Just got done watching The Happening, a movie written, directed and produced by M. Night Shyamalan, and The Absolute Worst Major Motion Picture In the History of American Filmmaking, and felt the need to do a question column on it (Yes, the questions are mostly rhetorical).
1) In the movie The Happening, the plants and trees feel threatened by humanity and release a toxin which convinces people to kill themselves (don’t worry, if you haven’t seen the movie and are heavily into self-inflicted torture, I’m not spoiling anything that won’t be readily apparent within the first five minutes).
Sounds a bit far-fetched, but I believe there may actually be a degenerative director toxin which convinces directors to create increasingly more atrocious films. People like to diss The Sixth Sense now, but that was a pretty good horror film, Unbreakable was decent, Signs was watchable, but since then, it’s just been one bigger disaster after another. The Villiage, Lady in the Water, and now this claptrap.
Do you know of any other movie makers, whose careers once started so promising, who seem to have been felled by this particular toxin?
2) Do you think that M. Night really thought this piece of shit was quality, or do you think that once you begin production on a big-budget film, you literally cannot shut it down and say ‘This was a mistake. I am going to try and save my dignity and quite possibly the careers of all the other people involved in this production.’?
3) Can anyone look at Mark Wahlberg now and not picture him talking to animals? I never realized how dead-on Andy Samberg’s SNL impression of Marky Mark was. “Say hi to your mother for me.”
4) Whom exactly do I ask for the hour and a half of my life back? M. Night (I feel bad asking him since he already wasted two years of his life on this film)? Twentieth Century-Fox Film Corporation, the co-producer and distributor of the film? Time Warner Cable, for making it available on demand? My girlfriend, who OKed the movie? Me, for actually purchasing the film?
5) Can a movie be so bad it’s actually awesome? If this wasn’t so boring, it could qualify. What was the best worst movie you’ve ever seen?
6) Did someone employed by the New York Times really write that The Happening is a ‘…divertingly goofy thriller with an animistic bent, moments of shivery and twitchy suspense and a solid lead performance from Mark Wahlberg.”?
7,8,9,10) I’m not about to waste ten questions on this thing. But just one more: I mean, really, what the fuck????