Happy Death Day (NO SPOILERS)

Posted: February 21, 2018 in Movies


Happy Death Day is like a breath of fresh air. I love horror and I adore slasher movies. Good ones. And man this one is good. Now before I get into the film I want to be clear that as far as horror and slasher movies go this is on the lighter side. It’s not full of brutal violence or gore. It’s tone is very much in the slasher camp but it’s execution is more on the comedy side, with a dose of thriller and (why the hell not?!) a dash of Back To The Future and Groundhog Day for good measure. If that sounds nuts that’s fair enough but you can’t deny that mixture hasn’t caught your attention. The movie certainly did catch on with audiences last Halloween when it went on to make serious money at the box office.

The film follows college student Tree (Jessica Rothe). It’s her birthday! Yay! Well no. As it happens Tree is not your typical horror leading lady. Think Regina from Mean Girls or one of the trio of Heathers from said movie. Tree is not exactly likeable. So much so someone wants to kill her. They want this girl dead and that’s just what happens. Tree is brutally dispacthed before her birthday is through. No I haven’t ruined the film. See, Tree wakes up suddenly. It’s her birthday. She’s lived (and died this day before) and she will again and again unless(!) she can figure out who wants her dead (and there’s no shortage of suspects) and why. Brilliant. I wish I could come up with great ideas like this for genre movies.

Happy Death Day comes from the Blumhouse team (Get Out, Insidious, The Purge and this years Halloween) and those guys know what they are doing. Director Christopher Landon has more than earned his horror stripes having written and directed a few of the Paranormal Actvity movies and the excellent Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. He knows how to stage the frights and as Scouts Gudie… demonstrated he can balance the horror with the laughs. I’m now totally a fan of this guy and will be keeping an eye out to see what he has coming out in the future.

Another reason for the success of Happy Death Day is the film’s fantastic cast. Made up of talented yet unkown (at leats to me) actors. Jessica Rothe is great as Tree. She has the hardest role in the film because despite playing an unlikeable hero she had to get the audience to root for Tree despite her flaws and that’s just what she does. Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken and Rob Mello fill out the cast and do great work. The scene stealer in this cast though is Rachel Matthews as one of Tree’s sorority sisters. She has some of the funniest scenes in the movie and had me laughing out loud at some of the stuff she comes out with.

I’m mad at myself for not making more of an effort to go see Happy Death Day at the cinema because I reckon it would have been a boss movie to see with a crowd. It’s definitley a film I plan to buy and add to my collection. It is also another great example of how this decade is shaping up to be one of the best for horror. If this momentum keeps up then the next few years are going to be one hell of a ride for genre fans.



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