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Mainstream - The Happening - M. Night Shyamalan

Click pic for The Happening on Amazon
The Happening
Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel
Directed by M. Night Shyamalan
Fox Home Video 2008
91 minutes

I am not a Shyamalan fan but The Happening totally and absolutely blew my mind. It’s been a long time since I’ve really been on the edge of my seat while watching a movie but this thriller kept my pulse rate up the entire movie. M. Night Shyamalan is sometimes too fancy schmancy but in The Happening he tells a fascinating story. and doesn’t mumbo jumbo around.

The Happening stars Mark Wahlberg, John Leguizamo, and Zooey Deschanel) as three people caught up in an unbelievable situation: people in big cities are dying at an alarming rate and this inexplicable trend is moving towards smaller and smaller cities and towns.

High school science teacher Elliott Moore, his somewhat off-kilter wife Alma, and math teacher Julian (Leguizamo) and his daughter find themselves in the middle of Nowhere, New Jersey with a handful of people who seem to be the only survivors. Science teacher Moore tries to figure out what is happening.

This science thriller works because Shyamalan doesn’t waste time and wastes no scene. Most amazing about this DVD is The Happening is scary and tense thriller with no special effects, no CGI; basically no bells and whistles at all. This is a story and character driven movie where both elements are well used and the tension just keeps getting higher and higher.

The director of The Sixth Sense and the dreadful Signs has a really dark sense of humor and it is occasionally displayed in this excellent movie. My favorite such moment is a bit past the middle of the movie when some of the characters try to find shelter inside a luxurious home for some food.

This DVD does have its share of violent scenes including one involving a lawnmower but sensitive souls can use the old-fashioned putting your fingers over your eyes and peeking through them for those few seconds.

The Happening is one hell of a keeper.


Special features on this DVD total up to some 60 minutes and include a behind the scene short, A Day for Night where the camera follows Shyamalan for a day, Elements of a Scene a short about setting up a scene, a Making of documentary, Deleted scenes, and a gag reel.

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