The movie demonstrates a smart movie geek's obsession with the rhythms and gory details of horror storytelling, undermined by a pompous insistence on spiritual lessons of the tritest kind.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
The Happening is a divertingly goofy thriller with an animistic bent, moments of shivery and twitchy suspense and a solid lead performance from Mark Wahlberg.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Shyamalan tries to give the events a scientific underpinning. But his logic is spotty, so what are meant to be eerie moments are not convincing.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The Happening stutter-steps its way in this direction and that to a disappointing ending.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
You feel like you're not watching the end of the world but the end of a career.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Effective nonsense, chilling nonsense, occasionally wrenching nonsense.
Robert Wilonsky - Village Voice
The final explanation, which comes as no surprise, is more preposterous than profound. If you want to see a scary movie about humans wreaking havoc on their planet, watch An Inconvenient Truth instead.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
Woeful clunker of a paranoid thriller.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Mr. Shyamalan is plagued by a bad case of Robin Williams Syndrome, characterized by a desire to inspire and change the world through mediocre entertainment a" in this case, accompanied by ample and frequently creative bloodshed.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
All that's missing is the head alien of Plan 9 From Outer Space dropping by to lecture the populace for disrespecting nature: 'Your stupid minds! Stupid! Stupid!'
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
The Happening is an awful letdown, yet it leaves you with something new, as a gently waving tree -- that classical image of pastoral tranquillity -- mutates into a harbinger of doom.
Anthony Lane - New Yorker
Shyamalan's approach is more effective than smash-and-grab plot-mongering. His use of the landscape is disturbingly effective. The performances by Wahlberg and Deschanel bring a quiet dignity to their characters.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
After the insufferably dense mermaid mythology of Lady in the Water, Shyamalan clearly wanted to keep things simple. He whizzed straight past simple to simplistic.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
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.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
As for The Happening, his throwback horror flick that plays like The Birds meets The Blob, it's beyond good and evil. It's dumbfounding.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
The attention paid to [Wahlberg and Deschanel's] piddling relationship woes vs. the entire fate of humanity is absurd. We never feel persuaded that they have a bond, much less invested in seeing them patch it up.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It's downright stupid.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Instead of shocks, we get moments of tension, suspense and violence between stretches of running scared. Nothing wrong with that, except that the stretches are awfully long in places. And in the end, it all comes to not much.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
For a movie with the potential for so much global-warming electricity, it's disappointingly low on voltage.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
A patchy, uninspired eco-thriller whose R rating (a first for Shyamalan) looks more like a B.O. hindrance than an artistic boon.
Justin Chang - Variety
No one will watch any of Shyamalan's recent films twice. A movie that features Wahlberg suggesting everyone try to outrun the wind can barely be watched once.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
The plot is absurdly preachy and illogical, and the dialogue uneven, with stinging lines followed by stinkers.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Shyamalan seems to have lost his sense of the fine line between the disturbingly grotesque and the outright ridiculous. The film even seems to be a parody of the scientific method.
Philip Marchand - Toronto Star
No mere actor could possibly escape the toxic dialogue oozing from M. Night's pen -- that's merciless.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Shyamalan's such an eager recycler, grinding out the same ideas and images again and again. The man who showed such promise less than a decade ago has been leaving a diminishing creative footprint ever since.
Mary Elizabeth Williams - Salon.com
The whole solemn concoction is preposterous and not always in a fun way -- even at 99 minutes' running time, the movie provides plenty of opportunities for watch-consultation in the dark.
Dana Stevens - Slate
We don't care. It doesn't matter if they live or die, if there's a happy ending, or some kind of twist. The Happening is a movie to walk out of, sleep through, or -- best of all -- not to bother with.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The movie seems more like a '50s science fiction film of extreme paranoia or an episode of "The Twilight Zone" that even at a swiftly paced 90 minutes feels padded.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
The shock value wears off quickly and writer-director Shyamalan strands us in a boring cautionary tale with an infantile eco-message about humanity needing to live in harmony with nature -- or else.
David Germain - Associated Press
Feeble gust of an environmental horror story.
Richard Corliss - TIME Magazine
Wahlberg is atrocious, as wooden as the trees terrorising him.
Ali Gray - TheShiznit.co.uk
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out
Nigel Floyd - Time Out
Dean Essner - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Horror film is long on peril, but thin on plot.
James Rocchi - Common Sense Media
Shot in the inimitable Shyamalan lugubriousness
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
Shyamalan sve lo%u0161ije reagira na gubitak statusa holivudskog bo%u017Eanstva
Dragan Antulov - Index.hr
Seeing The Happening is like going on an outing with an earnest person, who happens to be a drunk. Every time it starts to make sense, it slurs its speech and starts dropping things -- such as coherence and credibility.
