The Happening

Director: M. Night Shyamalan
Year Released: 2008
Rating: 0.0

Is it just me, or is Shyamalan becoming an even worse director the older he's getting (I always thought the rule was that you improve with age and maturity)? He tries to be topical (global warming, climate change) - which is an okay starting point - but fails to generate much tension with his story. In his silly scenario, plants, sick of the Northeast section of the United States, decide to release a toxin that causes New Yorkers and Killadelphians (among others) to come up with more and more creative ways to commit suicide: there's the girl who shoves the hairpin in her jugular, the people who use ladders to hang themselves from trees, and a zoo employee who goads the lions into ripping off his arms. When its characters aren't dispatching themselves, they're one-dimensional automatons, struggling with the terrible dialogue or standing around and looking surprised: not even the charismatic Mark Wahlberg or Zooey Deschanel can do much to generate chemistry together (Zooey is robbed of her usual snarkiness, Mark doesn't exactly radiate the good vibrations). Now, if these plants were truly intelligent they'd find a way to invade the Red States and China and Hollywood … and what did the farmer-friendly French ever do to piss them off?