Review: Happy Death Day

Posted: October 14, 2017 in Review, Scary Stuff
Tags: , , , , , ,

Fun. That is the best way to describe this movie. Lots and lots of fun.

Happy Death Day is a comedy/horror film starring Jessica Roethe and Israel Broussard. Written by Scott Lobdell and directed by Christopher B. Landon, the movie follows Theresa “Tree” Geibman (Rothe), a selfish sorority girl who is murdered on her birthday by a masked killer, only to wake up at the beginning of her birthday. When she’s killed again by the killer and wakes up at the beginning of the day all over again, she decides to solve her murder and catch the killer before he finally finds a way to permanently kill her. It’s Groundhog Day with a horror twist, and in the best way too.

And yes, they do reference that movie at one point in the movie. After the film’s proven just how good it is despite the familiar premise.*

Honestly, I have very little to pick at with this movie, it was that good. The writing is stellar, balancing humor, horror, mystery and the growth of protagonist Tree with a deftness that you don’t normally see from first-time screenwriters, and the directing and acting matches just as well. Rothe does a great job showing us the evolution of Tree from a very unsympathetic protagonist to a likable and kinder person, and Israel Broussard’s Carter Davis as a sort of advisor and love interest is instantly lovable. The rest of the cast is also a lot of fun. I especially liked the character of Danielle, who was great comic relief as the movie went on.

The movie also does a great job of keeping things light when they need to be light and serious when they need to be serious, and Landon does a great job working with Rothe to show her evolution as a character, in both attitude, clothing, and even make-up. Along with great music and other touches, you get a really well-told film. It’s not exactly super-scary (though there were points where members of the audience gasped and screamed), but it keeps you engaged and trying to guess the ending and resolution, which will probably surprise you, especially if you’re not very good at guessing these sorts of things (I am, and even I had a bit of trouble predicting things).

If there was anything I didn’t like, it’s the mask the killer uses. Not that it’s bad, it’s a psychotic, one-toothed baby, it’s creepy as hell. But it’s revealed early on that the mask is actually that of the school’s mascot, and that plenty of people wear that mask. What school makes a baby its mascot? That’s almost as dumb as the Fighting Artichokes (which is a real thing).

But anything other than that is nitpicking. This is a fun thrillfest that will keep you on the edge of your seat till the end of the movie, and I can see it gaining the same sort of cult following as Groundhog Day has (though obviously for very different reasons). On a scale of 1 to 5, I’m giving Happy Death Day a 4.5. Go check it out, and see for yourself how awesome it is.

That’s all for now, my Followers of Fear. I might have another post out in the next day or two, so keep an eye out for it. Until then, pleasant nightmares!

*Funnily enough, I’ve never seen Groundhog Day, though I know the basic gist of it. I’ll watch it at some point, though. I have an idea for a novel with its own Groundhog Day time loop scenario, so I’ll probably see the movie before I start working on that (whenever that is).

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Comments
  1. Adan Ramie says:

    I keep thinking I need to see this, but I wasn’t sure it would be worth it, considering the theme. I loved Groundhog Day — you should definitely see it! it’s a classic! — so this should be a lot of fun.

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