Watched Sep 21, 2012
Steve Grzesiak’s review:
Partly out of kinship with poor Adam Cook, who has suffered yet another evening of cinematic dung, I decided to reject the chance to watch something that would probably have been really good and give this a shot instead.
The strange thing is that I have actually really enjoyed all three of the M Night Shyamalan's films to date that I've seen (The Sixth Sense, The Village and Unbreakable) so I did wonder if perhaps The Happening might take me surprise and actually leave my film-watching attempt at sympathy with Adam in tatters. I think it took me about 10 minutes to realise that wasn't going to happen.
As soon as I realised that this was shit, I started to additionally worry that this was going to be one of those infuriating 'so shit it's good' films that I find practically impossible to rate. But while it is laughably idiotic and completely ham-fisted in any attempts to be chilling or scary, to the point where I did wonder if Shyamalan had lost his bloody mind when making this, it's just too terrible to rank as anything other than as such.
I mean....shit! What the fucking hell happened here?! The base story is a decent one and definitely enough to be working with, so that's not the issue. It's just EVERYTHING ELSE. Especially the acting. Did these people forget how to act? What the hell are they doing? Was Shaymalan actually watching the same film we're watching?
Okay, it's not an all star cast, but it should still have been capable of more than this. Mark Wahlberg and John Leguizamo - fine actors, very capable and with plenty of good stuff under their belts. Both awful. I mean really, really awful. Alright, they're not helped by the dialogue (yeah, let's solve a maths equation, John, that will help me forget all THE PEOPLE HANGING OVER THE STREET) and the script and the effects and the editing and everything else in the film. But come on!
As for Zooey Deschanel, I have to admit that I think this is the first thing I've seen her in. I can't say that I have been attracted to anything that she has ever done. I'm attracted to HER, obviously. She's lovely. Oh, and She & Him are pretty good, too. But I honestly don't think I could dig deep enough into the Pit Of Insults to come up with the word or sentence to adequately describe her performance here. I genuinely could not believe it. And who is this idiot going on about hot dogs? Fuck off!
Even embraced as a sci-fi B-picture as has been suggested by the director and some critics, this is shit. There are no excuses that can be made for this. Shyamalan - you're a bastard. Cook - you're on your own. Sorry, mate.