Tony Macklin - Fayetteville Free Weekly
More than anything, what bothers me about it is a sense of cheapness that ... centrally comes from a concept mainly built for shock value.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
Undoubtedly M. Night Shyamalan's weakest thriller to date...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
While not as laughable as the narcissistic Lady in the Water ,it fails just as miserably as narrative and even more miserably with its flat characters and tone deaf dialogue.
Brian Holcomb - CinemaBlend.com
[A]n astonishment, so idiotic in conception and inept in execution that, after seeing it, one almost wonders whether it was real or imagined.
Christopher Orr - New Republic
Christopher Orr - The New Republic
It's a great idea. A silent, unknown killing machine knocking people off while a science teacher tries to figure out why. But it just didn't work.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Shyamalan's latest is an improvement, but a full-fledged comeback ain't happening.
Todd Gilchrist - IGN Movies
Shyamalan is a master at a visual iconic moment - but the "filler" (you might have learned about it in English class by this name: "story") gets weaker and weaker every film.
Karina Montgomery - Cinerina
The M. Knight brilliance is there in quick jolts of suspense and terror, but those moments are the exception in this otherwise flat little thriller.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
Shyamalan's religious ideas are a lot like Bush's: Nearly theology free.
Stephen Himes - Film Snobs
M. Night Shyamalan offers up low-intensity thrills that fail to match the shivery shudders of his best work (THE SIXTH SENSE, SIGNS). His patented approach - mixing domestic drama with horror - plays out on a much larger canvas.
Steve Biodrowski - Cinefantastique
It is the first film of his career that feels incompetent and utterly gratuitous at times.
David Poland - Movie City News
Shyamalan creates another urban myth with this slow burning thriller. But it never quite comes to life, due to stiff directing and acting
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Usually Shyamalan can hide his limitations as a screenwriter behind his skill as a director. Here, that skill fails him as well, and the whole movie falls apart.
Michael Dance - The Cinema Source
Un nuevo fiasco de M. Night Shyamalan, que sigue siendo un director con ideas interesantes (tanto argumentales como visuales) pero que necesita urgentemente la ayuda de un buen guionista.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
Holy Mother of God...this is awful.
Bob Grimm - Reno News and Review
This major studio release asks the question, how long can you survive on past glories? Shame on Shyamalan.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
It's hard to believe that at one time Shyamalan was being touted as the next Steven Spielberg by Newsweek magazine, but if things keep going the way they are now, Uwe Boll might end up being a better comparison. And boy is that depressing.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
Mark Wahlberg's sturdy performance saves The Happening from becoming a protracted Saturday Night Live spoof of M. Night Shyamalan movies.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
There are some creepy moments but overall The Happening is a bit of a non-event.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
Shyamalan's ideas might have more impact in a half-hour 'Twilight Zone' episode, where they would be shorn of some of the pretensions that seem to be mandatory in the feature-length work of a one-time Best Director Oscar nominee.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
[N]owhere near the level of The Sixth Sense, and not quite as good as the subsequent Unbreakable, Signs, and The Village, but at least it suggests that the awfulness of Lady in the Water may have been an aberration.
Andy Klein - Los Angeles CityBeat
I'm shaking my head now like a caring teacher grading a poor assignment written by a bright student.
Ross Anthony - Hollywood Report Card
...some nice creepy moments -- but other moments, and more, of (presumably) unintended humor.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
Might be perceived by some as all peaches and cream for entertainment value even if everything else about it is not happening.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Only half good cinema, seemingly the result of its maker's stunted belief/determination in both himself and his audience.
Rob Humanick - House Next Door
The slight premise, coupled with some very bad performances by the cast as well as a screenplay filled with ham-fisted dialogue makes for a film that's not scary and borders on being ridiculous at times.
Sean McBride - Sean the Movie Guy
What you end up with is a cross between Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow and Shyamalan's Signs.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Other than its ripe possibility for mockery, I cannot think of anything that makes the film really worthwhile.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
A better title for M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening would be Nonsense. It's like an amusement park ride that has no reason for being -- and no meaning -- besides visceral excitation. Only difference is that The Happening isn't fun.
