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The Happening

The Happening

Date: Aug 06 2008

Themes: Alternative, Pop Culture


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

When people watch a scary movie about the end of the world, they usually think they’d be like the characters in the movie who somehow survived and have to save the world. But, really, odds are you wouldn’t make it that far and even if you did, you might not have any idea what’s actually going on. It would just be chaos.

The Happening is a new movie from M. Night Shyamalan who also made The Sixth Sense and Signs. The commercials are especially scary because they don’t really give any information about what will happen in the film. Mason has seen it and even he doesn’t even know what happens!


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Mason:  Dude.

Jason:  Yeah.

Mason:  I just saw The Happening. It’s happening.

Jason:  It lives up to the hype?

Mason:  Yeah.

Jason:  Because it’s got such cool marketing. The quick cuts, the people falling, the no explanation for anything.

Mason:  Yeah, total like horror, terror, you don’t know what you’re getting into.

Jason:  Yeah.

Mason:  I’m messed up right now.

Jason:  Can you tell me what happens? What is the happening? What’s happening?

Mason:  You can’t even ask me that, man. I’m not gonna be the guy that leaks that information after they did such an awesome job of keeping it close to the vest.

Jason:  It is really tight. So it’s one of those things where you can’t even share anything at all without giving the whole…

Mason:  No, I mean, like, seriously, what do you know about The Happening without having seen it? You’re like, Mark Wahlberg is in it. Zoe Deschanel’s in it.

Jason:  It’s scary.

Mason:  Something’s happening. That’s about what I know.

Jason:  Gotcha.

Mason:  It’s a whole movie of just like, “Whoa dude! Oh my God!”

Jason:  That’s cool because it sounds like a horror movie from a legitimate perspective because a lot of times the horror movie’s from the perspective of these people who all know what’s going on. But I always figure, in the event of a zombie apocalypse or something, I’m gonna be the guy who’s just, like, on a bus and suddenly bitten by a zombie and had no idea what was happening with the zombie apocalypse. You know what I mean?

Mason:  Yeah…

Jason:  In a real-life horror situation, you would have as little information as you have about The Happening, you know?

Mason:  I didn’t even think about it that way. But yeah, it’s gonna sneak up on us all, right? Thanks for that. I wasn’t going to sleep tonight anyway, but now maybe tomorrow night too.



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After seeing The Happening, Mason is a little freaked out. Jason asks him to tell him about the movie and he says he can’t. It was very exciting and mysterious.

Jason comments that it’s likely that that’s what the end of the world would actually be like. If it were really the end of the world, most people would probably die early on and never know what was happening.

There are a lot of movies about the end of the world these days. Do you have a favorite? Do you ever think about the end of the world? Jason imagines zombies taking over the Earth. What’s your favorite or most feared type of apocalypse?



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The Happening is good movie. And I also like the movie Tomorrow.

01:56 AM Aug 06 2008 |

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