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Happening, The

Entry updated 19 January 2017. Tagged: Film.

Film (2008). Twentieth Century Fox in association with UTV Motion Pictures and Spyglass Entertainment presents a Blinding Edge Pictures production in association with Dune Entertainment. Written and directed by M Night Shyamalan. Cast includes Betty Buckley, Zooey Deschanel, John Leguizamo, Ashlyn Sanchez and Mark Wahlberg. 91 minutes. Colour.

As an epidemic of mass suicides is traced to the release by the plant biosphere of an inhalable neurotoxin which switches off the human brain's barriers to self-harm, a young couple attempt to flee the invisible path of the Poison.

Gaia takes an initially creepy but increasingly preposterous Biological revenge on her wayward children in this flimsily rationalized Holocaust tale marrying genre elements of Horror and Disaster cinema with Ecological flim-flam. As commonly in Shyamalan's work, the buildup to the big reveal is atmospherically effective, only for the film's credibility to fall off a cliff once the mystery is dispelled: scientific rationalization is not his strong suit, and Wahlberg's science teacher proves an unfortunate choice of hero. Despite a new studio, a more adult certificate, and a tighter running time, it failed to turn around its maker's flagging reputation and audience, and he would subsequently move away from directing his own material. [NL]

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