The Happening

The Happening

A true Shyamalan film. I didn't realize how much I was looking forward to one until the title sequence began.

This movie got, and still gets, a lot of derision for being identifiably a Shyamalan movie. There's his usual nutty dialogue: the hot dogs, the math riddles, the tiramisu. And that affected, affecting performance style he elicits from his actors. It all sounded fine to me now that I'm used to those tonal shifts. Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel are admittedly odd fits for Shyamalan characters, but they slip into the right register at crucial moments.

THE HAPPENING strikes me as a good litmus test for what kind of movie viewer you (or the people you know) are. The more open you are to it, the greater the effect you allow it to have. I'm rather ashamed to admit I watched it ironically with friends several years ago. I picked up on the ambient dread, but I didn't really let it in (I've come a long way since then).

In terms of craft, I realized 'coordination' is a Shyamalan strong point. Here, the passing of the gun in paused traffic. He'll do these overt visual maneuvers that seem non-functional, except the effect is right there in front of you. In any given Shyamalan film, you'll see him thinking through his set-ups in visual terms. He's always at work, and it's a pleasure to watch.

Post1000Tension liked these reviews