The Happening ★½

An occasionally present, unconvincing ominous atmosphere and some disturbing, shocking scenes are not sufficient to make a good film. The sequence with the reclusive old lady reminded me of the Ogilvy sequence in "War of the Worlds", and there are other similarities between the two films, but Steven Spielberg’s film is far superior to M. Night Shyamalan’s. "The Happening" is uneven and unpolished, the story is not intellectually stimulating, the acting is uninspired, the characters are underdeveloped and unengaging, the dialogue is at times quite bad, and the underlying message of the film is largely lost because of the weak execution.