M. Night Shyamalan Is Fine With Mark Wahlberg Criticizing The Happening

Mark Wahlberg in The Happening

M. Night Shyamalan went through a long period of filmmaking where several movies in a row failed to land with audiences. From the likes of The Lady in the Water to The Last Airbender, it was a long and difficult road to the success of Split. However, for many, the true low point was 2008's The Happening starring Mark Wahlberg. A lot of people think that one is a pretty bad film, including Wahlberg himself. M. Night Shyamalan was recently asked what he thought of the actor bad mouthing the movie, and for the most part, he doesn't seem to mind. According to the director...

Since that would be the only case of that happening --- no. But really, no. It's totally his call. However he wants to interpret it.

At the end of the day, M. Night Shyamalan knows that not all of his movies have been loved and he really seems to be at peace with that fact. Even if one of the actors who agreed to be in the movie in the first place wants to turn around and be critical of it, Shyamalan is ok with him doing that.

When you stop to think about it, pretty much every actor has made a bad movie or two at least, as has every director. It's not a major character flaw on anybody's part when that happens. It's just the reality of moviemaking.

For what it's worth, M. Night Shyamalan does tell Vulture that he takes some responsibility for the way that The Happening turned out. However, what he feels he did wrong was being inconsistent with the movie's tone, as what he was actually going for was a sort of horror farce along the lines of the classic The Blob.

I think it's a consistent kind of farce humor. You know, like The Blob. The campy, 1958 debut of actor Steve McQueen, featuring a mysterious, growing amoeba that takes over a small Pennsylvania town. The key to The Blob is that it just never takes itself that seriously. I think I was inconsistent. That's why they couldn't see it.

It's absolutely true that if making a modern version of The Blob , at least in style, was the goal, a lot of people couldn't see it. Most saw The Happening, a film in which plants cause people to commit suicide, as a pretty ridiculous movie, but there was no indication that anybody believed that was an intentional filmmaking decision. It was simply viewed as a bizarre and inconsistent film. That may all be due to the inconsistency that Shyamalan admits here he was guilty of.

While The Happening may have been M. Night Shyamalan's low point, he only recently came out of it following the success of Split, which was an unqualified success. Even before the post-credits scene gave fans something to really talk about, Split was much better received by both fans and critics.

That success has led to Shyamalan's newest movie, Glass, which will continue the story started in Unbreakable when it hits theaters Friday.

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.