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THE HAPPENING


title: THE HAPPENING
year: 2008
cast: Mark Wahlberg, Zooey Deschanel, Betty Buckley
rating: *

To quote the iconic Buffalo Springfield tune, "There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear." These lyrics sum up half the film, where people back East are mysteriously going crazy and soon-after committing suicide. After the cause is known, something having to do with the environment "fighting back," it's a lot of running around... And the once prolific writer/director M. Night Shyamalan seems to have run out of ideas and creativity. Relying on cheap camera work and cheesy dialogue, he himself claims this as an intentional b-movie liken to the early work of George Romero and David Cronenberg; low-budget classics relying heavily on character-development: something this film has little to nothing of. Eventually the survivors end up in a rural house inhabited by an old creepy woman played by Betty Buckley (Sissy Spacek's coach in CARRIE), providing the only chilling moments that don't last long enough.
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