Sunday, June 22, 2008

Mooney Does Movies: "The Happening"

What can I say? I love horror films.

Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel star in M. Night Shyamalan’s first R-rated thriller. Overall, despite what I read from the critics before I went to see this movie, it’s a heck of a lot better than MNS’s last movie, Lady in the Water.

Zooey spends a lot of time looking pale-faced and wide-eyed. She’s a lot more dynamic as D.G. in the new OZ rendition she did for the Sci-Fi Channel. Mark tones down his performance greatly, compared to his other movies. The couple have nice chemistry, but it doesn’t leap out at you.

There’s lots of gore for horror buffs. A few good scares (Betty Buckley is superb). The scene entering Princeton blew me away. The suicides look absolutely real, especially the construction jumpers.

The movie takes place outdoors most of the time, with the characters running from the "toxic wind" created by the plant life that has found a way to rid the world of humans. I kept getting flashbacks of Cruise’s War of the Worlds, but without the Martians.

The ending was rather lame, IMO. And the tag at the end in France seemed tacked on at the last minute, but it works.

But, all in all, it’s a great popcorn movie. Go lose yourself in it for an hour and a half.

My rating: a 3-quarter moon

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