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The Happening

The HappeningYou cant see it, but you know its
  there; and when it catches up with you,
  you will take your own life — this is
  The Happening, from the award-
  winning master of suspense, M Night
  Shyamalan
...

IN NEW YORK'S CENTRAL PARK, at 08:33 hours, strange things start to happen. A scream; and people behaving oddly. Three blocks away at 08:59 am, workmen begin throwing themselves off the roof of a tall building still under construction. It is just the beginning of widespread, frightening deaths that defy all reason. Something is very badly wrong and there is no way of finding out what it is.

Is it a terrorist attack? Or something far more sinister? The Happening is Written, Produced and Directed by the wonderful M Night Shyamalan and is about a terrifying, inexplicable and unavoidable natural force that threatens not just the future of Mankind but also the most basic human instinct of all: survival — and there is no way of telling where it will strike.

Eliot Moore (Academy Award® nominee Mark Wahlberg: The Departed) is a Philadelphia High School science teacher who, at the beginning of the film, highlights the dangers of the disappearing bees to his class [clue] and whose marriage is going through a sticky patch. A park in Philadelphia suffers the same fate as Central Park and it is spreading throughout the area, which is now being evacuated. Eliot, his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel: Almost Famous, Tin Man), his best friend Julian (Emmy® Award winner John Leguizamo: Moulin Rouge) and Julian's daughter Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez) flee to the Pennsylvanian farmlands by train in a desperate bid to find somewhere safe from the mysterious and deadly phenomenon.

Experts are struggling to explain the cause of the shocking and destructive deaths as the family find themselves stranded at Filbert, Pennsylvania, when the train service is abruptly terminated because the train crew has lost all communication. Alma is receiving persistent calls to her mobile and Julian decides to go back and try and find his wife, leaving his daughter with Alma and Eliot.

Everywhere Eliot, Alma and Jess go they come across masses of dead bodies. Whatever it is has now spread from the cities to the towns and the country roads. Luckily they manage to get a lift with a nursery-owner (Frank Collison), who has his own ideas about the peril they have found themselves in and why there is a shortage of bees.

Setting off across the fields, they are joined by two youngsters, Josh (Spencer Breslin) and Jared (Robert Bailey Jr) but it is not long before they find that nowhere and nobody is safe and they are not welcome wherever they go. Then tragedy strikes and Eliot, Alma and Jess are on their own once again. Breaking into a run, they head for a house, but something is not far behind them…

The Happening is a dramatic, well-cast thriller about a natural disaster that could mean the end for Mankind; where everything appears normal in an abnormal situation and has an astounding explanation. M Night Shyamalan does these things so well — his Sixth Sense was a masterpiece.

The film also features Betty Buckley perfectly portraying a bizarre, solitary woman; Jeremy Strong as Private Austen, Victoria Clark as the nursery owner's wife and M Night Shyamalan himself is the voice of Joey. The Happening is Edited by Conrad Buff; Director of Photography is Tak Fujimoto; Music is by James Newton Howard; Produced by Sam Mercer and Barry Mendel; Art Director is Tony Dunne; and Cello Solos are by Maya Beiser.

There are the odd gruesome moments in the film as people use whatever is at their disposal to end their own lives, but they are not dwelt upon. The Happening is an entertaining story cleverly told and that has an interesting conclusion. It is said that most directors put their dreams on film; in the case of M Night Shyamalan, it's his nightmares he turns into films.

The Happening comes to DVD on 3 November (2008), courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment — available as a single disc DVD or as a special two-disc Director's Cut edition on DVD and Blu-ray. Running Time: 90 minutes | Format: DVD/Blu-ray | Certificate: 15 | RRP: £19.99/£22.99/£24.99.

Director's Cut DVD and Blu-ray Special Features

The Hard Cut (9 minutes) | I Hear You Whispering (9 minutes) | A Day For Night (7 minutes) | Elements Of A Scene (10 minutes) | Visions Of The Happening: A Making Of Documentary (12 minutes) | Deleted scenes with introductions from M Night Shyamalan | Gag Reel.

Director
's Cut Blu-ray Exclusive Special Features

Scene Specific Picture-In-Picture | Train Shooting (4 minutes) | Forces Unseen (4 minutes).

Director's Cut Edition DVD and Blu-ray will feature a pulse-pounding extended version too shocking to show in cinemas, plus a Making-Of documentary, filmmaking featurettes and much more. It will also include a Digital Copy of the film that allows you to transfer the entire movie onto a portable device such as your iPod or laptop.

"We sensed it… We saw the signs… Now… It's Happening. A terrifying addictive thriller set to get your heart racing. The Happening is a must-have for all adrenalin junkies this November." — Publicity line for The Happening

"The Happening is a dramatic, well-cast thriller about a natural disaster that could mean the end for Mankind; where everything appears normal in an abnormal situation and has an astounding explanation. M Night Shyamalan does these things so well" — MotorBar