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okay, I'm not too crazy about this situation...

R

Timothy Olyphant, Radha Mitchell, Joe Anderson, Danielle Panabaker

David: Don’t ask me why I can’t leave without my wife, and I won’t ask you why you can.

Citizens in a small town start exhibiting strange, violent behavior.  Soon, the military has sealed off the whole town and won’t let anybody out alive.

This is what The Happening should have been like.

It’s a flawed movie, and not terribly original, but the atmosphere and characters are what make it good.  Olyphant is entertaining as usual, and I’ve always liked Radha Mitchell, so they’re easy to root for.

The opening is a little too reminiscent of Jaws, as we have some deaths occur in a small town, then the sheriff starts to suspect it’s the water supply that’s affecting people and wants to shut it down.  Of course, the arrogant mayor won’t let this happen.  Thankfully, that’s as far as the storyline comparison can go, as soon the military has descended on the town and it’s not just the “crazies” that our heroes have to worry about avoiding.

Again, nothing too groundbreaking here.  It’s people running away from other people that are trying to kill them, but it’s done with a certain style and humor that elevates it above a lot of the other zombie/infected-people type movies that are out there.  It’s about on the level with 28 Days Later, but with more dark humor included.

There are a few moments that left me rolling my eyes though, as characters inexplicably split up repeatedly, leaving themselves more vulnerable to attacks.  This gives the movie a bit of a repetitive feel.  I recall saying to myself, “didn’t we just do this scene about 10 minutes ago?”

Still, there are some very effective scenes as well.  The pitchfork and car wash scenes come to mind.  It’s rare that a movie can get you on the edge of your seat and then make you laugh (intentionally) immediately afterward, but this movie manages to do it several times.

It’s not an all time great, but it’s certainly entertaining.  M. Night, I hope you’re taking notes…

Stick together people, come on!

10 – 1.5 for a lot of recycled plot contrivances – .7 for feeling a bit repetitive after a while – .4 for a few really implausible scenes = 7.4