He’s having real trouble financing his movies. None of the majors would touch this at first. He had to go to India to get financing, and eventually an Indian company put up half the cost and Fox took up the other half.
I’ll be in the minority and say I liked it. Well, that’s not true, but I didn’t hate it. It was tolerable, and I didn’t feel cheated of my money & as as I did during Lady in the Water, which I walked away from after about 30 minutes, havnig realized that taking a crap was not merely more enjoyable but a better use of my time.
But generally I like Night. I still think *Signs *is brilliant and touching.
Heh. All of his later movies remind me of episodes of The World of Commander McBragg.
It was really, really terrible. Not even as entertainingly awful as The Village or* Lady in the Water*, just boringly phoned-in blandly awful.
I was willing to buy that the plants had produced a toxin that would have an effect on people. I was even willing to buy the notion that turning off the self preservation instinct could be done by such a toxin. I am not willing to buy the idea that this would cause people to instantly and silently kill themselves by the closest means possible.
On the plus side, Zooey was perfectly cast as a woman who is incapable of showing emotion.
Holy Cow - we watched this last night!
It kind of sucked ass, actually. We burst out laughing at the beginning when all the construction workers were hitting the ground - I don’t think that was supposed to be the reaction.
The story was ok. Marky Mark is a cutie patootie.
Big, fat meh.
What I find frustrating is that all his movies (and I liked The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and even Signs) have some real possibilities and strong elements – if Shyamalan would just pull his head out of his ass.
See, for me the biggest problem was that such an outlandishly ridiculous cause–the plants are doing it!–is the first theory anyone has, and it turns out to be right. That’s some lazy screenwriting there.
I tell a secret: I think the basic premise of the movie would have been pretty cool, done right. It may seem goofy, but is actually very realistic.
See, the thing is (and I would be surprised if Shamalyan knows this, except as something heard third-hand and half-remembered) that there really is a biological effect similar to the one in the movie. Only it’s not caused by plants, but a fungus-- Cordyceps unilateralis, which parasitizes carpenter ants. When the ant inhales a spore, the fungus gradually takes over its nervous system, causing it to behave erratically. Eventually, the ant is irresistibly compelled to climb as high as it can (generally to the top of a tall blade of grass) and then bite down hard, anchoring itself firmly. Then it dies. After a few days its head splits open and the mature fungus sprouts from its brain, showering new spores down on the ants below. There’s also a parasitic worm that compels crickets to seek water and drown themselves.
So the movie could have run with an idea like this, emphasizing the initial mystery as people start acting weird for no apparent reason-- feeling inexplicably compelled to climb up on chairs, ladders, etc. Then it’d spiral out of hand, as people start instinctively seeking “higher ground,” and huge segments of urban populations migrate en masse to the tops of skyscrapers, fighting and clawing to get as close to the top as possible; eventually pushing each other out of windows and off rooftops as space is used up. Eventually somebody’d put the pieces together; but it’d be too late, as the helpless victims spasm and die in throngs at the tops of buildings, their corpses heaped in enormous piles. And then their heads start splitting open, as the fungus stalks push their way out, and the spores rain down.
They could have called it “The Heightening.”
All these seem like petty and trivial reasons not to like a film when there are so many legitimate reasons not to like The Happening that actually speak to it’s quality as a film.
The premise of the movie is ok. Some unknown toxin or whatever is compelling people to kill themselves in the quickest way possible. That’s fine. I thought M Night did this very effectively. Unfortunately, the story and characters surrounding very creepy scenes of people glibly killing themselves was not very effective. And IMHO, they should have just kept the cause of The Happening a mystery or part of the twist ending instead of spelling it out for us.
If the premise of ordinary people randomly topping themselves without warning appeals to you, I recommend Jisatsu Saakuru (Suicide Club). It’s freaky and incomprehensible, but it’s definitely not “meh”.
The opening scene (just a tad violent):
Hey! There was an old “Swamp Thing” issue with that exact premise, I think that by Alan Moore (there was a particularly touching scene when a bag lady is affected and interned in a nice hospital room while she waits for death: her brain kept on telling her to “go higher”, but she was content because with a nice, cozy room she had gone as high as possible)
The movie just makes no sense, and I’m not talking on an intellectual level, here. It just doesn’t feel right, at all. The toxin going for concentrated people is a tolerable conceit, I guess, but then you have things like that old lady offing herself even when she was separated from Markie and Zooey. Running from the wind made the movie seem like a parody of itself. Mark and Zooey going out to meet each other near the end was the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. They both exposed themselves, even when only one was necessary. They went out at a snail’s pace to expose themselves as long as possible. Then they stayed out there, just for kicks. Oh, and they also took the little girl out to her death.
I mean, WTF?
The movie was really just one big WTF, though I have high hopes that it’ll be kinda fun for a bad movie night one day.
“Whispering grass, why tell the trees? The trees didn’t need to know!”
I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me.
I found this statement funny, given your user name.
I don’t know if they were litterally trying to “run away from the wind” or it was just added to give a sense of menance that one can’t normally portray in an oderless, tasteless substance. But it did look silly.
And the acting was terrible. I realize M Night was trying to give it a sort of surreal quality but it just came across like everyone was stoned.
“The breeze hasn’t time… to stop and–” GACK