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Friday, June 13, 2008

Movie Reivew: The Happening

* *

Its been probably 25 years since there's been a notable entry into this horror sub-genre, which is
cool. Though, if they had advertised it as such a film no one would probably go see it. That said its a mess; at times laughable, yet oddly still very effective. Any potent acting leaves the film with Leguizamo and the dialogue is uncomfortably stiff. M. Night was heralded 10 years ago as the next Hitchcock, though that's quite unfair to either film maker and its unfair to expect anything close to that (in fact, it is refreshing he didn't turn out like De Palma). Turns out he's really Larry Cohen if he took himself too seriously and had 10x the budget. M. Night either needs to embrace that role, as the crafty b-movie auteur, or loosen the reins on his films and let people challenge his ideas. Here he's stuck a little in between. The film covers a lot of the same territory thematically as Spielberg's War of the Worlds, though I think I liked this better. In a way its themes also could be adequately described as The Blob had it been written by Ayn Rand. Community isn't what saves us, as in The Blob, but a part of what destroys us.

Also by M. Night:
Lady in the Water *1/2
The Village * * 1/2
Signs * * *
Unbreakable * **
The Sixth Sense * * * *

1 comment:

whitney said...

Is this out of a four or five star scale? I hated Signs...he's just so heavy-handed. It's like: we get it! You're religious! Give us a break!

This film was the same way. We get it! We're destroying the environment! Even other, much campier, films in the same genre have at least a bit of subtlety (Day of the Triffids).