Happy Death Day

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Photo Source: Universal Pictures

Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named Carter. As the morning goes on, Tree gets the eerie feeling that she’s experienced the events of this day before. When a masked killer suddenly takes her life in a brutal attack, she once again magically wakes up in Carter’s dorm room unharmed. Now, the frightened young woman must relive the same day over and over until she figures out who murdered her. – Universal Pictures

Happy Death Day was directed by Christopher B. Landon and written by Scott Lobdell. Landon is best known for writing Disturbia, Paranormal Activity 2, 3, 4 and Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and Lodbell is best known for writing comics.

Happy Death Day is a horror comedy take on Groundhog Day. Luckily for Happy Death Day I love horror comedies and Groundhog Day. This movie follows the generic Groundhog Day plot which can actually be done quite well, see Edge of Tomorrow/LiveDieRepeat and the Mystery Spot episode of Supernatural. Don’t take the generic plot as a bad thing because it works in this case. Happy Death Day is a self aware film and a character even directly references Groundhog Day. What really makes this film worthwhile is the characters and the setting. The setting feels like a real college where real people go to school and the characters seem real. Everyone knows or has seen those girls, real life mean girls. The humor comes from the characters.

Jessica Rothe is Tree the mean spirited, sorority, birthday girl who gets stuck in her own murdery version of Groundhog Day. Tree is a bitch and for no reason, apparently. In the beginning of the movie I didn’t care for her but every time she got murdered she came back more and more likable. Her bitchiness is sort of a mystery but that also unraveled as see meets her demise everyday. I’ve only ever seen Rothe in La La Land but she is fantastic. She makes being a bitch likable and she makes a pretty good “final girl.” I would expect to see more Jessica Rothe in the future.  Israel Broussard is Carter the boy lucky enough to have brought Tree back to his dorm. Carter is just a super likable character and brings some humor to the film. Rothe and Broussard have perfect on screen chemistry, the whole time watching I was rooting for them to be together.

Happy Death Day isn’t redefining the horror genre or anything like that but it’s a damn good time. You’ll find more laughs than scares in this one, which is a plus for me. This movie is a solid whodunit mystery with a Groundhog Day Twist and then another twist at the end. I had a really fun time with Happy Death Day. 

I give Happy Death Day an 8 out of 10, would watch again.

“Please stop staring at me like I took a dump on your mom’s head.”

Oh yeah by the way they used a different ringtone then the 50 Cent song from the trailer. Thank god.

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