The Happening (2008)



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

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.

Rating: R (for violent and disturbing images)
Genre: Drama, Mystery & Suspense, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By: M. Night Shyamalan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 7, 2008
Box Office: $64.5M
20th Century Fox - Official Site


as Elliot Moore

as Alma Moore

as Mrs. Jones

as Nursery Owner

as Private Auster

as Principal

as Nursery Owner's Wife

as Woman Reading on Ben...

as Woman Reading on Ben...

as Construction Foreman

as Construction Crew Me...

as Train Conductor

as Woman On Cell Phone

as Teenage Girl in Jeep

as French Bicyclist

as French Bicyclist's F...

as Medical Corresponden...

as U.S. Reporter

as Professor Kendall Wa...

as Talk Show Host

as Student Named Laura

as Boy in Class

as Student Named Dylan

as Vice Principal

as Teacher In Auditoriu...

as Railway Police Offic...

as P.A. System Conducto...

as Philadelphia Police ...

as Taxi Driver Sal

as Older Woman with Dog

as Older Woma with Dog

as Woman Passenger

as Passenger at Counter

as Diner Owner

as Passenger 1

as Passenger 2

as Passenger 3

as Jeep Driver

as Jeep Passenger 1

as Jeep Passenger 2

as Jeep Passenger #2

as Man in Crowd at Cors...

as Woman in Group

as Woman with Hands Ove...

as Farmhouse Voice

as Farmhouse Voice

as Mangled Construction...

as Arguing Man in Crowd

as Zoo Employee

as Local News Anchor

as Network News Anchor

as Radio News Anchor

as Radio Voice

as Radio Caller Fay

as Young Woman Voice on...

as Radio Newsman

as Radio Announcer

as Truck Passenger Boy

as Truck Passenger Girl
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Happening

Friend Ratings

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


Critic Reviews for The Happening

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (41)

At first, a great deal happens, then nothing much happens for quite some time, then something so underwhelming happens that one is left wondering, 'Did that really just happen?'

Full Review… | November 16, 2011
Time Out
Top Critic

[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

The Happening is his first hilariously awful film.

Full Review… | April 17, 2015

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

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

The Happening Quotes

– Submitted by Augusta M (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Henri L (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Seth S (3 years ago)
– Submitted by Rocky F (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Happening on our Movie forum!