Pop Culture Princess

Pop Culture Princess
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Friday, June 06, 2008

Will The Happening be Shyamalan's first real horror show?

I know this opening movie weekend is all about the Zohan and Kung Fu Panda,but frankly,folks,I'm way more interested in what's hitting the theaters on Friday the 13th next week.

That is M. Knight Shyamalan's The Happening,with Marky Mark Wahlberg as a school teacher who seeks to save his wife(Zooey Deschanel),best friend(John Lequizamo)and his buddy's child from succumbing to the bizarre unknown phenomenon that is sweeping the world which causes people to go mad and kill themselves.

This is being touted as Shyamalan's first R rated movie and judging by this red band trailer,he's not playing it safe by a long shot here(don't watch this if you're the kind of person who covers their eyes during the scary parts;you have been warned):

There's been some spoiler talk about this movie already buzzing on the internet and while I won't go into any of it here,I will say that it seems to me that some people bring extremely high expectations to a Shyamalan movie and then dump all over him whenever the film before them doesn't meet them.

Ever since the brilliant twist revelation of The Sixth Sense,Shyamalan's follow up films have been mercilessly scrutinized and found wanting by film critics and movie fanatics alike. While some of the critiques are legit(Signs was rather overwrought at times),most are simply slams against the man and his sudden success.

Yet,some of the blame can also be put on the advertising of those films as well. The Village was played up as a horror/slasher movie in the trailers which drew crowds of gore fans who were understandably let down(the PG-13 rating should've tipped them off,if you ask me)and didn't or couldn't appreciate the interesting Twilight Zone type of storytelling that was being presented instead.

That doesn't seem to be the case with The Happening,however. M. Knight is really going to give us something scary and unsettling for our money,which sounds great to me.(and to any of the eager spoiler spreaders out there,yes,I know the "big" secret and it doesn't bother me at all. So,just cool your jets,dudes)

In last week's issue of Entertainment Weekly,one of their writers was complaining about how all of the superhero films have taken over the summer movie season. While I do sympathize with being tired of certain genres overloading the marketplace(those Saw/Hostel rip offs,for example),some of the films he picked as prime examples of great summer movies are just as goofy as some of the comic book adaptations have become(Flashdance? My man,you need to watch that one again to see how damn silly that sucker is,not to mention shallower than a kiddie wading pool).

Getting back to the topic at hand,The Happening seems to be the perfect antidote for those tired of pumped up comic book characters(not me!)and for those looking for some popcorn munching fun. I hope it does well with audiences and helps a few folks to relieve their tensions for a little while. A good dose of suspension of disbelief can do wonders for us all:


Julia Stewart said...

i am so stinkin' excited about this movie! I LOVE all of M.'s work and simply adored the Village.

Besides the twist endings and all that jazz (which I love) I truly appreciate the character development in each of his moives. He gets you to CARE about these people and what they are going through.

I have kept my eyes closed to every trailer or magazine/internet article about the movie. Until now I didn't even know it was rated R.

I want to go in fresh, with no expectation and just be truly moved by his art.

Ladytink_534 said...

I haven’t enjoyed a movie by him since The Sixth Sense! I remember how everyone thought The Village was going to be such a scary movie (or at least a thriller) when it came out and how disappointed they were that it wasn’t (you should have seen the theater I was in). Maybe this will actually live up to the trailer? It has an excellent cast so maybe! Those “super hero” movies don’t bother me but those slapstick/gross humor comedies do, although my husband loves them.

lady t said...

My sister's been avoiding the spoilers for The Happening as well,Julia-me,I can take them or leave'em(except of course during that final Harry Potter book).

I do agree with you about the character development M. Knight gives to every film;so many screenwriters and directors working today in genre flicks could really take a page or two out of his play book.

lady t said...

I hear you about the gross out films,Lady Tink-some of them are okay but many are just dreck. When I finally saw Something About Mary,I only laughed once(and I did enjoy Dumb and Dumber,made by the same people). The rest of the time,I was all"what did anyone SEE in this thing that was so funny?"