The Happening - A movie you want to miss

Instead of watching the Oscars, Father and I watched The Happening by M. Night Shyamalan.

I thought anything by Shyamalan can't be bad. I loved Sixth Sense, The Village, Signs, and Lady In The Water. His movies are strange, make you think and most times the ending is a surprise. My employees had told me you will like this one. I didn't. It was morbid and gross.

The description from netflix said "In this thriller, a deadly airborne virus threatens to wipe out the northeastern United States. Fleeing from contaminated cities into the remote countryside, science teacher Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) and his wife Alma, (Zooey-Deschanel) fight to survive and discover the truth: is it terrorism, the accidental release of some military bio weapon; or something even more terrifying?"

I thought this should be good - probably aliens are something like that. I neglected to read the description on Amazon or read any reviews. In the beginning of the movie, two woman are sitting in New York City's central park. One of the women hears a scream, then notices everyone standing frozen. Then her companion pulls out her knitting needle and stabs herself in the neck. It proceeds from there with construction workers throwing themselves off a building, then a progression of a police man shooting himself in the head and various people picking up his gun and doing the same thing. A man walks into a lions den and feeds himself to lions and another starts a lawnmower and lies down in front of it.

I tell father "I don't think I'm going to make it through this movie."

He says "oh I'm sure this is just the set up, it will get better."


The premise of the story was the plants and trees were creating this air borne virus and it was being carried by the winds. The virus eliminates the self preservation gene in people on the east coast and consequently they all began killing themselves. The story follows Elliot and his wife as they try to flee the cities and get away from whatever the virus is. His friend played by John Leguizamo and his daughter accompany them. When his friend's wife doesn't show up, he leaves his daughter with Elliot and goes to look for her.

Elliot figures out the wind affects big groups of people so split up from the group they are with and take off with the daughter and two teenage boys. The boys end up getting killed at some point, leaving only Elliot, Alma and the girl. The virus struck at 8 something a.m in the morning and the winds carrying the virus ends abruptly the next morning at 9 something. The only explanation anyone can give is that it was a natural occurence that sometimes occur in nature. Life returns to normal, but... 3 months later, two men are walking through a Paris, France park. One man sees everyone freeze and the wind starts to blow. "Mon Dieu" he says and fade to black the movie ends.

Father and I sat there looking at each other, shaking our heads. Father says "I don't felt like I watched a movie" and I understood what he meant. We were both left with a feeling of dissatisfaction and wouldn't recommend the movie to anyone. Of course, we had to watch something else before we went to bed in order to take the bad taste out of our mouths. What did we watch? "Meet the Press". You know its gotta be bad when I watch "Meet the Press" and find the discussion actually interesting.

We should have watched the Oscars!

Edited to say:

I just found out Sheri at A Novel Menagerie is hosting a fun Monday's Movie Meme. Check out what every one else has to say about movies they saw this past week. Sheri says: the only small request that I have is that you rate the movie out of 5 bags of popcorn (so, 1 bag out of 5, 2 bags out of 5, and so on).

Rating: I would give the movie 2 bags out of 5 because the premise was good, but not fully developed. They carried on way too long with all the deaths and about 5 minutes discussing the whys and there fore's of the plants and the virus. The acting was pretty good, especially with Mark W. and John L. playing meek, nerdy type characters.


  1. thanks for the full-plot synopsis - now I know I can safely NOT see this movie! :) it sounds simply horrible.

  2. So... out of 5 bags o' popcorn, what would you give this?

  3. I probably should put this in the post huh! I would give it two stars. The premise was good but not fully developed in my opinion. The acting was good - both mark w. and john l. played nerdy type characters - but could have been better as well.

  4. My husband and I wasted an entire evening on this one, too - and 'wasted' is the correct word. Poor Mark Wahlberg had a rough 2008 - Max Payne wasn't much better.

  5. After hearing several reviews of this one I have deleted it from my Netflix que! Thanks for the review. Sixth Sense was wonderful but the others just haven't done it for me.


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