The Happening

I haven’t been to the theater in almost two years, but Jeanne and I made it out to see M. Night Shyamalan’s new movie, The Happening. It’s probably not as bad as the reviews say, but it’s not good either. Clearly M Night wants to be the next Hitchcock and this is his take on The Birds. Unfortunately for me, the Birds is my least favorite Hitchcock film.

As usual, the visual direction is great but The Happening’s dialog and pacing feels wrong. Casting Mark Wahlberg as a science teacher isn’t as unbelievable as Denise Richards as a nuclear physicist, but it still seemed strange. I think Wahlberg is a capable actor, too. He was great in the Departed.

The only part of the film I really liked was the overall concept, which is probably what most people hated. Read on if you’ve seen the movie.

All my dreams are in cartoon,
the plants created us to kill the moon,
but I’m not sure how far that’s coming along…

Those are the opening lyrics from my song, All My Dreams are in Cartoon. I thought a funny idea would be if plants were pissed that they could only grow half the day, because of night. Being imperfect beings, they might think that if they destroyed the moon they would have daylight all the time and thus, somehow created us to accomplish it for them. Overall the song includes little daydream type ideas (being born on a pirate ship, spoons and forks fighting wars against each other, etc.) that would be too ridiculous for a whole song by themselves. Together they sort of work.

The Happening uses the idea of plants coordinating an attack against aggressive humans in the north eastern United States. I haven’t seen many other sites making the connection that it was angry, aggressive behavior that sets off the toxin, but maybe it’s just that obvious. I didn’t pick up the connection until the old lady got pissed and smashed her face through the window. Anyway, I got some amusement out of the similarity to my lyrics.

One thing I have to give M Night Shyamalan: I knew it was coming and I still almost crapped my pants when the old lady said, “GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!”