The movie blasts out of the shoot in the first scene with a mysterious airborne toxin causing people to kill themselves. The opening scenes are suspenseful and horrific. We’re then introduced to our four main characters: Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel are a newly married couple who are already going through a rocky phase; John Leguizamo is Wahlberg’s friend and father to young Ashlyn Sanchez.
As the four of them attempt to flee the city, reports filter in through laptops, cellphones and televisions of the toxins spreading. The movie quickly becomes a series of scenes of people either running from the wind or killing themselves as quickly as possible no matter how gruesome the death. There are some tense moments in the film [stuck at the crossroads with the toxins coming from all sides, on the porch of survivors boarded in their house, and staying overnight in the home of a truly deranged woman], but soon enough everyone’s running from the gentle breeze coming their way.
The Pitch: “The Birds” without the birds.
The Good: The opening scenes of people killing themselves as those around them try to figure out what is happening — the initial feelings of paranoia as we try to figure out what is happening — the time at the deranged lady’s [played by Betty Buckley] farm.
The Bad:Zooey Deschanel’s character/acting — the scene with the lions — the lack of conflict with what was killing everyone [how do you fight plants] — the ending.
The Ugly:The way the construction workers died — — the guy lying down in the path of the mower.
The Summary: “The Happening” isn’t one of M. Night’s best films, but it’s not as bad as most reviews would lead you to believe. My suggestion, if you haven’t seen it yet, wait to rent it.