Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named Carter. As the morning goes on, Tree gets the eerie feeling that she’s experienced the events of this day before. When a masked killer suddenly takes her life in a brutal attack, she once again magically wakes up in Carter’s dorm room unharmed. Now, the frightened young woman must relive the same day over and over until she figures out who murdered her.
So essentially Happy Death Day is Groundhog Day, but with a teen horror vibe to it. I thought this movie had potential to be a good time, it’s not really more than that but you can’t really expect it to be. First off, the main character’s name is TREE. What kind of name is that?! It’s not like everyone else is this movie has a stupid name just the main character, this has nothing to really do with how good the movie was, but “Tree” seriously? Also the killer is wearing the mask of the school’s mascot, which would be better if it wasn’t a baby, but hey maybe that’s just me.
I honestly had a pretty good time with Happy Death Day. It hits all of the right notes as far as being a pg-13 horror movie and still managing to be entertaining. The story is pretty basic and all, but doesn’t really ever get boring. One thing that usually gets on my nerves with these kind of movies is the repeating of the day and the main character explaining what’s happening to them over and over again. In Happy Death Day, they do a good job of keeping it fresh and progressing the narrative every time Tree starts over. It also does a good job of setting up suspects that could possibly be the murderer and keeping you guessing as it goes on.
Jessica Rothe’s defining role up until this point was one of the girls that Emma Stone lives with in La La Land. She is excellent in this movie and is clearly having a blast playing this role and really helps make this movie the fun light hearted time that it is.
As For flaws: The movie is never really that scary, but it’s PG-13, horror so that’s almost expected. There are also some things that are brought up but, never explored. There is an entire sequence of Tree having to go to the hospital because her health is getting worse with every death she has. This is only brought up once and really only serves as a reason for her to go to the hospital. The ending also kind of left me a bit sour. The film has pretty much two endings. I think it would’ve benefited much more if these endings were wrapped up together and not separated.
Overall, I had a pretty good time with Happy Death Day. Some changes could have made it a better movie, but it could’ve been a lot worse than it was. I applaud the filmmaker for putting some effort into this movie, and not making it a teen horror cash grab like it could have been.