Hmm. Now, I know there are movies I really feel awful admitting I like. I'm just having trouble thinking of any of them. I promise it's not because I'm avoiding admitting I like them.
Oh, wait. I absolutely know which one I feel most guilty about liking. Because it is not a very good movie. And the ending makes absolutely no sense. And the acting is awkward. But it did to me exactly what it was trying to do. It scared the crap outta me.
And that movie is The Happening.
I am one of three people I know who didn't hate The Happening. Like I said, it ended up being a very effective movie for me. It did for me what good horror movies manage to do for everyone - it preyed on a specific fear I already had ingrained within me. I am terrified of the idea of losing control of myself. I like being aware and in control of what I'm doing at all times. It creeps me out when I'm extremely tired and stop being able to really rationally control what I'm saying.
Given that, it's not really surprising that this movie left me almost literally paralyzed with fear at some point. Watching these people slowly lose control of themselves was like my worst nightmare. I was so emotionally involved in the movie that seeing the final survivors emerge at the end was an extremely cathartic experience.
It doesn't matter how cheesy the dialogue was, or how awkward the acting of the main characters was... seeing scene after scene of people lose their minds is one of the most horrifying things I can think of. And knowing I myself was safe at the end of that was an amazing sense of release.
It was a very intense, very personal movie-watching experience for me. This movie just happened to tap into something that had terrified and does still terrify me. That's what horror movies try to do on a more universal level. Unfortunately, The Happening seems to really only have been effective for me. But it was so effective for me that I'm thrown off and have trouble articulating to others why I actually really liked this movie.