The Happening | Chicago Reader

The Happening

John Leguizamo should be grateful: his exit early on in the latest horror film from writer-director M. Night Shyamalan (Lady in the Water) means he escapes from the wreckage relatively unscathed. Not so for poor Mark Wahlberg, who plays a Philadelphia science teacher who discovers that an east-coast suicide epidemic is being caused by angry flora. No need for an SFX budget; trees and grasses express their menace by blowing in the wind, signaling humans to feed themselves to lions or lie down in front of rampaging lawn mowers. Wahlberg turns in one of his worst performances ever, but then he's saddled with preposterous scenes (like one where he tries to placate a ficus) and such lame lines as “Could this really be happening?” Funny, I was wondering the same thing myself. R, 90 min.

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