Happy Death Day [Review]

death day movie review

Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) 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.

Happy Death Day is a movie that takes themes from other genres and tries to twist them into something new and to an extent it succeeds. The problems do not come from the cast or the story but from the hindrance of a PG-13 rating.

The cast delivers really well but it is Rothe who carries the movie. She is able to give a performance that works both ends of the genre spectrum. Her comedic timing is on point as is her final girl delivery of dread and inevitable death.

The story, even though the main premise has been done, is quite fun. But what should have been a setup for countless gory and inventive kills quickly becomes dull due to the hard cut to avoid any scene showing blood, with the exception of a trooper getting ran over. This is the crux of the movie, how do you make a horror film that should be very brutal, but without brutality? Answer, you don't. You make a comedy with horror elements.

The director, Christopher Landon, does an awesome job with what he had at his disposal and as a comedy-horror it plays very well, but as a straight horror movie (which could have herald more new slashers to the big screen) it is a big missed opportunity.

Happy Death Day should be seen if you are looking for a fun movie with a twist on the time-loop trope; but if you are a gorehound looking for the next big slasher then you will leave parched because there is not a drop of blood to quench that thirst. 

Rating: 6.5/10 Stars

Rich Stile @TheDevilsEyes1

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