Review: Happy Death Day
The latest film by Blumhouse Productions hits theaters just in time for Friday the 13th. Happy Death Day looks like Scream meets Groundhog Day, but if it could just be half as good as each one of those, then we would have a solid film on our hands. Don't get me wrong, it's a clever concept, but there was just the same concept with Before I Fall just a little more than half a year ago. That film had depth, hence being a Sundance selection. Happy Death Day has all the qualities of a great slasher flick, but isn't developed and disappoints.
In Happy Death Day, sorority girl Tree Gelbman (La La Land's Jessica Rothe) wakes up on the wrong side of the bed. Not just the wrong side, but in some guy's dorm that she doesn't remember his name. He tells her his name is Carter (The Bling Ring's Israel Broussard) and then she rushes off to her Chi Sigma Kappa sorority house to get ready for her class. She is stopped by a couple of her sisters, one who wants to give her a cupcake with a candle to make a wish and celebrate her birthday. That night, she gets murdered by a sinister guy wearing a round one toothed baby mask and a black hoodie. She wakes up and it's October 18th all over again, but she spends her day over and over again trying to find out who is behind the mask so that she can make it to a new day.
As Scream poked fun at the horror genre all the while creating a scary horror film, Happy Death Day does not. There's not much suspense and the killer went from eerie to dull very quickly. There's all the elements there for something really supreme, especially with a top-notch performance by Rothe. I believe if the suspense had been developed more with Tree running for her life on that first day and then ultimately getting killed, it would have been more thrilling. Moreover, if the film had more comedy in it, it might have just become a classic.
Ken's Movie Review Grading Scale
A - Superb and solid; a movie that will be etched in your mind 10 years from now
B - Good movie, so good in fact that you would want to see it again before it's out of the theaters; the story may drag in places
C - Average, entertaining at parts; you might want to wait and rent it
D - Lacks a lot from entertainment, plot, realism, development, etc.
F - Terrible and you will want to walk out of the movie; no redemptive qualities whatsoever