Trade Reviews for Shyamalan’s The Happening

Hey, how cool is this, that I can now type Shymalan without having to look it up? Yes, folks, I’m mighty proud of myself. Anyhoo. We’ve already heard from fanboys and anonymous movie reviewers take pop shots at M. Night Shyamalan’s “The Happening” (his first R-rated movie, as the film’s trailers like to trumpet, as if that should make it, you know, really great or something), now what do the big boys aka the guys who actually get paid for it have to say about “The Happening”? Here are Variety and The Hollywood Reporter’s take on the film.

First up, Variety‘s Justin Chang:

One might charitably describe “The Happening” as a transitional work for M. Night Shyamalan. In an attempted rebound from the critical and commercial calamity of “Lady in the Water,” the writer-director has scaled back most of his characteristic touches — the contorted horror/fantasy mythology, the “gotcha” twist ending, even his trademark cameo — instead serving up a patchy, uninspired eco-thriller whose R rating (a first for Shyamalan) looks more like a B.O. hindrance than an artistic boon. After an initial bloom of interest, the Fox release will likely wilt quickly in the summer heat.

Not so good. And yes, pay attention to the “eco-thriller” in the review excerpt. There’s a reason the film was originally called “The Green Effect”. Stupid trees.

Here’s the Hollywood Reporter‘s Kirk Honeycutt with their take:

In “The Happening,” he manages to recapture some of those elements, particularly the creepiness and supernatural thrills. But the central menace — an airborne neurotoxin that causes mass suicides in the northeastern U.S. — doesn’t pan out as any kind of Friday night entertainment. The movie seems more like a ’50s science fiction film of extreme paranoia or an episode of “The Twilight Zone” that even at a swiftly paced 90 minutes feels padded.

And look, they even spoil the film’s surprise for you!

Everyone winds up in the Pennsylvania countryside. The science teacher decides, on the basis of absolutely no evidence, that the toxins are generated by plants and trees and are airborne, so every breath of air, every flutter of tall grass or rush of wind causes hearts to stop.

Besides that, they also predict early doom for “The Happening”.

Better luck next time, M. Night.

The Happening



About Nix

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Editor/Writer at BeyondHollywood.com. Likes: long walks on the beach and Kevin Costner post-apocalyptic movies. Dislikes: 3D, shaky cam, and shaky cam in 3D. Got a site issue? Wanna submit Movie/TV news? Or to email me in regards to anything on the site, you can do so at nix (at) beyondhollywood.com.

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  • Joe

    It is pretty cool that you can type Shymalan without looking it up. It might be a better idea to look it up though, or even look at the heading of the review, and spell it Shyamalan.

  • Joe

    It is pretty cool that you can type Shymalan without looking it up. It might be a better idea to look it up though, or even look at the heading of the review, and spell it Shyamalan.

    • Kyle

      Great movie, good stuff…

    • Kyle

      Great movie, good stuff…

  • Joe

    It is pretty cool that you can type Shymalan without looking it up. It might be a better idea to look it up though, or even look at the heading of the review, and spell it Shyamalan.

    • Kyle

      Great movie, good stuff…

  • C

    Yeah. . . and the phrase is pot shot. . . not pop shot. Besides who cares what the “Big boys” think? Has anyone seen it yet besides Kyle above?

  • C

    Yeah. . . and the phrase is pot shot. . . not pop shot. Besides who cares what the “Big boys” think? Has anyone seen it yet besides Kyle above?

  • C

    Yeah. . . and the phrase is pot shot. . . not pop shot. Besides who cares what the “Big boys” think? Has anyone seen it yet besides Kyle above?

  • maria

    jesus, i was really looking forward to this movie, it looked amazing, but i was very very disappointed.
    mark’s performance was terrible; zooey’s bad; and no one at all looked convincing.

    AND oh my god, i can’t believe the HUGE production/editing mistake!
    you could totally see a black and red microphone coming to the shot when mark and the 2 boys are in the model house talking at the dinner table. i can’t believe no one spotted that before finishing up.

    really bad… i love shyamalan and mark but this didn’t do it for any of them

    • Victoria

      I so agree. But God and Jesus had nothing to do with it…believe me.

    • Victoria

      I so agree. But God and Jesus had nothing to do with it…believe me.

  • maria

    jesus, i was really looking forward to this movie, it looked amazing, but i was very very disappointed.
    mark’s performance was terrible; zooey’s bad; and no one at all looked convincing.

    AND oh my god, i can’t believe the HUGE production/editing mistake!
    you could totally see a black and red microphone coming to the shot when mark and the 2 boys are in the model house talking at the dinner table. i can’t believe no one spotted that before finishing up.

    really bad… i love shyamalan and mark but this didn’t do it for any of them

  • maria

    jesus, i was really looking forward to this movie, it looked amazing, but i was very very disappointed.
    mark’s performance was terrible; zooey’s bad; and no one at all looked convincing.

    AND oh my god, i can’t believe the HUGE production/editing mistake!
    you could totally see a black and red microphone coming to the shot when mark and the 2 boys are in the model house talking at the dinner table. i can’t believe no one spotted that before finishing up.

    really bad… i love shyamalan and mark but this didn’t do it for any of them

    • Victoria

      I so agree. But God and Jesus had nothing to do with it…believe me.

  • Lindsay

    This was horrible save your $10 dollars and rent Sixth or Unbreakable so you have remember why we care about this man at all. Unless of course you enjoy the comical horror of an Ed Wood film, then go enjoy!!