Armond White - New York Press
When a movie's best bit arrives during the closing credits, we're all in trouble.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
So podemos deduzir que o proximo projeto de Shyamalan sera melhor do que este Fim dos Tempos porque sabemos que ele (ou qualquer outro cineasta) dificilmente seria capaz de fazer algo pior.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Rather than [the R-rating]being an opportunity-opening device for writer/director Shyamalan to pull out of his toolbox, the graphic violence that got him that rating is more like a monkey wrench.
Eric Melin - Scene-Stealers.com
Nothing 'happening' here
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
A numbing polemical morality tale in dreary doomsday thriller clothing, this dull downer for all its mass panic attack high alert mode, may be more effective in unintentionally boring people to death.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze
...a minor, not quite successful film, but for M. Night Shyamalan - whose career has been circling the drain for some time now - it's a step back from the abyss.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
The true disaster on display in The Happening is Shyamalan's career hitting rock bottom.
Geoff Berkshire - Metromix.com
It's engrossing one minute and stupefying the next, off and on, off and on, for ninety minutes.
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
'There are forces at work beyond our understanding,' says Wahlberg. 'Especially beyond my understanding, if you include virtually every force at work.'
Mark Ramsey - MovieJuice!
A monster movie desperately seeking a monster, M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening doesn't make sense, much less The Sixth Sense.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
For Night, The Happening is a little blip on his career flatline. The guy just may pull through.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
I did find myself caught up in Shyamalan's apocalyptic world for a time -- before some really bad dialogue or acting would shake me out of it.
Lucius Gore - ESplatter
Maybe Shyamalan didn't mean for The Happening to be exciting and dramatic: perhaps the writer-director intended the film to be an exercise in sucking all the life and emotion out of fictional characters.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
It almost dares you to roll your eyes or laugh at certain scenes that are supposed to be deadly serious. But, you know what, I appreciated this creatively offbeat, daring sci-fi mind-trip.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
There's never an ounce of suspense, mystery, or surprise.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Someday someone will stop bankrolling Shyamalan's dumb dreams and keep this kind of tripe from happening.
Danny Minton - Beaumont Journal
Shyamalan's direction always seems so serious that it's easy to imagine he may be screwing up when he draws laughs, but I'd lay down money that many of these were deliberate.
Luke Y. Thompson - LYTRules.com
What's more annoying than when a mediocre movie constantly males allusions to much better pictures? I know, it's when you wait an hour and a half for a solution this pathetic.
Kam Williams - NewsBlaze
'The Happening' works in early spurts, but apparently Shyamalan ran out of ideas once he came up with his uniquely insidious killer.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
Works as an effective and brutally horrifying antithesis to the usual explosive summer fare...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
If Shyamalan wanted to commit career suicide he couldn't have chosen a more likely vehicle than this laugh inducing 'thriller.'
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
The film does manage to build some tension, since the survival of the group remains in question right up to the end.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Ouch. 'Lady in the Water' was a dud. And for its ghastliness, filmmaker M. Night Shyamalan took one to the chin. He got back up again, though, to make 'The Happening.'This one's gonna hurt.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
... M. Night desperately needs to find that special someone whose opinion he'll listen to when they say,'No! BAD writer-producer-director! NOT a good idea!'
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
Where the hell is Act III?
Scott Weinberg - FEARnet
'The Happening' may not be M. Night Shyamalan's best movie, but it's his most provocative one.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
It's clear that a once creative director is now running out of fumes, trying extremely hard to find something that hasn't been done before. The result is laughable.
Austin Kennedy - Sin Magazine
Shyamalan's essentially made a sociopathic movie.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Another case of elegant filmmaking kneecapped by a thunderingly stupid concept.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
On a brighter note, the Wayans brothers have new material to make Scary Movie 5.
Gary Brown - Houston Community Newspapers
Lacks scares, wit, humor and acting, and Zooey Deschanel, alas, has lost her cuteness.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
The Happening suggests [Shyamalan's] (con) artist's touch is waning a bit.
Keith Uhlich - UGO
While there are certainly ideas behind it, the film lacks the bloated self-importance that plagued the director's last two efforts. This time, Shyamalan seems content merely to entertain us, and that's enough.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
A creepy cautionary eco-thriller than neither cautions nor thrills. Instead of being full of dread, it's just dreadful.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
If you have seen the trailers online or on T.V., you can just save your money and wait for the rental on this one. All of the best moments are in the promos.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
just damned creepy
Kevin Carr - Film School Rejects
A subtle, measured work, which means there will be many who find it dull and pointless.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
An impressive thriller which acknowledges the mystery that lies behind the marvels and the terrors of the natural world.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
It's creepy, silly fun. And if it came from anyone else, it would be recognized as such. One thing is certain: The man hasn't lost his ability to entertain.
