.

    The approach to telling the story just didn't work for me.
    And the choice of actors didn't work well for me.

  4. Frighteningly, he's doing the movie adaptation of Avatar - The Last Airbender.

    Good luck!

  5. good luck nga....

  6. well tobie... i had a different point of view. i always loved his film. i am not biased ok. i watched this film with no expectations --- maybe because i had no idea what was the film all about. i always watch M. Night's film to look for allegory or metaphorical visuals he has in the movie and that makes me interest to look forward to watch his films.

    miss yah tobie and i miss chatting with you about a lot of things =)

  7. Actually, I felt like there was so little "camera play" this time. Unlike in Sixth Sense with the nice compositions, or with Unbreakable with the reveal shots using curtains, or even the Village's reflection angles. Here, the only shots that were beautiful were at the start when the people started dying.

    Later, the shots seemed more "just tell the story" rather than show and play with the visuals.

    But that's just me.

  8. Interesting and good luck...sabay! hehehe

  9. im prepared for the worst. u____u i think it's too big of a story for him... sorry to say...

  10. Here's hoping he keeps making films though.
    Somehow, I think I'd appreciate The Happening more when I watch it again a few years from now.

  11. ah ! why four for only two movie wat?



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