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Review Happy Death Day (2017): It's a blast from start to end!

genre: horror, slasher, mystery, thriller, comedy

A lot of reviewers have branded Happy Death Day as Groundhog Day meets Scream. To a large extent that is a good description although this might create some expectations it can't quite reach. Especially mystery and horror wise this is considerably less terrifying than Scream. Although events will keep you on the edge of your seat because of the high fun factor.

Happy Death Day borrows the time loop from Groundhog Day and within this time loop there is an unknown killer with baby mask on who keeps murdering our main character, Tree Gelbman ( Jessica Rothe) over and over again. By just paying attention you will be able to predict who the killer is pretty early on. While this mystery is pretty essential it's not the main focus. I found that to be rather refreshing even if I initially had hoped to get more Scream like chills and terror. Still I got something else in return and it was quite clever. It definitely went into a direction you can't easily predict. This film is a prime example of where the journey is more important than the destination. Tree goes through a lot and you feel for her as events do change her outlook on life considerably. We get to see different sides to her but the best moments are when she becomes aware of her actions and behaviour.  You don't often get to see this level of character development in films like these. I am not familiar with Jessica Rothe but apparently she also was in La La Land. I didn't like that film that much and I don't remember seeing her in that one. However you can be sure that she is on my radar now since she gives one hell of a performance. She is incredible likeable. They way she reacts to her situation is realistic and practical. Actually I have to give credit to the whole cast since none of them are big names and yet they make the events believable.

Another important element is the comedy. Happy Death Day is very funny and yet it never gets in the way of the thriller elements. Although I do think had this film not been PG rated the kills could have been bloodier and gorier. It would have upped the ante for the better since it would have compensated the lack of terror somewhat. I also liked how the film satirized college life without too much judgement. It's not all fun and games like some teen films would have you believe. A lot of students in this film are actually more mature and responsible.

Happy Death Day is exactly what I thought it was going to be. A blast from start to end. And indeed it is going to make you very happy.

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Dale Brown said...

Sounds interesting. I might give it a try.

chrichtonsworld.com said...

It is definitely one of the best horror flicks this year.




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