I found this movie in the $5 bin at Walmart. What a bargain! The Happening (2008) written, produced and directed by M. Night Shyamalan was so scary I was still creeped out a half hour after it ended. I watched it alone in my living room and afterward felt the need to go somewhere public just to force myself back to reality and wash the creepy feeling out of my head. The greatest thing about getting so creeped out is what caused it-a toxin that causes the victims to lose control of their minds and commit suicide. No monsters. No aliens from another planet. No psycho killers. No vampires, ghosts or werewolves. How do you run from something you can't see, hear or feel?
Even during a few humorous scenes, the creep factor never relented. A greenhouse owner played by Frank Collison had a theory that the toxin was being emitted by plants that had evolved into beings that could communicate with each other and release toxins to intentionally murder humans as a specie that is destroying the earth. The theory seemed insane along with his speaking politely to the plants in his greenhouse. Later in the movie the main character, Elliot (Mark Wahlberg) spoke nervously to a house plant like a potential victim would speak to a crazed maniac waving a gun only to find that the plant was plastic.
Looking desperately for a remote location to wait out the attack, Elliot, his wife Alma (Zooey Deschanel) and Jess (Ashlyn Sanchez), the eight-year-old daughter of Elliot's recently deceased best friend Julian (John Leguizamo) come upon the farm house of Mrs. Jones (Betty Buckley) who, in my opinion, is scarier than the toxin. She allows them to spend the night but won't allow them to explain why they need a place to stay. She doesn't want any contact with the outside world or any news about its situation. She dies as crazily as she lived thanks to the mind blowing toxin.
I loved M. Night Shyamalan's movie Sixth Sense (1999) but wasn't impressed with The Village (2004) so I wasn't interested in following what Shyamalan had to offer after that, but Wahlberg and Deschanel and the $5 price lured me in and I'm glad of it. I'll give The Village another chance.