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YMMV / The Happening

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  • Anvilicious: There’s plenty of this throughout the film.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment:
    • The hot dog scene.
    • The doll on the bed. What?
  • Dork Age: The entire premise of humanity being wiped out by sentient, killer plants cemented the film as Snark Bait for many of Shyamalan's harshest critics.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse:
    • John Leguizamo’s character is the most sympathetic and best acted in the bunch; of course, this means he’s one of the first to die. You’ll probably be disappointed when you realize the other characters aren’t Decoy Protagonists, because clearly Julian should have been the hero of this movie.
    • The bearded greenhouse caretaker who praises hot dogs is also pretty funny, and popular with many viewers. It helps that he pretty much figured out what was going on before anyone else did.
  • Fan-Disliked Explanation: The film probably would have been better received if it left the cause of the mass suicides a complete mystery. Making plants the cause pushes it into straight Narm.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: The movie ends in Arundell County.
  • Memetic Mutation:
    • “Why ya’ eyein’ my lemon drink?”
    • “What? Noooo…”
    • “Hey, guys!”
    • "My firearm is my friend! It will not leave my side!"
    • “Hot dogs get a bad rap.”
    • "Be scientific, douchebag!"
    • “Fucking trees, man. The plants.”
    • “The ___ening” has become a common way to refer to scandals in certain corners of The Internet, akin to Scandalgate. This started when the mass leaking of celebrity nudes on 4chan was dubbed “The Fappening” (since to ‘fap’ is to have A Date with Rosie Palms). Another prominent example of this is “The Fattening,” which was when /r/fatpeoplehate and a number of other hate communities were banned from Reddit.
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  • Narm Charm: On the other hand, upon realizing the Fridge Horror of the movie, along with the Paranoia Fuel listed below, makes the entire movie less funny.
  • Paranoia Fuel: As stupid as the plot is, trees may seem a little freaky after this movie.
    • The man in the house who shoots the two kids. Whether or not the plant toxins had gotten to him by that point, imagine not being able to go near houses to ask for help for fear of their occupants killing you.
  • Signature Scene: The scene where the senile old woman accuses Elliot of planning on murdering her in her sleep, to which he replies, "What? Noooo..."
  • So Bad, It's Good: The movie is so hilariously awful, one could think it’s really an M. Night Shyamalan satire of horror films; at one point, the wind menaces the characters. There’s also Mark Wahlberg turning in the narmiest performance this side of Nicolas Cage in The Wicker Man, at one point begging a household plant to not hurt them while they use the house's bathroom.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Like many Shyamalan movies, it begins nice and eerie, only for the (risible) explanations to push it downhill. Unexplained mass suicides? Great, great. Caused by pissed-off plants? Much less so.
    • On the other hand, instead of changing its plot, it could have kept its premise, added some self-awareness to its absurdity (instead of trying to make it into a drama), and increased the Black Comedy, it could easily have been a good horror comedy akin to Shaun of the Dead.
    • As CinemaSins pointed out, removing the plants outright and making the movie about mass paranoia based on unfounded speculation from the news could make for some interesting social commentary and drama.
  • WTH, Casting Agency?: A milder version than usual, but Mark Wahlberg as a science teacher is pretty oddball casting, and being in unknown territory with terrible direction makes his performance memetically awkward.


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