Oh, The Horror: Happy Death Day
Scary Movie Reviews—(Possible) Spoiler Alert!
Please note: I write my reviews AS I watch the movie. That being said, don’t judge my negative remarks in the first part of this review as my final decision on this film. Read the entire review, you might be surprised (much like I was when this movie finally got good).
The movie begins with a college girl waking up in some strange guy’s dorm room. She only met him the night before. Her phone rings, with some annoying ringtone that reminds her it’s her birthday (I guess if she’s drinking so much she can’t remember the night before she probably does need a reminder of such a significant day). Some words are spoken, the guy’s friend bursts in, and the girl leaves and does the “walk of shame” through the dorm room and the campus. To top off her disgrace, she runs into some needy guy she went on one date with that hounds her about unreturned texts.
Let me interject here: I didn’t “go away to college.” I see this type of college portrayal all the time in movies, comedy to horror, so I just assume that all college consists of is skipping classes, having sex, and getting drunk and high. This movie gives me that same impression.
Anyway, more about the movie. So, this girl, in the beginning, tries to avoid letting her friends know about her birthday, but at one point (maybe the second time she repeats the day) she walks in on a surprise birthday party—so someone knew… There are lots of little backstories within her different daily repeats, like her affair with a teacher and other non-significant things in the scheme of the actual movie plot. And, at the end of the day she dies, she then wakes up the next day to repeat her birthday all over again. And again. And again. And so on. The killer? Someone wearing some creepy giant baby head mask.
What I Thought of the Movie
At first, I was seriously hating on this film (I'm being nice and not going into all the details I wrote down in my original review since they aren't pertinent to my final decision). The first couple repeats of the day were just boring and there really didn’t seem to be that much plot structure aside from it being a horror version of Groundhog Day. Part of what I found strange was that even though some of the same things would happen the first couple repeats, certain lines would change even though there really wasn’t a reason for them too. Once Tree (that’s the girl's name) starts working toward finding out who her killer is and making changes to the day, it finally makes sense when things don’t happen exactly the same.
I like that it takes her a couple days (repeats of the day, that is) to realize that she needs to solve the mystery of who is killing her in order to stop the repeats. I even like that she gets her one night stand in on it at some point, although she doesn’t remember the previous events each time she restarts the day. It was somewhere around the fourth repeat of her birthday that I finally got hooked on this movie, which is about the time she started getting wise to what was going on.
Why You Should Watch It
This turned out to be a great film with an excellent, unexpected twist at the end. I definitely didn’t see that coming and these days I find it hard to be fooled by movies. Just get through the first half of the movie (stuff your face with popcorn, mess around on your phone, just keep one eye on the screen for things to “pick up”), and then you’ll start to get hooked.
The acting is good, so there’s that going for it as well. It’s not a super scary movie, but it is an interesting concept.