The Happening

The Happening ★★★★★

Film #2 of Gustav's M.National Shyamalan-a-thon

It is Unbelievable. It is inexplicable, incredulous, unthinkable, startling and dumbfounding how The Happening was failed to be recognized as one of the funniest, self-parodying, satirical and craziest films ever made. I just cannot wrap my head around it. Maybe it is an act of Nature which can never be fully understood. Or it could be an act of prejudiced human nature against Shyamalan which is much easier to identify but just as much unexplianable. Maybe the theatre owners released a toxin that makes people automatically hate Night Shyamalan. The toxin, I think, could have also had the potency to induce a self-preservation mechanism that makes people not appreciate or enjoy an intentionally bad film, with intentionally bad acting combined with the UNINTENTIONALLY bad, ever bad, superbad acting of Zooey Deschanel that goes on a merciless laugh inducing spree.

Till now, in my mind, The Room was the Big Daddy of this genre. Well not anymore. The throne that I thought would forever belong and could never be compromised to another has now been rightfully abdicated. The Legend Mr.Tommy Wiseau and his Timeless Face has now been confirmedly replaced by The Fresh Prince of The Happening, Mark “Markie” Wahlberg and his Priceless face, wide eyed stares, and the irreplaceable, monumental Eye Rolling. His face in this movie is a stuff of legend. It is the same stuff that legends are made of. His Face. His Face. Oh His Face!!

Seriously how much does it take for a seasoned film goer to evaluate whether a film is unintentionally bad or intentionally bad? I certainly do not think it takes a genius to see what this film was trying to be when you have the most preposterous impersonation of a science teacher brought to life on screen by the one and only Markie. The moment his brief class room introduction came on, I knew I was going to have an unabridged, uncontrolled, and unbounded guilt filled ride of tasting a hyper hysterical, utterly absurd B movie masterpiece.

I am not going to persuade or propagate anymore about why this film has been improperly treated, unfairly received, misconstrued, misquoted, misunderstood and the most important of all wrongly advertised. I believe Gustav's brilliant review already did that. So I am now going to take the same route that I took for my review of The Room and dispel a few of the several un-glorified gems in The Happening. Simply reading these below quotes makes me guffaw out so loud that my Mother is looking at me strangely.

The Thing to be remembered is that all these lines were delivered with the Faces intact. Markie had that brilliant look plastered all through the film so it is not even necessary for me to mention about him. But Zooey. Oh ZoooooeY!. Simply said, she cannot act. If she tried hard she can become Albert Einstein or Mozart but never a good actress. She is undoubtedly the Queen of Eye Rolls here and one of the perfect casting choices ever in the history of cinema. How she so effortlessly glides through her role is the best example for the genius of Shyamalan. No matter how many “Summers” I get through I still would not know how she managed to be so unintentionally bad in an intentionally bad movie. Whether she actually grasped the fact that Shyamalan was indeed making a B movie or did Shyamalan kept that secret from her, knowing that only her unknowing would bring out the natural flair and the most aptly suited performance will always be up for debates. How Shyamalan elicited such a gem of a performance from her will always remain an Urban Legend.

Now for the real crux:

Train Conductor: The train service has been discontinued. This will be the last stop for all passengers.

Elliot Moore: Hey, what do you mean? Where are we?

Train Conductor:Filbert, Pennsylvania.

Elliot Moore: Filbert? Does anybody know where that is? Why are you giving me one useless piece of information at a time?

Me: Oh Hi Markie, you birdbrain. Din’t the guy just tell you where you are. And you have a cell phone with you and it is fully operational. So can’t you make use of the GPS to answer yourself instead of prodding the shit scared Train Conductor?

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Elliot Moore:(Questions a student about the mysterious disappearance of honey bees from the country) You're not interested in what happened to the bees?
[Jake shakes his head]

Elliot Moore: You should be more interested in science, Jake. You know why? Because your face is perfect. The problem is, your face is perfect at 15. Now if you were interested in science, you would know facts like the human nose and ears grow a fraction of an inch each year. So a perfect balance of features now might not look so perfect five years from now, and might look down-right whack ten years from now.

