Friday, June 20, 2008
In his novel The Terror, Arthur Machen imagined that the animals, sickened by the carnage of World War I, turned on humankind with tooth and claw. Later, Daphne du Maurier in a story adapted by Alfred Hitchcock thought the birds might strike at people for reasons known only to themselves. In The Happening, director-writer M. Night Shyamalan explores the idea that plants, threatened by our poor stewardship of their environment, might launch a holocaust against humanity. It’s the right message at a moment when much of our world seems to be collapsing, except for water levels and prices, which are on the rise. Is Shyamalan the wrong messenger? For their own inane reasons, movie critics . . .