It's been a staple of the Sci-Fi and Horror genres since forever (or at least since Fay Wray), but of late it's practically become a genre unto itself. We are referring, of course, to The Look -- the inevitable moment when the camera glides relentlessly toward the face of a character (usually, but not always, an actress) who has suddenly gone all wide-eyed, staring at some unimaginable weirdness just out of frame beyond the view of the audience.
In recent years, Gillian Anderson pretty much perfected it in any number of X-Files episodes (she may have named it, too, if memory serves) but in 2008 the unquestioned Queen of The Look is Zooey Deschanel, an admittedly adorable actress of (at least up until now) a certain demonstrably limited range. If you saw the recent Sci-Fi Channel Wizard of Oz remake Tin Man you know what I'm talking about; Deschanel more or less spent the entirety of the mini-series bugging her peepers out at succession of only moderately convincing digital effects.
Now, of course, Deschanel is bringing The Look to the big screen, where she's co-starring with Mark Wahlberg in writer/director M. Night Shyamalan's latest mishegass The Happening (opening Friday June 13th).
As you can see from the trailer, Wahlberg (and, apparently at least half of the rest of the cast) flashes The Look more than a few times in the picture, but Deschanel and her gorgeous doe eyes pretty much own it. There are fabulous examples throughout the clip; my favorite comes at approximately 1:50 minutes in, where Shyamalan gives Deschanel a tight closeup with her eyes seemingly backlit. I have no idea if the film itself is any good -- given just about everything its director has done since The Sixth Sense you'd have to be something of an optimist to assume it might be -- but if you're a fan of The Look, I'd say you needn't look any further. Okay, that joke embarasses me, but you get the idea.