Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 38
  2. Negative: 18 out of 38
  1. 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.
  2. 38
    A movie that features Wahlberg suggesting everyone try to outrun the wind can barely be watched once.
  3. 38
    M. Night Shyamalan's sixth film mines a rich lode of end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it clich├ęs, but while the set up is spooky, the development is heavy handed and marred by Shyamalan's inability to write natural-sounding dialogue or convincing characters.
  4. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Shyamalan isn't drawing the caliber of performances from his actors as he used to. Who can forget Haley Joel Osment's haunting portrayal in The Sixth Sense or that of Toni Collette, who played his mother, or Bruce Willis in arguably his best role?
  5. 38
    The Happening is a movie to walk out of, sleep through, or - best of all - not to bother with.
  6. It's neither dull nor stimulating, neither off-putting nor engaging.
  7. 33
    Shyamalan still has an abundance of personality and ambition, and 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.
  8. 30
    The Happening is both too incoherenly weird and too narratively ambitious for its own good.
  9. A high-toned revenge-of-nature horror picture, it's a little depressed, with only gross-out shocks (gushing jugulars, bodies run over by lawnmowers) to relieve the torpor.
  10. He still sees dead people, only now they're the best thing in the movie.
  11. Wahlberg turns in one of his worst performances ever, but then he's saddled with preposterous scenes.
  12. 25
    Film critics have been asked to say as little as possible about M. Night Shyamalan's new scare film about the perils of messing with Mother Nature. Fair enough. But I will say this: It's not happening.
  13. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    You feel like you're not watching the end of the world but the end of a career.
  14. Reviewed by: Ryan Stewart
    A disaster, representing a number of negative firsts for Shyamalan.
  15. Being risibly bad, The Happening is at least worth a laugh. Exactly one laugh, by my reckoning, and completely unintended but no less full-throated for that.
  16. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    And now we have this ill wind, this feeble gust of an environmental horror story. The writer-director's disintegration from robust artistic health to narrative incoherence, from hitmaker to box-office loser, has an almost tragic trajectory. It's a saga worthy of being told by the young M. Night Shyamalan.
  17. 20
    To be honest, I would be perfectly happy to walk with a zombie after ninety minutes of this; it would feel like light relief.
  18. The Happening makes you wonder whether Mr. Shyamalan's own switch may have been flipped. How else to explain his film's befuddling infelicities, insistent banalities, shambling pace and pervasive ineptitude?
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 555 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. sLm
    Sep 30, 2012
    I don't get why so many bad critics xD the movie was good! No special effects needed, just nature to scary us. And also there were funny moments followed by creepy ones. It was definitely NOT a bad movie. Full Review »
  2. Jul 7, 2011
    While this movie doe s pose an idea that could have been made into something interesting, M. Night Shyamalan fails to tell us a compelling story with characters that don t make you want to slit your wrists every time they open their mouth, or do anything. Mark Wahlbergs acting is horrible, the little girl acting was better. The suicide scenes become distasteful. The character actions are unbelievable to the circumstances. M. Night Shyamalans earlier work was good, this is not. Pass. Full Review »
  3. Mar 9, 2013
    In The Happening Shyamalan doesn't only stomp on his career, he tries to stomps on Wahlberg's as well. This film tried to be creepy and I'm pretty everyone who saw this afterwards said to him or herself what the hell did I just watch. Full Review »