I went yesterday to see “The Happening” and then movie hop to go see “The Strangers”. I had high hopes for both of these films. And they both were very bad.
“The Happening” was actually shockingly bad. It started off strong. Mass panic/psychosis is always interesting, but the acting was really really really awful. I am a big fan of Zooey Deschanel. I think she is gorgeous, and very talented. When I saw her in the first shot of “The Happening” I thought her character was retarded. I don’t know what Mr. M. Night did to her or Mark Wahlberg, but they both gave the worst performances of their collective careers.
Then, of course, I was waiting for “the big twist”. There really isn’t one, let alone much of an explanation of what exactly happened, which pissed me off. I don’t mind if you don’t tell me anything, I don’t mind if you tell me everything, just don’t tell me enough to confuse me and leave most of the films questions unanswered. That’s just bad storytelling.
As far as “The Strangers” goes, the acting was well above “The Happening” par, but not by much. Neither Liv Tyler nor Scott Speedman do much for me, so there was already that strike against it. But essentially, the film is 85 minutes of creepy noises and people in (admittedly) creepy masks freaking out Liv and Scott, then 5 minutes of (sort of kind of) payoff.
Maybe i’m too jaded by watching seriously gory films, but this kind of “thriller” does nothing for me. Show me some violence already, sheesh.
So, in closing, avoid these movies. Go see Frontiers instead. It was awesome.