The Happening

The Happening ★★★

After falling in love with Old, I was really eager to revisit this one. I must say that it plays as a rough draft of the kind of existential horror comedy that I think Old perfected whilst also slam dunking the emotional arcs at play, where here it’s… stuck in eerieness and pastiche inspired inhumanity (he owns the performance style and writing so much harder later- here it’s distracting even for a mark.) There is a messiness to The Happening that I find charming, if not entirely in its own way, but it does not entirely stop the quirky genius of Shyamalan from exploding through the screen in key details, performances, and set-pieces (cop gun... I could've watched cop gun forever.) The post-9/11 dread was palpable, for sure, as well as the painful realization that we might just be too alienated as a species and race to ever find it in ourselves to be patient and rationally rally together to make it through something without massive collateral damage and loss.

...pretty great COVID movie, honestly, down to the need to not breathe in the air and avoid big crowds lmao.

M Night forever

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