Glenn Whipp - Los Angeles Daily News
If this was the movie to rescue the reputation of self-styled genius Shyamalan after the disaster of Lady in the Water, then it's back to the old drawing board.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
Trying to understand the thought process of writer and director M. Night Shyamalan is akin to analyzing Jell-O. What keeps it wiggling and what binds it together? This particular circumstance also had an Alfred Hitchcock vibe.
Adam Fendelman - HollywoodChicago.com
Shyamalan wants the rustling of wind through greenery to evoke the same shudders in The Happening that the gathering of birds did in Hitchcock's The Birds
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
A comeback for the director, but not quite enough of one...an almost equal combination of genuine creepiness and absolute foolishness.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Shyamalan's latest film is the first in a long time that I can't defend.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
The Happening features an effectively stylized physical environment: rarely have clouds drifting overhead and wind blowing through trees and a sunny day been filmed so ominously.
Todd R. Ramlow - PopMatters
Shyamalan movies demand that you surrender to his way of telling stories. If you're up for that, you should go.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The film becomes less comprehensible as it goes along, and the audience -- expecting a patented M. Night ending -- is left with no answers, explanation, or narrative closure.
Brett McCracken - Christianity Today
M. Night Shyamalan's worst film.
Gina Carbone - Seacoast Newspapers (NH/Maine)
A tantalising, sometimes frustrating parable about the menaces that human beings might face from unexpected quarters.
Philippa Hawker - The Age (Australia)
I'm always amused by the sort of backlashes that Shyamalan is in right now. Well, M. Night Shyamalan makes vague, subtle fantasy thrillers. If you've outgrown it, don't blame him.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
While hardly his worst work, this film is so far off his high water mark that it begs the question of whether M. Night Shyamalan will ever truly return.
Brian Duff - FILMINK (Australia)
It's an entertaining movie, which is half the game, but it's not scary, which it should be. Neither is it something to be taken seriously, though it's intended to be.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Maybe Shyamalan has been plugged into those other worlds for too long. Judging from what is on offer here, he needs to become more acquainted with the emotional language of this one.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
It's an interesting premise for a doomsday thriller, but Shyamalan botches it from the get-go.
Ethan Alter - Giant Magazine
In a Hollywood summer otherwise dominated by comic-book superheroes, blazing action spectacles, snickering teen sex comedies and computer-generated fantasy, M. Night Shyamalan's The Happening is something different -- and a pleasant surprise.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
If God made the aliens go away in Signs, can true love hold back the toxic winds? More to the point, can anyone find out without laughing?
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out New York
The screenplay is a mess, filled with unfunny moments of intended humor and funny moments of unintended humor.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Another disappointment from M, despite some disturbing violence and chilly moments.
Ben McEachen - Empire Magazine Australasia
If Shyamalan's ever going to do something different then he should have made something manic, dark and twisted. But that's not Happening.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
M. Night Shyamalan has morphed from "the next Spielberg" to a punching bag for critics and audiences alike. The Happening reminds us why.
Christian Toto - Washington Times
Not a complete return to form (by far), but also not a failure. Let's be fair--this is the best film Shyamalan has put out in years.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Bad and weird.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
There's a long tradition of receiving messages from burning bushes, but jiggling bushes are not to be trusted, and neither are filmmakers who ask us to shiver in their leafy midst.
Robert Davis - Paste Magazine
The movie is a bummer, from beginning to end.
Leigh Paatsch - Daily Telegraph (Australia)
The story essentially stops moving midway through. All that's going to occur, in terms of building any true dramatic tension, already has happened by this point.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
...bad in more than just an everyday, sure-does-suck kind of way.
Kurt Loder - MTV
The greatest excuse yet to get that anti-M. Night petition started. The last thing we want is a future of Shyamalan films with the knowledge that we all could have done something sooner.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
If what audiences are looking for is a thrill ride, or even a pervasive eeriness, The Happening's just not happening.
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
Executed in bland and remote fashion, with little in the way of compelling suspense, mystery or directorial craft. Think of the worst Spielberg thriller or one of Hitchcock's dull late career works.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
The Happening is a film of such shockingly appalling writing, dreadful acting and ham-fisted, ungainly execution that it plays better as a comedy than the thriller it was meant to be.
Brandon Fibbs - Colorado Springs Gazette
Nobody gets the time or the treatment to become a character you'd actually care about, which makes the general planet-in-peril theme of the movie kind of moot.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
Shyamalan crafts a somewhat chilling cautionary tale; it just might have been more chilling if he had been a little less cautious.
