Phenomena or The Event in Quebec ( The Happening ) is an American disaster film directed by Mr. Night Shyamalan , released in 2008 .


A mysterious phenomenon strikes Central Park and drives suicide to hundreds of people in New York . It does not take more for the panic to win the United States and the American authorities emit the thesis of bioterrorism . While similar events occur along the east coast of the United States , mathematician Julian ( John Leguizamo ) decides to leave Philadelphia with his daughter, Jess ( Ashlyn Sanchez ), and convinces his colleague Elliot Moore ( Mark Wahlberg ) and his wife Alma ( Zooey Deschanel) to accompany them by train.

During the trip, the group learns that Boston and Philadelphia have also been affected. Having lost all radio contact, the train stops in a small town. When he learns that his wife has left Boston for PrincetonJulian decides to go looking for him, trusting his daughter to Moore. After hurried farewells, Elliot, Alma and Jess embark in the car of a couple of survivors and drive to the west of the country, which seems still spared by the epidemic. On the way, the husband, a botanist, tells them about his theory of the origin of the phenomenon: in the face of the threat posed by humans, the vegetation would have developed a defense mechanism which, in the event of danger, would liberate air a toxin that is spread by the wind, stimulating neurotransmitters and causing humans to commit suicide.

His hypothesis is confirmed when the group meets other survivors, including soldier Auster ( Jeremy Strong ), who suggests avoiding roads and populated areas. After only a few minutes of walking, the group of Auster is overwhelmed by the toxin. While the panic seizes the rest of the survivors, Elliot Moore realizes that the release of toxins is triggered by too much human presence. He immediately ordered the survivors to break up into small groups, which enabled them to escape certain death. Saved, the Moore and little Jess continue their journey, accompanied by two teenagers, Josh ( Spencer Breslin ) and Jared ( Robert Bailey Jr.). However, the two boys are killed soon after, not by the toxin, but by the shots of a survivor barricaded in his home.

Now more than three, Moore and Julian’s daughter (the latter has meanwhile committed suicide after being poisoned) will be set to roam the countryside until they reached the house of M me Jones ( Betty Buckley ). The old lady, strange and paranoid, first agrees to host them for the night, but, persuaded of their bad intentions, decides to expel them the next day. However, in her fury, she leaves the house alone and is in turn affected by the toxin. Shaken, Elliot realizes that only one human being is now enough for the toxin to be released. Desperate, the man chooses to die with his wife and Jess. But when the three survivors risk themselves outside, nothing happens: the event will have lasted only one day.

Three months later, life has returned to normal. Moore has adopted Jess and Alma discovers she is pregnant with Elliot. Meanwhile, on television, a researcher explains that the wave of suicides, which ended as abruptly as it began, was just a harbinger of an impending global disaster. His theory, however, is greeted with disbelief by the interviewer, reminding him that only the northeastern United States has been affected.

Finally, everything ends on a pessimistic note, while the event is repeated, this time in the Jardin des Tuileries , in Paris , in a scene with Cyrille Thouvenin .

Technical sheet

  • Original title: The Happening
  • French title: Phénomènes
  • Québec title: The Event
  • Director and screenplay: Mr. Night Shyamalan
  • Sets: Jay Hart and Jeannine Oppewall
  • Costumes: Betsy Heimann
  • Photography: Tak Fujimoto
  • Editing: Conrad Buff IV
  • Music: James Newton Howard
  • Production: Sam Mercer , Barry Mendel and Mr. Night Shyamalan
  • Production Companies: Blinding Edge Pictures , Spyglass Entertainment , Dune Entertainment and UTV Motion Pictures
  • Distribution Company: 20th Century Fox
  • Budget: $ 48,000,000 1
  • Original language: English
  • Format: color – 35 mm – 1.85: 1 – DTS
  • Genres: disaster movie , drama , thriller , fantasy
  • Duration: 86 minutes
  • Release dates 2 :
    •  France / French-speaking Switzerland / Belgium :  
    •  United Kingdom / United States / Canada :  
  • Classification: R ( Restricted ) 3 ( United States ); 13 years old + ( Quebec )


Preview of Phenomena ( El Incidente ) in Madrid , with Mr. Night Shyamalan and Mark Wahlberg .
  • Mark Wahlberg (VF: Bruno Choel ) : Elliot Moore
  • Zooey Deschanel (VF: Magali Barney ) : Alma Moore
  • John Leguizamo (VF: Laurent Morteau ) : Julian
  • Jeremy Strong (VF: Thierry Wermuth ) : the soldier Auster
  • Frank Collison (VF: Pierre Dourlens ) : the botanist
  • Ashlyn Sanchez : Jess
  • Spencer Breslin : Josh
  • Robert Bailey Jr . : Jared
  • Betty Buckley (VF: Julie Carli )me Jones
  • Cyrille Thouvenin : the friend of the French cyclist
  • Stéphane Debac : the French cyclist
  • Mr. Night Shyamalan : Joey (voice)


