Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Happening

I've always found M. Night Shyamalan's movies to be intriguing, from the psychological horror film, The Sixth Sense ("I see dead people") to the science fiction thriller, Signs (super cute Abigail Breslin) to the mysterious 19th century village in The Village. They all share one similarity; all the plots are built around a twist ending which is really cool.

The HappeningSo when the latest brainchild of Mr Shyamalan started screening on cinemas, I was on my way. Although it may not beat the likes of Sixth Sense but it does not disappoint either. The Happening is an apocalyptic thriller starring Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel. (hmm, come to think about it, I've never watched a single Mark Wahlberg or Zooey Deschanel movie at all before this..hah!)

Anyway, the film begins with a beautiful day in Central Park, New York. There are people strolling, relaxing on benches, dog-walkings.. all the leisure activities people do in parks when suddenly, everyone stops moving. Then a few starts walking backwards while others become disoriented, repeating their words and we hear a few screams. Finally, as if it's the next best thing to do, they start to find the quickest way to kill themselves. Before long, the pandemic spreads to nearby populated areas and there are people jumping off buildings, shooting themselves with guns and stabbing themselves. One zookeeper even feeds himself to the lions..gosh!

Believing it to be a bioterrorist attack, people start leaving the cities, Elliot Moore (Wahlberg) and his wife, Alma Moore (Deschanel) included. However they end up in a relatively small town not anywhere near their destination after the train's crews "lost contact with everyone". Here, they are left to fend for themselves as each news report paints increasingly grim and frightening pictures of more and more areas - even really small places not stated in maps - being affected by the strange calamity. There's even a heart-wrenching scene where a mother talks on the phone to her daughter only to hear the girl starting to repeat her words and sounding incoherent with the line going dead soon after.

There seems to be many theories as to why these unexplainable incidents are happening and they all agree that it's an airborne contagion of some kind that "short-circuits" the brain's usually protective awareness. It appears that doomsday is upon us in the most ironical way possible - us killing ourselves off (not that we aren't already doing so, albeit slowly.) And when it comes down to survival, it's really no surprise that there are selfish people out there who would rather stay locked in a house, thinking that by not letting any outsiders - presumably affected - in, they would be safe. And if these outsiders dare to venture too close to the house, the occupants will not hesitate to blow their heads off.

This is the first Shyamalan's movies I've watched thus far without a twist in the ending but it's kinda disturbing and thought-provoking. Oh, and not to forget one creepy old lady too. I remember reaching home slightly past midnight to an empty street. Suddenly there was a gush of wind and mind you, I totally quickened my steps! :P

My Rating:

p/s: Creative poster tagline too; "We've SENSE-d it. We've seen the SIGNS. Now... It's HAPPENING"

3 tots:

Anonymous said...

one of my friend told me her comment on the movie : "doesn't really make sense", "confused", "blur", "opening doesn't match the ending"...

I should ask her to read your post :)

Catherine said...

haha, my post doesn't enlighten anything for her other than contradict her comments :P

so reading my post or not doesn't make much difference..well, different ppl see things differently anyway. some of my frens think the movie is crappy too :P

Anonymous said...

asking her to read your post, not to get any idea what's the movie about, but to know how other people think

"different ppl see things differently anyway"

yeah, I agree too :)

"but to know how's other people think is easy, to LEARN to ACCEPT how's other people think is not"

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