‘Happy Death Day’ (2017) Review: Birthdays Will Never Be the Same

If you knew you were going to die on your birthday and had to relive that day over and over again, what would you do? Would you stress out and try to figure out a way to stop your own demise? Would you just say screw it and do whatever the hell you pleased? Happy Death Day, which was released to theaters on Friday, October 13, 2017 from Blumhouse, deals with some of these same situations. Is this horror/comedy worth your time? Read on to find out!

Happy Death Day is directed by Christopher Landon (writer of Disturbia and Paranormal Activity) and was written by Scott Lobdell. It stars Jessica Rothe (La La Land) as Tree Gelbman, Israel Broussard (The Bling Ring) as Carter Davis, Ruby Modine (Shameless) as Lori Spengler, Charles Aitken (The Knick) as Gregory Butler, Laura Clifton (The Alamo) as Stephanie Butler, and Jason Bayle (Trumbo) as David Gelbman.

Official Synopsis:

A teenage girl, trying to enjoy her birthday, soon realizes that this is her final one. That is, if she can figure out who her killer is. She must relive that day, over and over again, dying in a different way each time. Can she solve her own murder?

happy death day

I honestly didn’t have high hopes for this film but surprisingly I walked out of the theater pleasantly surprised! Now don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a great film by any stretch of the imagination but it did have a fun storyline with pretty good acting. Especially from Jessica Rothe who played Tree (I know it’s a dumb name). She played a character who was completely unlikable during the first half of the film who then becomes someone you can feel sympathetic towards near the latter half of the film.

Just like the trailer shows us it is a lot like Groundhogs Day but just done with a horror movie style twist. Though it is never really explained why Tree keeps waking up on the same day it still made for a fun premise.

The killer him/herself was fairly creepy with that baby doll mask. When I first saw the trailer I thought the mask was silly but the use of shadows worked well in keeping the look of the mask creepy.

The two major complaints I have with Happy Death Day don’t ruin the film but if they were implemented it would have made it that much more entertaining. The first complaint I have is that it is PG-13. This film could have been even better with an R rating. Speaking of R rating, the other complaint goes hand in hand with that. The kills were for the most very lackluster and unimaginable. With a premise like this, there could have been some really creative and gruesome kills. However, that is not the case.

Final Thoughts:

All in all, if you are in the mood for some laughs and some jump scares this is a perfect film to see during the month of October. Hell, I think this wouldn’t be too bad to show a young teenager. The theater I was in had its fair share of teenage kids and they all seemed to enjoy it.

About Scott Crawford

I am an avid lover of horror films ever since I was a little boy. I have amassed a sizeable film collection in my life and it is one of my pride and joy. I also love video games and have been playing them since the days of the Intellivision. I currently play on PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch and love all genres of games but mainly play single player story driven games mainly in the fantasy or horror genre. I also host a podcast called The Podcast by the Cemetery with two of my friends and we talk horror and video games.

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