Monday, June 16, 2008

Movie Review: The Happening

M. Night Shyamalan, best known as the writer of "The Sixth Sense", has made yet another weak movie. I knew it was weak when I went but it still seemed intriguing. The most interesting part and the climax all take place in the first twenty minutes.

You may have learned in high school science that plants produce chemicals to attract or repel insect. A traumatized plant can produce chemicals that communicate this to other plants. Well, what if plants found a chemical that would interfere with normal brain functions in humans? That's what happens in this movie. Plants in the American northeast start producing this chemical. First you start to talk funny, then you get disoriented and stop walking, then you kill yourself.

The trailers sort of go over this. They never explain what's causing it. They tell the steps and that Marky Mark is fleeing something. We assume it's something cool. Instead we get a group of people fleeing from waving grasses. Ok, I did that as a kid. We'd look across the pasture and see the wind knocking over the grass and we'd run. But that's not the basis for a whole movie.

It's not worth buying, but the first 15-20 minutes is good enough that it's worth putting on your NetFlix cue. The scene where people are walking off the top of a construction site is pretty impressive.

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