The Happening (2008) – A Rowdy Crowd

The USC film kids were brutal to “The Happening” during the on-campus free screening last night.  Ironically, no alumni guests from the production turned out.  I think that it was the only film in the alumni screening series that didn’t feature an alumni Q&A.  Starting about 10 minutes in, the acting and dialogue become so bizarrely over-the-top that there were often loud chuckles.  I haven’t laughed so hard during a movie in quite some time.

The closest comparison that I can think of is how either “Showgirls” or “Starship Troopers” play – both Paul Verhoeven films.  ‘The Happening’ was of course from M. Night Shyamalan, but like those two films, this will become a new modern classic in strangely comedic filmmaking.  I could not tell you if he was intentionally trying to make an over-the-top faux b-style movie.  Unfortunately for M. Night’s career, I suspect that it wasn’t intentional.

Shyamalan, M. Night. Lady in the Water. 2006. Film.
—. Signs. 2002. Film.
—. The Happening. 2008. Film.
—. The Sixth Sense. 1999. Film.
—. The Village. 2004. Film.
—. Unbreakable. 2000. Film.
Verhoeven, Paul. Showgirls. 1995. Film.
—. Starship Troopers. 1997. Film.


D.S. Christensen
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