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Still shot from the movie: The Happening.

The Happening

Something strange is happening in the eastern United Sates. It appears that a deadly plague is sweeping across the country. Although they can't quite get a grasp on how devastating this problem may be, Elliot Moore (Mark Wahlberg) and his wife (Zooey Deschanel) flee their home in a desperate race to outpace the mysterious epidemic. Get the movie review and more. »

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Overall: C
Violence: D
Sexual Content: A-
Language: B-
Drugs/Alcohol: A
Theater Release: 12 Jun 2008
Video Release: 07 Oct 2008
MPAA Rating: R
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Why Is The Happening Rated R?


This thriller’s biggest issue for parents are the depictions of various people taking their own lives with a variety of methods, like shooting themselves with guns, stabbings with pointed objects and falling from buildings. Some of these are particularly explicit, for instance lions in a zoo bite off a man’s arms. Another character lies down in front of a large lawnmower, and we see the mower driving over him. Another scene shows two young people being killed by a person with a shotgun—one of the shootings is seen on screen. There are many moments of peril and tension, including “jump” scenes. A number of mild profanities are heard along with terms of deity. A mild sexual comment is heard.

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About the Reviewer: Rod Gustafson

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