The Happening

What Happened?

by Dan Angell


I hate M. Knight Shyamalan. I hate bad symbolism. I hate ridiculous twists at the end of movies. I hate M. Knight Shyamalan movies with bad symbolism and ridiculous twists. I hate this movie.

Now, as it is an M. Knight Shyamalan movie you are obviously wondering, “Can’t you just tell me the twist and save me 2 hours of my life?” But, dear bad movie aficionados, I cannot, because the premise for the movie is so ridiculous that it must not be bypassed. So, without further ado…the plot:

Attack of the killer trees.

That’s right; the plot of the movie is plants killing the population of the north east. Of course, now you’re wondering how they accomplish this. The plants release a toxin. The simple thing would be to say the plants release a poisonous toxin which kills people. But no, that just isn’t the case. That is waaaaaaaaay to simple for Shyamalan. The plants release a toxin which, summed up from the movies simplistic explanation, reverses peoples brains desire for self preservation. Put very simply, it makes people kill themselves.

Now, if I were following my normal fashion I would go ahead and delve right into the story. However, before I do that, I feel I need to point out one or two flaws in the movies story, just so you don’t make the mistake of thinking for a second that any of this makes sense.

Perhaps I lied. I’m not going to be so obvious about what is so blatantly wrong with this movie. I am, instead, going to ask a few questions and let you draw your own conclusions.

1) Why doesn't the toxin just kill people?
2) "Hey Dumbass! Why don't you just tie yourself up so you can't kill yourself?"
3) How are all the houses and vehicles the characters hide in so completely air tight that the toxin can’t get inside (Accept of course for the little hole in the top of the Jeep?

That being said, shall we move on to the movie recap? Then here we go!

New England is plagued with a problem. No, it isn’t the New York Giants keeping Tom Brady on his back for an entire super bowl (sorry, had to take the shot), there is an epidemic plaguing the entire populace. Everyone…is committing suicide?

Yes it’s true. And who better to come to the rescue than Elliot Moore, high school science teacher. School is canceled and he decides to take his wife Alma, friend Julian, and Julian’s daughter, Jess, and flee.

They all hop on the train and speed off…until the train stops. Everyone on the train runs to the nearest town, and all try find cars away. Unfortunately, the cars just aren’t big enough to accommodate everyone, and Julian asks Elliot and Alma to take Jess. It is a good thing too, because he dies. The Jeep he is in has a tiny hole in the roof, and that hole is the one that allows in the toxin (because other than that, the Jeep is completely air tight).

The three surviving members of the party manage to hitchhike with a botanist…lucky for them, because between the botanist and the science teacher, they come up with the theory that the plants are killing them off because they feel threatened. The theory is furthered by the realization that they become more and more potent and are set off by smaller and smaller groups (I know, it all makes sense now).

Everyone takes off in different directions, and finally our hero’s come upon a little farm house owned by a woman who keeps to herself. The woman seems to be nice, but turns violent and paranoid for no apparent reason.

Jess is scared, so she and Alma run off to a small hut which, conveniently, has a tube that allows sound to travel from the hut to the room where Elliot is staying. Elliot decides that if he is going to die he is going to die with his wife, so they run out into the middle of a garden, right after the peak of the epidemic…and they’re fine. It’s all over.

After that, all three just go on with their lives. But as it is M. Knight (not to be confused with M from the James Bond films) there has to be a twist in the end. Everyone thinks the epidemic is over but…it starts off in Paris.

Along the way, there were a couple of boys murdered, talk of terrorists, and a completely meaningless argument between Elliot and Alma over dessert. I decided to skip all of it in the review because all of it is completely meaningless, as is this movie. No, M. Knight, there was no message. No one found any deeper meaning in this movie. This isn’t a review, this is an intervention. So please, on behalf of everyone who was disappointed by this movie, or went to it knowing it would be bad (like me), we are asking you…stop.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License