5. The Cinematography - Always M. Night Shyamalan's strong suit, the cinematography in the movie was darn near amazing. His use of camera angles in capturing just the right image is brilliant. Case in point: The folks entering Princeton, NJ see ladders rising into midair and dead people hanging from the trees. The image is so shocking and so disturbing, but mainly because you can't see the ladders leaning against the trees. The image of the misplaced ladders is so disturbing next to the dead folks it struck the theater silent.
4. "The Happening" isn't for Genre Pigeonholing - Folks I think try to put movies in different genre's they don't always fit. This movie, along with many Shyamalan films, don't fit well in traditional genres. As in "Signs" and "The Village," the main story isn't in the horror, but in the relationships. The wonderfully complex love relatonship between Wahlberg and Deschanel serves as the main story while the world being destroyed is just back story.
3. Zooey Deschanel - 'Nough said. She's been described on imdb.com as an actress reminiscent of the oldtime actresses of silent movies who showed in thei face what they could say in audio. With her vibrant blue eyes, and innocent face she captures the camer and perfectly characterizes her freaked-out newly-wed character.
2. The "Shyamalan Surprise" - Shyamalan is perhaps best known for the surprise he puts in at the end of each movie. ie. Sixth Sense: Bruce Willis is actually a "dead people," Signs: All the bad stuff happened to save the son's life from evil aliens, Lady in the Water: the main character isn't the "Guardian," he's a healer. In "The Happening"? The Great American Northeast was not destroyed by terrorists but by -- wait for it -- plants. Talk about attack of the Killer Tomatoes.
1. The Actors Actually, Well, Act - Ive seen alot of trite and rehashed dialogue in my day. Seeing a movie where the screenwriter (a) makes use to description to fuel a scene and (b) makes use of silence in an artful manner, is refreshing.