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SUMMER SNEAKS / The Happening

A 6th sense for suspense

May 04, 2008|Susan King

Director M. Night Shyamalan, whose "The Sixth Sense" stamped him as the master of the story twist, recalls two years ago when he was in Spain on a promotional tour for "Lady in the Water" and someone asked him what his next project would be. "I said it is going to be a 90-minute paranoia movie, and that is what it ended up being," he says.

"The Happening," which stars Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel, revolves around an estranged couple and their family trying to survive an environmental crisis that was caused by terrorists or the U.S. government.

"It has a road-movie-ish feeling to it," says Shyamalan, who stays mum about what his traditional cameo appearance will be in this film. Perhaps the biggest influence on "The Happening," which 20th Century Fox releases June 13, was the 1956 version of the classic horror film "Invasion of the Body Snatchers," he says, "in the sense that people are trying to get out of an area that is affected and the people who are trying to get out have a better understanding of what's going on than the general group and they are not being heard. Is there a mass hysteria thing going on or is there something deeper?"

-- Susan King

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