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Film Review: The Happening

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M. Night Shyamalan has made great films throughout his career starting with "The Sixth Sense." Along with his great films, he has also made some pretty terrible films with "The Happening," being one of them. In Central Park in New York City, people start to die by mass suicides which quickly spreads across the United States believed to be caused by a toxin released by terrorists. We are then introduced to Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg), a Philadelphia high school science, discussing with his students about the mysterious disappearance of bees which may be tied to the mass suicides. Elliot later finds himself having to leave Philadelphia on a train along with his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel), his friend Julian (John Leguizamo), and Julian's daughter Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez) as the mass suicides hit the city. The train they are traveling on stops all of a sudden as all communication with the outside world has suddenly ceased. This forces Elliot along with his wife and friend to take a trek across Pennsylvania.

The oddest part of the film is that the mass suicides are caused by plants and view humans as a great threat. This leads to unintentionally funny moments in the film where Mark Wahlberg is having a strange conversation with a plant to a scene where people are trying to run away from the wind. It is obvious that M. Night Shyamalan was trying to make a horror film with environmental themes but using plants as the main villain isn't that frightening and comes across as more comical.

© 2020 Nathan Neel