Me: What do I mean Me. I was like Wow, with my wide open:D This started The Happening of the series of mad laughs.

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Alma Moore: [watching news report about the toxin] It makes you kill yourself. Just when you thought there couldn't be any more evil that can be invented.

Me: OK I have to admit in the context of the above two riotous dialogues this one seems a bit flat. But the way that Deschanel girl utters this line, just made me overwhelmed with what else other than side splitting laughter.

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Alma Moore: We're so much the same, Jess. I don't like to show my emotions either.

Me: See. What did I tell you about this film and Shymalan’s genius of self- parodying his most beloved genre? He articulates the pun effect by actually making Zooey Deschanel word out this piece of truth!

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Elliot Moore: [shots are heard firing in the distance] Oh no...

Alma Moore: What "oh no"?

Elliot Moore: The toxin? The toxin's affecting them?

Alma Moore: Are those people killing themselves? We need to do something!

Elliot Moore: Just let me think...

Alma Moore: [as shots continually fire in the background] They're dying!

Elliot Moore: I need a second..

Alma Moore: We can't just stand here as uninvolved observers!

Elliot Moore: I need a second okay? Just give me a second!

Alma Moore: We're not gonna be one of those assholes on the news who watches a crime happen and not do something! We're not assholes!

Elliot Moore: Just a second!

Alma Moore: Elliot please tell us what to do!

Elliot Moore: I need a second okay? Why can't anybody give me a goddamn second?
[talks to himself]

Elliot Moore: All right, be scientific, douchebag. Identify the... rules... design the experiment... careful observation, measurements, that's what I'm trying to do, interpret the experimental pattern, interpret... What if it IS the plants? That group was larger than ours. This thing's been escalating all day. Smaller and smaller populations have been setting this off. They react to human stimulus. Maybe people are setting off the plants?


Me: This scene is pure Gold. Along with the screen filling zoom of Markie’s Timeless Face I had mentioned above and that Out-of-the-world method of realizing what is Happening just makes this scene one of the best in the film, maybe one of the most iconic in all of films. So just wonder how much it would have made me laugh.

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Nursery Owner: We're packing hot dogs for the road. You know hot dogs get a bad rap? They got a cool shape, they got protein. You like hot dogs right? By the way, I think I know what's causing this.

Elliot Moore You do?

Me: A country full of people are killing themselves and this guy is worried about Hot Dogs getting a bad reputation. And also notice how the scene effortlessly changes tracks to the serious topic. It is the perfect companion piece for the “How’s Your Sex Life” scene from The Room. It appears out of nowhere and just makes you go mad with laughter.

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Elliot Moore: [notices a plant moving inside the house they'd intruded upon, slowly walks to it and begins speaking softly to it] Hello? My name is Elliot Moore. Just want to talk in a very positive manner, giving off good vibes. We're just here to use the bathroom, and then we're just going to leave. I hope that's OK.
[feels the plant]
Elliot Moore: Plastic. I'm talking to a plastic plant.
[pauses]
Elliot Moore: I'm still doing it.

Me: There is a reason why this is last on the list of quotes from The Happening on IMDB. There is a reason why I placed this as the last one among the quotes here. This simply cannot be surpassed. I mean like EVER. This is the Masterpiece of All Masterpieces. This film deserves a High Five just for this scene alone!

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Also there is a scene where Shyamalan pays a naughty tribute to The Possessed Doll that has been used in endless number of horror flicks. That scene made me laugh so much that I started coughing and had tears in my eyes. Perfectly complementing the absurdity is the most Alien looking Wedding Ring Ever on Earth.

The Happening is a Stroke of a Genius. It is an incomparable achievement in the “So Bad it is So Good” Genre. This film makes me want to Re-Christen the genre as “So Bad it is So So Good”.

The Happening simply Must Be Experienced.

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