View Full Version : The Happening (Possible Spoilers)

2008-Jun-16, 08:10 AM
This is the new M. Night Shayamalan film. (Sixth Sense guy)

I saw this tis weekend, and I think it's reasonable for discussion here due to the fact that the main character was a high school science teacher, who more or less tries to apply scientific principles throughout the film. More on that in a bit.

The basic premise is that something is happening that is causing people to kill themselves, usually in the most disturbing manner possible. Our Hero is on the run with his wife, his friend, and the friend's daughter. He is eventually able to figure out what's happening and it happens in a way that doesn't involve some twist ending.

Now, I liked all of his movies so far. Yes, even Signs. It wasn't a story about aliens, it was about faith. It just happened to include aliens that were really poorly thought out. So it is with this film and science. Knowing that there is a science class in the school, and even passing it on the way to the film class, really isn't a substitute for attaining a 6th grade level of understanding in it.

When we first see the Hero, he's talking about the vanishing bees, and getting ideas from the class. One kid finally says something like, "It's nature, and we'll never really understand it". The teacher agrees with this saying that that whatever explanation comes up, it will still be "Just a Theory." I'd like to think that a science teacher would know better. He also wears a mood ring, though I get the impression that it's more for sentimental reasons than he actually believes in it. He does claim that auras have been scientifically proven and that different colors can indicate different things, but it could easily have been just some made up crap to make another character feel better.

It also has the expert that can explain everything with a simple graph, followed by the same line the kid in class used.

Overall, I thought the idea behind it was really good, but done very poorly. I'd rank this one as his worst film so far. So much potential for a really good movie too.

2008-Jun-16, 04:22 PM
utter waste of my time....Indiana Jones was a better expenditure

2008-Jun-16, 08:10 PM
Another teacher tries to distract some people with a math quiz. He says, "if I give you a penny, and then on the next day I give you two, then four, and so on. After a month, how much money would you have?"

Am I misremembering this movie, or did the math teacher say the answer was over a billion dollars?

2008-Jun-16, 08:37 PM
If my math is correct, I get $5,368,709.12 for a 30 day month. A 31 day month would give me over a billion pennies, or $10,737,418.24.

2008-Jun-17, 02:44 PM
If my math is correct, I get $5,368,709.12 for a 30 day month. A 31 day month would give me over a billion pennies, or $10,737,418.24.

$5 million is what you *get* on the 30th day.

The way I phrased it (which may not be correct, I hated the movie so didn't pay much attention) is that on the first day I give you one penny, then on the second day I give you two pennies. So on the second day, you actually have three pennies. On the third day I give you four, so you actually have four + three, or seven cents. On the 30th day, I give you five million dollars, but you have a total of $10,737,418.23 (you're off by one cent).

The formula is ((2^X)-1)/100 where X is the number of days. I assumed 30 days.

Anyway, I thought he said you'd have a billion dollars. Maybe he said you'd have a billion pennies.

2008-Jun-17, 02:53 PM
Man, every time a new Shayamalan film comes up, I somehow manage to get my hopes up. I loved The Sixth Sense, and really enjoyed Unbreakable (which got fairly poor reviews, as I recall). I suffered through Signs, and even though it was a weak movie, I think I could see what he was trying to do/say. But since then, I've just not been able to justify going to one of his movies (or renting) based on what I've heard about them. This one sounds dang awful. My wife and I heard some early buzz on it, and were saying, "Finally! A GOOD Shayamalan film." Based on what I know about it now, I have no desire at all to see it.


2008-Jun-17, 03:27 PM
$5 million is what you *get* on the 30th day.Got it. I misunderstood that a bit.

Well, as you pointed out, you still wouldn't end up with a billion dollars, even if you added the numbers as you went.

And yes, I have clumsy fingers, hence one of my numbers was off by a penny. But the calculator got the right answer!

2008-Jun-17, 05:54 PM
No one should go to a Shayamalan film expecting it to be scientifically accurate - that's not his focus.

2008-Jun-17, 06:26 PM
Man, every time a new Shayamalan film comes up, I somehow manage to get my hopes up.

Same here. *sigh*

I once read a short scifi story about the Amish (yes, the Amish). A group of them that were breeding plants to which everyone except the Amish would be allergic. The specific allergic reaction however, was no itching, but general irritation, to the point that the sufferer became violent. The goal was to have English society tear itself apart.

Anyone else familiar with this story?

2008-Jun-17, 06:53 PM
Ahmish terrorists? Doesn't sound likely.

captain swoop
2008-Jun-17, 07:56 PM
why not? they have a Militia (http://www.geocities.com/beaver_militia/)

peter eldergill
2008-Jun-17, 08:04 PM
Whenever I hear this title, I think of a movie from a Simpson's episode called "The Bloodening". Hilarious!


Paul Beardsley
2009-Jul-24, 03:42 PM
I'm resurrecting this thread because I saw the film yesterday.

I nearly didn't watch it when I realised it was a Shyamalan - "Oh good grief, what inane twist is it heading for this time?" - but I was very pleasantly surprised by the film - and also surprised by the coldness on this thread.

For one thing, it's the first time a horror film has scared me since the mid-80s. I've seen a lot of horror films, and some have made me feel unease, horrified fascination, and even suspense, but never truly scared. (I've been scared by books, by authors such as Ramsay Campbell and Robert Holdstock, and games such as Silent Hill and Project Zero, but not films.)

For another, I thought the bare minimum of gore was inspired. As was the technique of "priming" the audience. There were several scenes where we saw nothing, but heard a slow sequence of gunshots, and we knew exactly what was happening to people we'd got to like, because we'd seen something similar. Likewise, getting to know the symptoms made it unnerving when someone showed them - or even appeared to.

I do agree with one criticism - what kind of decent science teacher uses the phrase "just a theory"? - but otherwise I have no complaints about the science, because science was just a vague justification for the effective ideas and imagery. This is also the case with George A. Romero's Dead films and 28 Days Later.

2009-Aug-10, 10:38 AM
the movie was pointless which has been the "point" of several of his last movies.....