A teenage girl, Tree (Jessica Rothe), wakes up in bed with a horrible hangover and can’t remember the night before. Nor can she remember the man’s name who is in the same room as her…
Today is no normal day. Today is Tree’s birthday and soon she will realise that this is her final day alive. With an unknown killer lurking around her college campus, Tree is murdered by the end of her day only to awaken the next morning right back where her Day started. Tree is forced to relive the day of her death over and over again, dying in a different way each time.
Can she solve her own murder? Or perhaps make an improvement on her day by being a better person or finally deal with personal matters?
While watching Happy Death Day it was challenging not to connect it to other films that were very similar. For example, Tree’s character reminded me so much of the character actress “Rachel Adams” played in Mean Girls and Hot Chicks. Tree’s character at the start of the film is a fun and cruel character. She is rude and insults anyone in her way. Plus, she toys with multiple male partners which also makes the list of possible killers rather large. As for the day repeating, itself well… we should all know what film that reminds me of. The consistent mystery and added horror element tries to make this film differ from others like it.
While Happy Death Day did manage to add new elements to the film, it still falls into the traps of common jump scares and horror cliches. Sometimes these just don’t work and take far too long to play out, taking up too much screen time. How the killer is discovered, or, should I say, how the film reveals the killer, is also not very believable. No matter where Tree ends up in her day, so does our mystery killer. What are the odds?
Sure we have twists, turns and a killer is finally revealed, but for me, the outcome was a predictable one. As the film progresses, certain characters are never investigated and such strong hints are given to the audiences it almost feels like we are spoon feed. It can feel rather annoying when the audience knows who the killer is, but we still have to watch the lead character get continuously annoyed and frustrated each time she dies or realises she just wasted time following a wrong lead.
Overall, while Happy Death Day brings elements from other movies, it does manage to bring new added elements such as adding the Horror genre to its story. The film’s tone does feel more aimed at a “teenage” audience, but nevertheless, there’s still some brainless popcorn fun to be had even if you do figure out the killer before our lead character does.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden