The Happening

The Happening ★★½

"The Happening" takes a harrowing story of nature putting the screws to human beings and delivers it with hammy, tonally tone-deaf execution. The narrative works: families flee the cities as mysterious attacks cause people to reject the instinct to survive. Regardless of the tension, themes, and movement of the tale, however, all of the good is nearly demolished by director, M. Night Shyamalan's, insistence on presenting it with overwrought and unsubtle compositional flourishes that collide with overwrought and unsubtle performance direction. The film may succeed on the basis of its ample chills and commentary, but it fails thanks to its storytelling. Whatever Shyamalan was trying to do here is simply not happening.

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