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Movie Review: The Happening (No spoiler)

March 11, 2009

The craziness known as the opening weekend of Watchmen has passed and I’m still one of the few people who haven’t gone to watch it yet. Instead, what did I end up renting yesterday night? The Happening. I thought, “Hey, let’s get a movie to watch while I have my late dinner tonight.” Bad Idea. I’ll try to not spoil the movie.

Maybe it’s been a while since I’ve watched a movie with intentions of scaring you, because it certainly didn’t go well with my meal (Carls Jr., btw.) It wasn’t quite up there with edge-of-your-seat suspense, but it’s quite un-jarring, to say the least. It’s the first R-rated movie from M. Night Shyamalan. I’ve always been a fan of his movies, with the exception of his pre-Sixth Sense movies, I’ve watched them all. So, I was excited venture forth with what Mr. S could do with the R-rating.

Let’s just say, I kinda wish he didn’t make an R-rated movie. There were points in the movie where you just didn’t want to look, either because of the gore or the impending doom to befall it’s victim. Just not something I’d expect from his movies. The story is typical Shymalan weaving, working his magic of contemporary supernatural plots with a twist ending. It stars Mark Wahlberg, one of my favorite actors, and Zooey Deschanel, which seems kinda strange for the part. Sadly, this is seems to be another blemish in Wahlberg’s recent bombs at the box office (Max Payne sucked, too.) His good acting gets strained sometimes with some scenes pulling at your emotions and then flipping to another that makes you think, he’s the student whom is sitting behind me in Science class and it’s his turn to read out loud from the text. AWKWARD. Although, I was amused by how they tried to make his role fit him, a science teacher who rambles off random facts. Being an addict to bits of mundane information myself, I thought it was great, until it starts to drag the movie. Zooey Deschanel bugged me in this movie. She starts off all loopy and out of it, then switches to normal and caring, then to sobbing and worrisome. Way too many personality shifts, even if they were supposed to help push the plot. In fact, that’s the underlying plot: her emotions towards Wahlberg, whom is her husband. Just abysmal. I’m sorry, but it’s just as Shyamalan said, It’s a B-movie. It actually killed my appetite with it’s sometimes bad acting and unconventional (Shyamalan-wise) gore. Rarely is there a movie that I don’t want to watch a second time. In fact, I tend to re-watch movies more than most people. The Happening left me with a bad taste and I’m not going to be re-watching it. In fact, it made me lose my appetite. Hopefully, your next movie, Mr. Shyamalan, doesn’t get the R-rated happenings and performs well (The Avatar, baby!)

What situation should you end up watching it: Rent, don’t buy it. Not worth buying. Also, rent cheaply, like Redbox or something. It barely warrants a one-time watch, at best, so don’t throw your money away. Food won’t be a great accompaniment, but bring a soda or something. You won’t want to eat while watching this movie, but you’ll want something to wash the funky taste away.

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