Film Review – Happy Death Day (2017)

Title – Happy Death Day (2017)

Director – Christopher Landon (Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse)

Cast – Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Charles Aitken, Ruby Modine

Plot – College student Tree Gelbman (Rothe) must relieve her birthday over and over as she finds herself targeted my a masked murder whose identity she must uncover should she wish to get out of her repetitive predicament.

“I guess I’ll just have to kill you all over again”

Review by Eddie on 5/06/2018

A horror/comedy shaped in the Groundhog Day repetitive nature of storytelling that worked so well for the Bill Murray classic and the more recent Tom Cruise sci-fi/actioner Edge of Tomorrow, Happy Death Day should be a real guilty pleasure but this low-budget Blum House production isn’t the happy experience it promises to be.

The concept is certainly there in Christopher Landon’s film as Jessica Rothe’s college student Tree Gelbman finds herself reliving a birthday turned death day as she finds herself murdered on repeat by a mysterious masked figure, only to find herself waking up to the same day over and over but Happy Death Day’s desire to be a Scream like horror that moulds scares with self-aware comedy ends up anchoring the film down in the middle ground that holds it back from thriving in either space.

Landon’s feature finds itself lacking in any real suspense or scares as Tree try’s to combat her masked attacker in various ways or uncover the identity of the assailant who inflicts this repetitive pain upon her, which is a shame, as you can see how Happy Death Day would’ve benefited greatly had we as an audience felt the terror of Tree’s plight as she looks to overcome the scenario and live to see a new day.

In regards to the comedy side of things, Happy Death Day does get extra points for not taking itself too seriously, even at one stage directly referencing its similarities to Groundhog Day, but the film doesn’t produce any real hearty laughs, instead a few small-scale chuckles which aren’t enough to bring the film up another level in light of the scare factor being near non-existent.

With the genre mash-up disappointing, the film could’ve been saved by a genuinely surprising or revelatory big reveal of its masked baddie but sadly upon the revelation of who is stalking Tree to a repetitive death experience, Happy Death Day disappoints in this department also.

Final Say –

Happy Death Day isn’t a hard film to watch and has a neat enough concept but this forgettable film frustrates with its inability to master either its horror elements or its more self-referencing comedic ticks, meaning that this is a day you’d wished you skipped.

2 non-sanctioned breakfasts out of 5   

7 responses to “Film Review – Happy Death Day (2017)

  1. I wouldn’t consider this a horror despite certain elements, more like a thriller in the likes of DOA where the guy is trying to find out who killed him.
    Still, it was better than I expected and fun to watch.

    • Rothe does seem like a star in the making but just couldn’t get into this film. I found it a fairly uneasy mix of genres despite the initially intriguing set-up.

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