On one hand, I rarely put any stock in reviews from random people. On the other, I really enjoy it when Manny Shyamalan fails. In this case, my second inclination won out, perhaps because I’m such a hateful prick. Come with me and let’s savor the schadenfreude [it’s a word, look it up, smart people use it -Ed.].
A year or so ago, the script for "The Happening" (then titled "The Green Effect") came across my desk and, while it inspired a mixed reaction, I really thought it was step up from both "The Village" and "Lady in the Water" and more in-tone with "Signs". A straight-forward disaster epic on a human scale, "The Happening" seemed to be, from the script, exactly what Shyamalan needed to win back an audience and redeem himself. And on the positive side, I thought he couldn’t get much worse.
I was wrong.
"The Happening" is a terrible, terrible movie. I mean, it’s bad on an epic scale. It’s so bad that I can’t possibly tell you how bad it is without understating the point or making it sound like I’m picking on the film. But let me stress: this is not pent-up Shyamalan aggression or a desire to see him fail. This is bad in a jaw-dropping "they can’t really be serious, can they?" kind of way. The closest comparison I can draw is to Neil LaBute’s "Wicker Man" and, like that film, the only consolation I can offer potential theater-goers is that you might want to see it just to be in on the ground floor when the film gets its ass handed back to it. [Collider]
Like Neil LaBute’s Wicker Man, you say? Color me there the first night. …Just make sure you get the skin tone right, I don’t want to show up to this shit looking all ashy.