Dear Mr. M. Night Shyamalan;
This weekend I went to the opening showing of your latest film, The Happening. I should let you know that I have seen all of your movies. I was enthralled with your wonderful debut, The Sixth Sense, but ever since then you have been pretty hit or miss with me. Increasingly more ‘miss’, with each subsequent movie.
I absolutely hated Lady in the Water. I could not believe that with a very talented (and at the time very ‘hot’) actor like Paul Giamatti, all you could put out was that rambling, disjointed, self-important piece of crap. For a movie supposedly highlighting the ‘importance of storytelling’, you sure did a bangup job on that turdfest.
STILL. I decided to push aside my misgivings, and go out to see The Happening. The previews looked pretty good. Mark Wahlberg is a wonderful actor, and not bad to look at for a couple of hours. I like apocalyptic tales, so I dug in, and dared myself to believe that you could possibly deliver a good movie.
I am writing you this letter, Mr. Shyamalan, to tell you that I have officially written you off as “HACK” in my book. The Happening was yet another bloated turd to add to your collection. First off, HOW can you have wonderful actors–Mark Wahlberg has certainly proven himself over the past few years–and get such comical, dazed performances from them? The entire audience was cracking up for almost the entire length of the movie. We didn’t know whether we were supposed to be scared, or laughing hysterically. Why did you direct Mark Wahlberg to speak to every character as though he is speaking to an especially slow child? Why does Zooey Deschanel look like she’s in a perpetual state of confused surprise?
I have to admit, that the movie started off decently (besides the ridiculous five minute long credits at the beginning of the movie, ending dramatically–drums and shrieking violins–on your name: “An M. Night Shyamalan Film”!!!!!! Word to the wise Mr. Shyamalan–people do not appreciate sitting through opening credits that take as long as ending credits do, especially not when said opening credits are onscreen with absolutely nothing else going on–time lapse images of clouds moving across the sky does not constitute appropriate visual stimuli). The initial “freezing” and subsequent suicides were initially very shocking, and pretty badass. I especially loved the scene where the construction workers walked off the rooftops–beautiful, haunting images…but I believe this has more to do with the superb Tak Fujimoto as your cinematographer than it does with you.
Despite the cool horror of the initial deaths, even THAT lost its intrigue as the movie dragged on. We see so many people killing themselves in so many ways, that we become completely desensitized to it. By the time we actually see the guy getting mauled by lions (ON THE IPHONE, WOOT!), the audience was tittering. Hi lion, I’m a trainer, bite off my arm please! *munch munch, mmmmm* Hi other lion, seeing as I only have one arm left, please bite this one off too! *munch munch delicious!*
I happened to really like the overall concept of the movie. I think you had a solid idea there–but then again, I think you have solid ideas in all of your movies, which is probably why I had continued to waste money on them in blithe hopes that you would get your shit together, realize that you are NOT some movie making god, and get some help writing your scripts (because really dude, your scripts suck balls. Big donkey balls.). I like that you have moved away from ZOMGTWIIIIIST! endings, but like mama always said, “Why buy the cow when you’re getting the milk for free?” You let us know exactly what was going on by mid-movie…which leaves…what? The desperation that mankind faces while trying to find new inventive ways to kill ourselves? Let me tell you, if that was your message then CONGRATS because I was having some suicidal thoughts trying to get through this movie.
Or perhaps this was your answer to the currently en vogue environmental/global warming phenomenon? Like Signs got to deliver some pseudo- moral tale about the importance of religion, and Lady in the Water was about the magic of storytelling? Is this your super-witty insightful response to Al Gore? Save the planet, but remember to buy iPhones and Motorola razors along the way!
And with that, Mr. Shyamalan, I bid you adieu. Like I said before, it really is a shame because you do have some interesting ideas. At the core of the movie, I loved the concept of The Happening. But your complete lack of finesse and inability to write a decent script, not to mention your ridiculous sense of self-importance (with every over indulgent lingering camera angle, your shitty direction, and not to mention your own self insertion as an actor in every one of your goddamn movies) has me at wit’s end. I am through with you Mr. Shyamalan…and I want my money back.
Sincerely, a most pissed off moviegoer,