Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Happening

We've sensed it. We've seen the signs. Now.. It's happening.

The film opens in New York. People start to get confused in Central park, repeating their words, standing still and sometimes walking backwards. We hear a few screams. A cop on the road shoots himself in the head. A driver gets out of his car, takes the gun, and also shoots himself in the head. We see a pair of high heels walk over and a hand starts to pick up the gun.

My rate &
* * *
Mark Wahlberg is a good actor
but this movie just silly and nonsense.
So weak thriller but it didn't bore me.
Directed by
M. Night Shyamalan
Produced by
Barry Mendel, Sam Mercer,
M. Night Shyamalan
Written by
M. Night Shyamalan
Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel,
John Leguizamo
Distributed by
Flag of the United States 20th Century Fox
(except India)
Flag of India UTV Software Communications
Release date(s)
June 11, 2008: Belgium, France
June 13, 2008: United States,
United Kingdom, India, Brazil
Running time
90 min.
United States
BudgetUS $60 million
Gross revenueDomestic $64,505,912
Foreign $98,834,810
Worldwide $163,340,722

The Happening Trailer

In New York City, people inexplicably begin committing mass suicide. First they become disoriented and motionless, before resorting to the most convenient means of killing themselves. Initially believed to be a bioterrorist attack, the pandemic quickly spreads across the northeastern United States.

Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), a high school science teacher in Philadelphia, receives news of the pandemic at school and decides to leave the city by train with his estranged and well-nigh-unfaithful wife, Alma Moore (Zooey Deschanel).

They are accompanied by his friend and fellow teacher Julian (John Leguizamo) and his eight-year-old daughter Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez). The train abruptly stops in the small town of Filbert, Pennsylvania, after the crew mysteriously loses radio contact with civilisation. Suddenly unable to contact his wife via cellphone, Julian decides to leave his daughter with Elliot and Alma in order to travel to Princeton, New Jersey, to find her. It is by now clear that the pandemic is transmitted by air. Travelling in a Jeep, Julian and his fellow passengers fall victim to the pandemic soon after arriving in an already-hard-hit Princeton: the infected air filters through a hole in the vehicle's roof, compelling the driver first to bring it to a halt and then plunge it into a nearby tree. Only Julian appears to survive the crash, but, when he exits the car, apparently unharmed, and sits himself on the tarmac, he proceeds to slit his wrists with a shard of glass.

Elliot, Alma and the now-fatherless Jess manage to hitch a ride with a botanist (Frank Collison) and his wife (Victoria Clark). The botanist believes that trees and plants are responsible, attacking people as a defence mechanism by releasing toxins into the air. Although initially sceptical, given his idiosyncrasies and apparent obsession with plant life, Alma and Elliot become increasingly enamoured of this view. After driving for some time through the country, they find themselves at a desolate crossroads surrounded by infected towns. Other cars soon join them. A U.S. Army soldier suggests that they move away on foot from roads and populated centres, which he regards as obvious terrorist targets, to avoid being infected.

The survivors split into two groups and begin to travel across an open plain. The smaller group, in which Elliot, Alma and Jess find themselves, suddenly hears gunshots from the direction of the other group: they deduce correctly that the pandemic is upon them. An overwrought Elliot, striving to concentrate amidst the pandemonium, draws on his scientific creed to conclude that it is conveyed by an airborne neurotoxin exuded by grass and plants. He suspects that the larger the group of people the more likely it is to trigger the defence mechanism. With a menacing gale approaching, Elliot splits the group into smaller pockets, thus further isolating himself, Alma and Jess, although they are accompanied by two teenage boys, Josh (Spencer Breslin) and Jared (Robert Bailey, Jr.).

Elliot, looking for food, comes across an old house with survivors inside. He tries to communicate with them, but they are unwilling to open the doors. When the teenagers try aggressively to force entry, the denizens shoot them dead. Elliot, Alma and Jess, now completely on their own, continue to travel cross-country. They stumble upon the isolated house of one Mrs Jones (Betty Buckley), an elderly oddball who keeps no contact with the outside world and is, therefore, unaware of the happening. Although she permits the trio to sup with her and stay the night, she proves a harsh and paranoid host, constantly accusing them of conspiring to rob or murder her.

The following morning, while standing in her garden, impervious to Elliot's supplications, Mrs Jones becomes infected and commits suicide by smashing her head through the windows of the house. Terrified of sharing her fate, Elliot locks himself in the basement. He is separated from Alma and Jess, who are playing in the neighbouring spring house. They are able to communicate, however, through an old speaking tube, with which Elliot warns them of the threat and has them shut the windows and doors. Conversing with his wife, Elliot expresses his love for her before deciding that, if he is to die, he would prefer to spend his remaining time with her. They all leave the safety of their buildings and embrace in the yard, surprised to find themselves unaffected by the neurotoxin. The outbreak seems to have abated as quickly as it began, just as a scientist predicted on a television show the previous day.

Three months later, Elliot and Alma have adjusted to their new life with Jess as their adopted daughter. On television, an expert interviewee, comparing the event to a red tide, warns that the pandemic may have only been a warning, like "the first spot of a rash". Elliot takes Jess to the bus stop for her first day of school while Alma stays at home, timing a pregnancy test, which turns out positive. When he returns, Alma embraces him with the news in front of their apartment.

In France, at the conclusion of the film, the pandemic appears to reoccur when people walking through a park suddenly cease to move as the wind rustles through the trees and the sky turns dark.

Source: Wiki