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Watched The Happening last night.

Review in one word: Meh.

My brother said he wasn't super-impressed by it, either. I'd actually heard mixed opinions about it. Seems director M. Night I-can-pronounce-but-not-spell-his-last-name hasn't done a film that's been viewed as universally positive (at least, not among the people I talk to about films) since The Sixth Sense.

The premise is good - people suddenly begin killing themselves (some in very strange ways) for no apparent reason - it's just the execution that fails, I think. While it seemed an initially promising film, it petered out after a certain point, & I lost the emotional investment. I was watching without really caring. Maybe it's me, but the characters got wishy-washy or, in one case, just plain stupid (trying to think rationally about what should be a run-for-your-life moment, esp. with people dropping like flies around him). And the thing that's revealed as the cause, while interesting from a scientific standpoint, somehow fell flat.

I think the major problem is that I've already got a film about people suddenly killing themselves (some in very strange ways) for no apparent reason. And it does a WAY better job of pulling it off, even without exposition. It's called Suicide Circle.

Hey, M. Night, you need to watch more movies.

EDIT: I, on the other hand, probably need to watch fewer movies.

Had a look at The Messengers tonight.

Sometimes, when I watch a film, I play the "where the heck have I seen that actor/actress before?" game with myself. Occasionally, I lose, get annoyed, & head off to IMDB.com to look them up. Had to do that tonight, though more as a confirmation, since I knew but wasn't sure.

In case you get around to watching this one, I'll spare you that step: yes, that is the chick from the "Twilight" films. She plays a girl who, with her parents & toddler brother, move into an old farmhouse, a setting that's a full 180 compared to their previous life in Chicago. But then, that's the point.

Long story short, she & her brother begin seeing things in the house. Shadows, things moving of their own accord, strange people. And, of course, the 'adults' don't believe a word of it. The viewer, on the other hand, knows something is going on, given the prologue involving the house's previous tenants.

Another game I am sometimes forced to play when watching movies is, "what other film have I seen this in?". Now, I'm as big a fan as any of taking influence from something, or several somethings, & using it in new & interesting ways. Sadly, this film does it left, right, & center, though the mixture doesn't really come off as anything new, reinforcing the great artistic fear that, indeed, there is nothing original left in the universe.

Okay, that's maybe taking it too far. While not as amazing as some reviews would have it, the movie can be classified as decent, & worth at least one viewing. The effects are good, the acting is good, & although I wasn't completely emotionally invested 100% of the time, I did want to keep watching, & there were a few jumps here & there, plus one twist I didn't see coming.

Just don't be surprised if you find yourself recognising a lot of it.

August 2017

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