Sunday, June 15, 2008

'Hallmark Horror'

Photo: The Happening

Word on the street is that people are wary of Shyamalan's trickery. Whereas he became known for twist endings that added value to the story, he then became known for pulling the rug out from under the viewer in Act III with endings that weren't so much of a twist but were simply dumb.

The endings for 'The Village' and 'The Lady in the Water' were not only dumb but they had the effect of sucking all the value out of what preceeding them. The viewer walking out of the theater can't help but feel cheated.

That said, there's a lot of people who don't really know the Shyamalan brand and the implications therein and don't really care about potential Act III dumb bombs. These people will see a movie if the trailer looks good, and the trailer for 'The Happening' certainly has that trademark glossy/creepy look Shyamalan produces so adroitly. So, I'm thinking week one could be very good for this happening, but I wouldn't hold my breath for subsequent frames once word of mouth gets out -- (by all accounts Shyamalan's latest leaves the viewer hanging just as badly as ever).

Early word on the blogosphere has been pretty much the same -- 'The Happening' ain't happening. Over at NPR, Bob Mondello says: ...The Happening is neither terribly scary, nor all that twisty... The bigger danger, after The Village and The Lady in the Water, is that he'll become known as the guy who makes the inane movie with the risible premise.

That about sums it up for me. I felt stupid for having watched my DVD of 'The Lady in the Water' (over a period of three days) that I bought for $9.99 in the discount bin at Blockbuster (there were lots of copies). If it's anything, this movie is inane and based on a risible premise. I can only feel for those who went to the theater and saw 'The Lady in the Water' in one sitting. (Ouch). I can't help but feel sorry for those who, having been suckered by well-edited trailers, will see 'The Happening' in theaters.

Anyway, my favorite entry in the current backlash is from Grady Hendrix over at MonsterFest:

Call me old fashioned, but I don't care about Marky Mark's under-developed, poorly-written marital difficulties -- especially when they revolve not around infidelity, but around dessert. Tiramisu, in fact. A horror movie in which someone is allowed to utter the word "Tiramisu" and live to the end credits is a horror movie that has given up any claims to horror. It's Hallmark Horror: Scare flicks developed for people who think Lifetime movies are too intense.

I love that...Hallmark Horror. That's good. That's Shyamalan.

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