M. Night Shyamalan is the closest thing we have to a modern-day Alfred Hitchcock. Where Hitch tormented urbane New York socialites and private dicks in San Francisco, Night harasses blue-collar Pennsylvanians with the living dead, alien invasions and other postmodern terrors.
And where Hitchcock leaned on the striking scores of Bernard Hermann to propel his movies, Night seems to be borrowing ideas from … the Pixies?
Shyamalan confesses that his latest sci-fi effort, The Happening, due out June (Friday the) 13th, is intended to echo Hitchock’s paranoid masterpiece The Birds. But its title echoes the Pixies’ alien-invasion classic “The Happening” from the band’s underrated 1991 full-length Bossanova.
If that’s too specious a connection for you, Shyamalan also claimed that his film is evocative of the mother of all alien-invasion flicks, Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (Three remakes and counting!)
A quick glance at the promo poster above brings to mind the final part of the Pixies’ “Happening,” where Black Francis sings about crowded roads of cars making their way to Area 51 to meet the aliens — except in the Pixies’ song, the migrating alien lovers have heads full of fear and hearts full of freedom. In Shyamalan’s iteration, they have heads full of disorientation and eventually doom, and it’s probably not because of aliens at all.
Shyamalan has used the Pixies before, most notably in his 2000 film Unbreakable, where in one scene the villain Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson) extensively broods to the twisted Pixies tune “I’ve Been Tired” from the band’s 1987 debut, Come On Pilgrim.
I’m not saying that the title of Shyamalan’s newest film is taken directly from the Pixies. I’m just sayin’.
The score for Shyamalan’s Happening comes from James Newton Howard, and will be on sale June 3. Shyamalan’s next film is an adaptation of the incredible animated TV show Avatar: The Last Airbender, according to Empire magazine.
This article appeared at Wired