James Rocchi - Cinematical
If you're in the mood for an absurd film that alternates between boring and comedy, this is the movie for you.
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
It's also a bit sneaky of Shyamalan to set us up for a paranoid 9/11 thriller and then go all Greenpeace on us. He's trying to be socially conscious but he doesn't have the reformist's temperament. He has the temperament of a self-infatuated messiah.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
Both silly and preachy.
Maitland McDonagh - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Basically it's a half-hour Twilight Zone episode blown up to feature length.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
Excluding moments of chilling effectiveness, this could fairly be called his worst film. Even his saving grace of keen directorial acumen visibly loses cohesion on screen.
Garth Franklin - Dark Horizons
Portraying moments of drama and danger with a Hitchcockian lack of ceremony, Shyamalan's mundane depictions of tragedy create a quiet but weighty resonance.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
For all his complaints recently about being misunderstood, it seems it's Shyamalan who simply doesn't get us.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
Nothing happens. Shyamalan has finally taken an ax to his Golden Goose.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Writer-director M. Night Shyamalan's eco-thriller starts with a clever premise and degenerates into spooky atmospherics, portentous pacing and stiff dialogue.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
There seem to be a lot of people gunning for Philadelphia's own M. Night Shyamalan, and The Happening will give them more ammo.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
But here's the real shocker, the statement that will blow all of your minds... this is one movie that you will be hoping for a twist ending!
Brad Miska - Bloody Disgusting
This would all seem like a deliberate, self-parodying joke if it weren't coming from a filmmaker with no sense of humor whatsoever.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
The suicides are mostly very originally staged and creepy as hell...Mark Wahlberg is OK, but a scene where he 'forgives' his wife's indiscretion is just plain weird, as is Zooey Deschanel throughout.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Basically a junior version of sci-fi disaster films ranging from The War of the Worlds (1953) to last year's The Mist
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Staci Layne Wilson - Horror.com
Were the first 45 minutes of The Happening not as rattlingly effective as they are, one could chalk the film up as mediocre. There is such untapped potential, though, that the dishonest places Shyamalan chooses to take his audience are maddening.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
The movie is so inept in terms of coherent, cohesive storytelling and in some other filmmaking aspects that it deserves to be laughed off the screen.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
There are scattered moments of craft throughout, but the gulf between his lofty aspirations and feeble accomplishments has seldom been wider or more chuckle-inducing.
Nathan Rabin - AV Club
mia ap' tis pio akompses, proheires kai hontrokommenes doyleies poy mporeis na petyheis se aithoysa
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
M. Night Shyamalan is one of the most talented film-makers working today. But he seems to be running out of ideas.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
You know those meringue cookies that look so tempting on bakery shelves, the ones that evaporate moments after you pop them in your mouth and leave only the vaguest, unmemorable taste behind? That's The Happening.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
Minor Shyamalan, but still well worth seeing.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
one of the worst attempts at end-of-the-world ominousness since the Robot Holocaust battled the Ninja Apocalypse
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
The Happening wants to scare us without providing a cause -- a trick only Hitchcock has managed.
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
The actors try and fail to look terrified at things that simply aren't that terrifying to look at, unless you are one of those people who considers "Days of Heaven" to be a relentless excursion in gut-wrenching horror.
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
Shyamalan is far better at setup than payoff, and the Sixth Sense director's latest once and for all cements that reputation.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
Shyamalan's still trying to take the story seriously-this is, horror of horrors, a message film-but his atypically unmeasured direction is all shock and no awe.
Alex Markerson - E! Online
It's a shame that the movie is such a tonal failure, because it does many other things right.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
a cold pastiche, neither bloody enough to attract the crowd that hankers for that sort of thing, nor smart enough to attract the crowd that hankers for that
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Somewhere in The Happening there's a great movie struggling to break free. The concept is fantastic... but poor dialogue combined with even worse performances make for a disappointing and frustrating 90 minutes of film.
Chris Tilly - IGN Movies UK
Happening promises a change of pace, but the magic only lasts for a few moments, then it's all open acre isolation, media blackouts, and mysterious threats with extended, mouth-agape pauses.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
One-hit-wonder M. Night Shyamalan further galvanizes the nickname given him by his detractors ("Shyamalama-ding-dong") with yet another pretentious movie.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Shhht. Don't say it out loud, but we actually kinda liked M. Night Shyamalan's latest movie . . .
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sadly for Mr. Shyamalan, the ideas that have been coming to him since his brilliant first hit The Sixth Sense are progressively worthy of less merit and more deserving of ridicule.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile