The second trailer for The Happening, opening June 13 from 20th Century Fox, is a markedly better thing than the first one — much more effective in its solicitous use of mood. M. Night Shyamalan’s follow-up to his career-dousing Lady in the Water, the movie centers on a mysterious and seemingly wide-scale apocalyptic crisis as it sweeps through suburban Pennsylvania, and seems carved from the same template of vague menace that has powered a spate of recent films (Cloverfield, Funny Games and I Am Legend, but also plenty of dramas and
anxiety-infused comedies) and emerged as the predominant American screen narrative of our
are lost, and scared and thrown off our collective stride by that uncertainty.
With all the backlash directed at particularly The Village and Lady in the Water, Shyamalan would probably do well to dial back on his ace-up-the-sleeve preferences, and just dive headlong into more air-quote pure genre manipulation. But he’s not a man of half-measures, that’s for sure, and that’s not what The Happening necessarily seems to hint at, with its point-of-view shots and Wahlberg doing his carefully modulated earnest speechifying, as in Invincible. And hey, I really dug The Trigger Effect, so color me there anyway.