81% Fury Oct 17
79% The Book of Life Oct 17
8% The Best Of Me Oct 17
92% Birdman Oct 17
97% Dear White People Oct 17

Top Box Office

88% Gone Girl $26.4M
23% Dracula Untold $23.5M
64% Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day $18.4M
31% Annabelle $15.9M
48% The Judge $13.1M
62% The Equalizer $9.7M
8% Addicted $7.5M
63% The Maze Runner $7.5M
74% The Boxtrolls $6.6M
2% Left Behind $2.8M

Coming Soon

100% John Wick Oct 24
No Score Yet Ouija Oct 24
No Score Yet 23 Blast Oct 24
62% Laggies Oct 24
58% White Bird in a Blizzard Oct 24

The Happening (2008)


Average Rating: 4/10
Reviews Counted: 173
Fresh: 30
Rotten: 143

Critics Consensus: The Happening begins with promise, but unfortunately descends into an incoherent and unconvincing trifle.

Average Rating: 3.9/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 5
Rotten: 38

Critics Consensus: The Happening begins with promise, but unfortunately descends into an incoherent and unconvincing trifle.


Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 368,855


Movie Info

"The Happening" is a lightning-paced, heart-pounding paranoid thriller about a family on the run from an inexplicable and unstoppable event that threatens not only humankind, but the most basic human instinct of them all--survival.

R (for violent and disturbing images)
Drama , Mystery & Suspense , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
M. Night Shyamalan
In Theaters:
Oct 7, 2008
Box Office:
20th Century Fox - Official Site


Related News & Features

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

Critic Reviews for The Happening

All Critics (173) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (30) | Rotten (143) | DVD (6)

[A]n astonishment, so idiotic in conception and inept in execution that, after seeing it, one almost wonders whether it was real or imagined.

Full Review… | September 22, 2008
The New Republic
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | June 23, 2008
New Yorker
Top Critic

For a movie with the potential for so much global-warming electricity, it's disappointingly low on voltage.

Full Review… | June 18, 2008
New York Observer
Top Critic

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.

June 16, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

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!'

Full Review… | June 16, 2008
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Feeble gust of an environmental horror story.

Full Review… | June 13, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

Wahlberg is atrocious, as wooden as the trees terrorising him.

Full Review… | October 14, 2012

Horror film is long on peril, but thin on plot.

Full Review… | December 19, 2010
Common Sense Media

Shot in the inimitable Shyamalan lugubriousness

Full Review… | August 26, 2009

Shyamalan sve lo%u0161ije reagira na gubitak statusa holivudskog bo%u017Eanstva

Full Review… | July 15, 2009

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.

Full Review… | February 1, 2009
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.

Full Review… | November 14, 2008
Window to the Movies

Undoubtedly M. Night Shyamalan's weakest thriller to date...

Full Review… | November 6, 2008
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.

Full Review… | October 12, 2008

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.

Full Review… | August 27, 2008
The Scorecard Review

Shyamalan's latest is an improvement, but a full-fledged comeback ain't happening.

Full Review… | August 8, 2008
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.

Full Review… | July 17, 2008

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.

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
Atlantic City Weekly

Shyamalan's religious ideas are a lot like Bush's: Nearly theology free.

Full Review… | July 10, 2008
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.

Full Review… | July 4, 2008

It is the first film of his career that feels incompetent and utterly gratuitous at times.

Full Review… | July 3, 2008
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

Full Review… | July 2, 2008
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.

Full Review… | July 1, 2008

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.

Full Review… | June 28, 2008
Uruguay Total

Holy Mother of God...this is awful.

Full Review… | June 23, 2008
Reno News and Review

Audience Reviews for The Happening


Not bad not good. Just there. I guess it was an interesting idea. But something felt off.

John Manard

Super Reviewer

Such a good premise to build off of, but it fails horribly in terms of acting and writing. The movie caused me to laugh a lot more then I wanted to. This was not a thriller. This was trash.

Nikhil N.
Nikhil Nandu

Super Reviewer

Almost everything is so godawful about "The Happening" that it's practically impossible to pinpoint just one thing to critique about it. M. Night Shyamalan, who many thought had hit rock bottom with "Lady in the Water" actually delivers a film even worse than that.

An inexplicable natural disaster is causing people to commit suicide and that sets in motion a tale of survival that has the potential to be quite thrilling. Instead Shyamalan struggles to build a fully realized film out of this one idea. What ultimately kills the film for good is the ultimate explanation, which is one of the most absurd in a major motion picture.

Poorly conceived "The Happening" is potential gone bad. Really bad.

The Gandiman
Tony Gandía

Super Reviewer

I have mixed feelings with this one. Amid all the bad reviews, I found myself intrigued by the premise and the tension was nail-biting and kept me on-edge throughout the whole movie (I kid you not... the whole blowing trees and tension music drove me crazy at times). However, I understand why some might not feel as on-edge as me, as I realized that there was not much happening in "The Happening".

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

The Happening Quotes

Elliot Moore:
Why won't somebody give me a goddamn second?
– Submitted by Augusta M (2 years ago)
Alma Moore:
We ate tiramisu together. That was it. I told you that would be it.
– Submitted by Henri L (2 years ago)
There appears to be an event occurring.
– Submitted by Seth S (2 years ago)
Alma Moore:
It makes you kill yourself. Just when you thought there couldn't be any more evil that can be invented.
– Submitted by Rocky F (2 years ago)
Elliot Moore:
I'm talking to a plastic plant.
– Submitted by Tony P (2 years ago)
Elliot Moore:
What? No.
– Submitted by Julian V (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Happening on our Movie forum!