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It’s October, so it just wouldn’t be right if we didn’t get a horror review in. Happy Death Day might not be the typical horror movie we look for during the fall season, but it did have a lot going for it. I’m a big fan of time-loop movies. I love Groundhog Day, I love Edge of Tomorrow, and I think that Source Code is one of the most under-seen movies of all time. Also, as much as I love a psychological and emotional ride, I look forward to the times where I get to kick back and have a good time at the movies. Let’s talk about Happy Death Day!
Happy Death Day is directed by Christopher Landon and stars Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, and Rachel Matthews. Tree, played by Jessica Rothe, wakes up on her birthday to her worst nightmare: an unpopular college guy’s dorm room. Things only get worse when she is killed by a slasher wearing a baby mask later that night. When she wakes up the next morning back in the dorm, she realizes that the day will continue to repeat until she finds her killer.
I wanted to enjoy myself at the theater when I saw this movie, and I absolutely did. Happy Death Day needed to be completely aware of what it was. If you saw the trailers, you probably know that this movie isn’t competing for any Oscars, but it knows that, and it’s refreshing to see an unpretentious horror-comedy right now. This movie is actually hilarious, and it balances the comedy and horror very well. Most of the comedy comes from the main characters saying and doing things that society doesn’t allow for, and that’s not a knock on society. It’s a positive for this movie. I love comedy that can make us a little bit uncomfortable, and Happy Death Day is able to do that. I also loved Jessica Rothe in the film. One issue I had with Before I Fall, a time-loop movie from earlier this year, was that the characters were uncharismatic and annoying as they put their issues under a microscope. Our main character, Tree, isn’t exactly the most kind person in the beginning of the film, but she’s likable. She’s hilarious, she has no filter, and she finds a way to get us on her side. Her delivery brings even more laughs than I expected, and her performance makes me believe in the character arc. In time-loop movies, the main character always ends up different or having learned a lesson, or else there’s not really a point of the time-loop. I bought into Tree’s arc, and every single day felt fresh because she would approach it in a new, creative way. It also throws a few brand new elements of “time-looping” into the story, and they actually put me on edge and gave me this sense of urgency when it came to finding out who the killer was.
It comes as no surprise that this isn’t the most original movie in the world. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before, and you’re not going to be extremely surprised or caught off-guard by anything that happens. Really, for a movie like this, that’s fine. I wasn’t expecting to be blown away or shocked, so I’m not disappointed by that at all. There is a reveal in the film that definitely underwhelmed me and made no sense whatsoever, but it’s something I’m more than willing to forgive in a movie like this.
Overall, this isn’t a breath of fresh air or “the movie that you need to see in the theaters right now,” but it’s a good enough time. Maybe even a good enough time for me to suggest checking it out with a few friends just because it’s October. It’s funnier and wittier than I ever expected it to be, and Jessica Rothe is great in the lead role. Happy Death Day knows exactly what it’s going for, and it succeeds because it never tries for more. It never reaches too far, and Jessica Rothe makes it hilarious enough to be worth seeing. I’m going to give Happy Death Day a 6.4/10.
Will you be seeing Happy Death Day? Comment down in the comment section and let me know! As always, thank you, and keep listening to 88.7 The Pulse!