Genesis and development

Mr. Night Shyamalan came up with the idea of seeing the beautiful scenery of New Jersey : “I was going back to New York , it was a beautiful day and the trees were lining the road. I suddenly wondered what would happen if nature turned against us. In an instant, I had the whole structure of the story, the characters imposed themselves. I was delighted because movies are always better and more accessible when the structure predominates. Even before I wrote a script, I knew I wanted a particular style for this movie. I wanted to do something electric, sharp and dynamic ” 4 . When 20th Century Foxcame on the project, the studio wanted the director-scriptwriter to go even further and make it an ” R-rated ” movie (forbidden to children under 17 years old unaccompanied by an adult) with a tension and terror. At first surprised, Mr. Night Shyamalan was excited by this suggestion and was able to give free rein to his imagination without limiting himself: “It was finally the best way to treat this subject, because it is basically a story that speaks of taboos. If we had done L’Exorciste by aiming for a ban on unaccompanied under-13s, that would never have given the cult film we know ” 4 . Producer Barry Mendel explains that”The driving idea of this film was to push further what we call” the Shyamalan genre “. The Fox told us that we had to roll up our sleeves and go fully 4 ! ” Sam Mercer says, ” Phenomena door to a much higher level of supernatural and emotional elements own films Shyamalan. And this film asks a question that is chilling: we, humans, have we gone too far 4 ? ”


This section is empty, insufficiently detailed or incomplete. Your help is welcome! How to do ?

Like Alfred Hitchcock , Night Shyamalan makes brief appearances in each of his films. Thus, in Phenomena , he lends his voice to Joey, a colleague of Alma’s work ( Zooey Deschanel ) who harasses her on the phone. Unlike his previous films, the director does not appear visually and his role is limited to a ” Hello?  ” Heard in a brief telephone call; we are talking about Arlesian . Therefore, the cameo does not exist in the dubbed versions of the film.


Filming took place mainly in Pennsylvania ( Media , Philadelphia , Phoenixville , Wynnewood), but also in Central Park and on 18 th Street in New York and Paris ( Tuileries Gardens and the gardens of the Louvre ) 5 .


The Original Motion Picture MotionHappening
Soundtrack of James Newton Howard
Exit 6
duration 49:58
Kind movie soundtrack
Label Varese Sarabande


The music of the film is composed by James Newton Howard , who had previously worked with Shyamalan for Sixth Sense (1999), Unbreakable (2000), Signs (2002), The Village(2004) and The Young Girl of Water (2006) .

List of titles
  1. Main Titles – (2:18)
  2. Evacuating Philadelphia – (2:21)
  3. Vice Principal – (1:56)
  4. Central Park – (2:58)
  5. We Lost Contact – (: 59)
  6. You Can not Just Leave Here – (1:43)
  7. Rittenhouse Square – (1:59)
  8. Five Miles Back – (1:13)
  9. Princeton – (3:06)
  10. Jess Comforts Elliot – (2:31)
  11. My Firearm Is My Friend – (2:59)
  12. Abandoned House – (1:32)
  13. Shotgun – (4:27)
  14. You Eyin ‘My Lemon Drink? – (4:28)
  15. Mrs. Jones – (1:44)
  16. Voices – (1:36)
  17. Be With You – (3:41)
  18. End Title Suite – (8:36)

Box office

Country or region Box Office Box office shutdown date Number of weeks
 United States Canada $ 64,506,874 1 7 14 7
 la France 1,301,971 entries 8
 World $ 163,403,799 1

Around the film

  • The film begins with an apocryphal quote 9 by Albert Einstein : “If the bees disappear from the surface of the globe, the man would only have four years to live . ” Albert Einstein never actually uttered the phrase 10 .
  • The film concludes with a nod of the director Jess carries a bag The Last Airbender ( The Last Airbender ), a film Shyamalan at the time in pre-production, released in 2010.

Notes and references

  1. ↑ a , b and c (in) The Happening ”  [ archive ] , Box Office Mojo .com (accessed January 26, 2015 )
  2. ↑ (en) Release dates [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database
  3. ↑ MPAA ranking : minors (under 17) must be accompanied by an adult
  4. ↑ a , b , c and d Secrets of filming ”  [ archive ] , on Allociné (accessed January 26, 2015 )
  5. ↑ (in) Filming locations [ archive ] on the Internet Movie Database
  6. ↑ (in) The Happening [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack] ”  [ archive ] , on Allmusic .com (accessed 26 January 2015 ) .
  7. ↑ a and b (in) The Happening – weekly ”  [ archive ] , Box Office Mojo .com (accessed January 26, 2015 )
  8. ↑ ” Phenomena ”  [ archive ] , on JP (accessed January 26, 2015 )
  9. ↑ This quote appears for the first time in a pamphleteer statement distributed by the National Union of French Apiculture , during a demonstration in Brussels against the European agricultural policy. The quote in this release is probably a distortion of a letter Einstein sent on December 12, 1951 to a group of schoolchildren who asked him in writing if there would be living men if the sun went out, the physicist replied that “Without the sunlight, there would be no more wheat, bread, grass, cattle, meat, milk, and everything would be frozen. There would be no more life . Source: (in) Alice Calaprice, The Ultimate Quotable Einstein,p.  479.
  10. ↑ ” Einstein, the bees and the end of the world ”  [ archive ] , on The end of the , (accessedJanuary 26, 2015 )

Leave a comment