Happy Death Day
Just in time for horror movie season! I’m so excited to come back with a good one. And from the unlikeliest candidate might I add. Happy Death Day staring Jessica Rothe (La La Land, The Tribe, Better Off Single) and Israel Broussard (Jack of the Red Hearts, The Bling Ring, Good Kids) is another take on the whole what if you lived the same day over and over and over again? Sound familiar? Good. Cause it’s been done. Tons of times. But I must say I liked this version. I liked it a lot.
So, Jessica Rothe plays Tree Gelbman an obnoxious party girl who’s, shall we say, a little use to waking up in a different bed every now and then. After a hard night of partying she wakes up with a splitting hang-over in a bed belonging to a handsome Carter Davis aka Israel Broussard. In an enraged drunk-girl-dealing-with-last-night’s-consequences fit Tree storms out and tries to forget the previous evening with her daily routine. By daily routine I mean shunning stalker guys, ignoring the nice girls who only want to be her friend, being a complete B to all the other girls in her sorority and having steamy affairs with the hot teacher. Needless to say,Tree is not the greatest person out there. She’s your basic selfish, too hot to care mean girl and when her night ends with a psycho wearing a creepy kid mask thrusts a knife through her chest you don’t really feel too bad for her. But things get interesting when she wakes up again in Carter’s bed and is met with the same events as the day before. Once Tree realizes she’s having Deja vu to the extreme she tries to alter her evening so as not to meet the same fate. However, it doesn’t work. It doesn’t work again and again and again and again. In one of her many re-runs Tree decides to open up about her bizarre situation to Carter who (after much doubt then convincing) decides that the only way for Tree to stop this cycle is to find out who her killer is before she gets killed…again.
This is a fun idea and obviously it’s a recipe Hollywood knows too well. Honestly After Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day when you use an idea like this you gotta come at the plate swinging. Do the live the same day over and over bit but add something fresh to the mix. Give us something new! They pulled it off successfully in The Edge of Tomorrow which is an Action/Adventure/Sci-fi Groundhog Day. And I can honestly say they pulled it off here. Happy Death Day may have an awkward title but it gives a spin-off with a Horror/Mystery/Thriller Groundhog Day. And might I add that there’s also a dash of comedy in there. Which surprisingly works! Though honestly, I think there’d been no other way to have made it work. I feel like this movie succeeded the way it did because it didn’t take itself too seriously. Yes, it is still a horror blood and heavy violence is plenty and there are a couple of jump scares here and there. Not too many but a few. But you also kind of get a college movie. You know? Rachel Mathews (Happy Death Day) just made me laugh so much as Danielle Bouseman who was head of the sorority house. She was a horrible B too but think more Mean Girls style.
Now the movie was already good but I think it became great when Tree began to change as a person. Somewhere in the movie she used the line ‘When you live the same day over and over again you begin to see the kind of person you are.’ Which I simply adored. You start to root for her and suddenly the charter’s shifted. You no longer want her to be a victim. You want her to find her killer and break the cycle. And one last thing I may applaud the movie on was that the day Tree kept reliving was her own birthday and she kept avoiding her father’s calls throughout the day(s). There’s significant meaning behind that which brings a tender edge to this horror film and the way they were able to include this heartbreaking scene into a movie like this was just perfect.
Rated PG-13 for violence, terror, crude sexual content, language, some drug material and partial nudity.
Rotten Tomatoes currently has Happy Death Day at a 65% fresh. Not bad.
This is the kind of movie I could see again. If you’re looking for horror on the light side I would recommend this. You know me I LOVE thrillers and this is a good one! And just try and guess who the killer is. Trust me, you’re not gonna get it. But have fun trying!