Happy Death Day (2017)

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I meant to get a review in the first weekend of the month for here but did a whole lot of nothing instead. It was my fifth weekend in a row working, so I guess I was just feeling burned out. Sleep caught up with me that weekend and especially Monday when I slept for eleven hours. I will be going to a horror movie festival this weekend, which I plan to do all reviews here for. I would normally split the reviews between here and my main blog, but I have a series review planned for over there, so I will do all reviews here instead. This last weekend I was invited by some friends to go see Happy Death Day. I wanted to go see it anyway and it is always better with friends, so I jumped at the chance.

Tree (Jessica Rothe) wakes up in the morning in Carter’s (Israel Broussard) dorm room. She doesn’t remember much from the night before and leaves without saying a whole lot. She makes her way back to her sorority where her roommate, Lori (Ruby Modine), wishes her a happy birthday and presents her with a cupcake that she made herself. In a hurry to get to a class, Tree blows out the candle and throws the cupcake in the trash. Tree goes about her day when that night she is confronted by someone in a mask and is killed. Tree wakes up in the same dorm room on the same day. Confused, she goes about her day again, but changes up the way she goes home, only to be killed again. Once again, Tree wakes up on the same day. Will she be able to figure out who is killing her, and will that break the cycle of waking up on the same day?

Happy Death Day is by writer Scott Lobdell and director Christopher Landon. I caught the trailer for this film a while back and thought it looked pretty interesting. Basically Groundhog Day with horror fans in mind. I knew going in that Tree (who would name their kid Tree?) would be trying to find out who is killing her, but I wasn’t sure how well I would like this movie. I was disappointed in some ways, and I was also surprised in good ways as well. The character of Tree starts out as a not so nice person. She is very into herself and not very nice to most people. Part of the story is Tree growing up in a way, becoming more mature and changing her ways. It was fun to see the changes in Tree as the film goes on. She sticks to what she knows best at first and then starts to go through a “don’t care” phase. Tree can also be pretty funny at times, which was a nice surprise. I also enjoyed the mystery of it all. I always have fun trying to figure out who the killer might be. In this case, Tree is also mostly trying to figure this out. The people she first suspects are not the same people I was looking at. To be fair, we don’t really get to know the other people in her life in order to figure out if they want to kill her. Even so, it was fun trying to figure it all out. I wish I could say I figured it out, but I didn’t. I also liked that when Tree wants to put up a fight, she is pretty good at it.

There were a couple of things that made Happy Death Day come up short from being a great film. One was the lack of creativity for the deaths. They do mix things up here and there, but most of the deaths are Tree being stabbed. For the most part, these are pretty boring. The second time this happens was probably the best death as far as the stabbings go. The later deaths get a bit more creative. I was thankful for that, but at the same time, they came a little late. The other thing I didn’t like is when Tree manages to survive sometimes, she gets away with things easily. She kills at one point and still manages to get home that same night somehow. Like she wouldn’t be spending the rest of the night in a police station explaining her actions at all. An interesting part of the film shows that her previous deaths are starting to affect her health, but this is never expanded on after it is revealed. Too bad as it could have changed things up from other films like this one.

There wasn’t much for effects here. Some stabbings and people getting shot, but nothing gory and very little blood to be found. There was a very nice explosion though. The acting was very good I thought. I enjoyed Jessica Rothe a lot in the lead role. She fits the role that well with her looks and how the character acts for a while. The fact that she pulled off the comedy stuff so well was just an added bonus. I also liked Israel Broussard as the nice guy doing the right thing most of the time. I thought his character believed Tree a bit too easy, but that had nothing to do with the acting. The supporting cast also offered up some great acting in spots.

I think the writers were trying to get some comedy in there. Like Tree giving up and just walking out naked at one point. Sorry guys, no real nudity though. I think in a film like this it is impossible not to have the character who is reliving the same day over and over start to do silly things just to change it up. At the same time, it was just funny lines or the way that Jessica Rothe expressed herself that I found funny. The scene where Tree gets pulled over by a cop had me laughing pretty good at one point. So, while Happy Death Day had some things I couldn’t really forgive it for, there was also plenty to like as well which balances it all out. If you haven’t given this film a chance yet, perhaps you should. It isn’t really all that scary, doesn’t offer a whole lot as far as tension, but it is a fun film. Worth checking out if you ask me.

3 out of 5 What would you do if you had to relive the same day?

So... what do you think? Please leave me a comment.

7 Comments:

  • Vale: I have to say, this one actually sounds interesting to me :) Where can I see it?
  • mermaidheather: It is out in theaters at the moment.
  • Vale: I guess I’ll have to wait until it’s available on DVD or online!
  • Marra M: I am about to watch this today. Thanks for the review MermaidHeather
  • Vale: Marra let us know what you think!
  • Marra M: Hi Vale, judging from my daughter’s reaction while we watched it, she got a good time watching the movie. The writers really did made watchers think that it was another person who was the killer other than the real killer. Misleading can add a little more suspense to a movie. I read that young audiences flock to the movies to watch this movie.
  • Vale: Thanks for the review Marra! When I finally get to see it, I will post my comments here too :D I agree that I like misleading, I hate when it’s obvious!

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