New Horror Review (sight unseen)

happening

The Happening
In the grand tradition of -ing titles for Horror Flicks, after The Haunting, The Shining, The Howling, and The Reaping – I will stop there – comes The Happening. According to my beloved dictionary widget: “when things happen, they come to pass either for a reason or by chance”. That’s a little murkier than your average dictionary definition. Hence a brilliant title for a horror film: horror abhors logic.

Opening June 13 (that’s Friday the 13th for those not following – nu nu nu nu), The Happening stars Mark Wahlberg, former Calvin Klein underwear model and front man for The Funky Bunch, and features crowds of people caught in a typical nightmarish scenario: can’t scream (or talk), can’t move (or run); and ultimately can’t help but propel themselves off the roofs of buildings and flat onto the pavement (perhaps a case of vertigo, or loss of balance). I haven’t seen it, as my blog title proves, but what could be more frightening than a horror film with no monster at all but the paralysis of fear? After all “We have nothing to fear but fear itself” quoth FDR.

happening

The Quiet Earth meets 28 Days Later?
On the other hand Marky Mark may be staging a good old fashioned piece of performance art, which I am all for, having entirely missed Allan Kaprow in the late 50s and 60s. According to Wikipedia, and straight from art education 101, “A happening is a performance, event or situation meant to be considered as art. Happenings take place anywhere, are often multi-disciplinary, often lack a narrative and frequently seek to involve the audience in some way. Key elements of happenings are planned, but artists sometimes retain room for improvisation.”

Either way, this one looks scar-y.

Update June 14, 2008:
Richard Corliss trashed the film in his (sight seen) Time review, calling it “this ill wind, this feeble gust of an environmental horror story.”

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