M. Night Shyamalan has made some very good movies (The Sixth Sense, Signs), some exciting movies (The Visit, Unbreakable), and some bad movies (The Last Airbender, After Earth), but he’s only made one The Happening.
It was the Oscar-nominated director’s attempt at “the best B-movie you’ll ever see,” but he instead ended up with savage reviews, Mark Wahlberg talking to plants, and awkward dialogue, like, “There appears to be an event occurring,” that even George Lucas would think needs a re-write. Years after the film’s release, Wahlberg called The Happening a “bad movie” and bemoaned the “f*cking trees, man. The plants. F*ck it. You can’t blame me for not wanting to try to play a science teacher. At least I wasn’t playing a cop or a crook.”
In an interview with Vulture, Shyamalan was asked whether Wahlberg’s comments bothered him. “Since that would be the only case of that happening — no,” the Glass director said. “But really, no. It’s totally his call. However he wants to interpret it.” His advice for moving past a creative failure like The Happening, which he called “a consistent kind of farce humor”? “You need to be in a good place. Unbreakable didn’t necessarily work out exactly the way I wanted it to. But now I would go back and tell my younger self, ‘That column is not your concern. Keep going.’ Failure is very cleansing, and success is very confusing.” Glass, which might shatter (sorry) box office records, opens next week. Meanwhile, here’s the aforementioned plant-talking scene.