The Happening

The Happening ★★★★

TURN THE COLOR OFF on your TV and watch this movie again.

This movie, presented in black and white, plays much differently than when it's watched in color. Shyamalan stated that this was his version of an old B-movie, and when it's thrown back into Black and White, all those "weird" moments in the film actually work. It looks and feels like an old 1950's science fiction film, complete with the characters and settings of those old, slightly hammy films. The secondary characters actually feel like they've been assembled from all decades of paranoia sci-fi films - the 50's, 70's, and current day.

The scattered grim moments are especially well done, as we see many shocking and brutal moments that would never be allowed in old films, and these stand out even more when the color is stripped away. The movie overall actually looks beautiful in B&W - which has to do with Tak Fujimoto's cinematography style for the film.

A lot of people wrote this off completely when it came out in theaters. I strongly believe that if this had been released in black and white, the giant nod to old sci fi films would have been seen more clearly and critics would have given this much better ratings.

Without color: 4 stars
In color: 2 1/2 stars

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