Film Hick: The Happening (2008)

Directed by: M Night Shyamalan. Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo. Rated: R. Running Time: 91 Mins. This is a short film but by the end of it I felt robbed of every second I wasted on it. I loved The Sixth Sense; I thought Unbreakable was great; even Signs was tolerable though by no means a great film; The Village to me felt like one twist too far. So, why did I sit down to watch this? Purely for the fact that my son had ordered it and watched it on cable and we wanted to get our money’s worth out of it. We didn’t — there is no way that this is worth spending money on. The script is bad and unfortunately the cast, even the ones who used to be reliable like John Leguizamo, are unable to rescue it from being deadwood. The premise might have been an interesting one but the execution here was frankly terrible — if people in the movie aren’t convinced or convincing then how is the audience supposed to be drawn in? Wahlberg as some kind of professor? Hmm, oh-kay. I know he can act but this was no testament to that — he was stuck in Freddie Prinze Jr. wooden mode and the grass moving was more convincing (more on that later maybe). His girlfriend or wife, or whatever (yawn, don’t really care) is another actress I’ve liked in other things but here made me want to slap her repeatedly. The kid as someone to care about? Didn’t work. There were a few cool images but they were akin to seeing a lovely looking strawberry floating in a toilet bowl full of coiling turds. There wasn’t a twist in it — unless of course you imagined the whole thing going round the u-bend as the film flushed itself away. That the people survived who did was an extreme disappointment — I wanted them all to die in extreme agony because of the acting they had inflicted on me here. And to cap it all off they had the set up for a bloody sequel in, of all places France. Now come on — the idea of a sequel is stupid enough, but do you really expect me to believe they would have it subtitled, as it is here? If they are foolish enough to invest in a follow up to this I hope it goes straight to video and if Shymalan has anything to do with it they should never let him near a movie camera again. Oh, and the grass? Grass shaking like that — it is not fucking scary … ever. Why? Because it is grass. Maybe Cronenberg or Lynch could make grass scary, but not you Mr Shyamalan.

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