Bettie's Box Office: Happy Death Day Review

Happy Death Day opens Friday, October 13. (Photo: Universal Studios)

Did you like Groundhog Day? Would you have liked it even more if Bill Murray had been brutally murdered every day? If so, Happy Death Day is the rewinding mystery/thriller for you.

College student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is a self-absorbed, surly sorority girl prone to binge drinking and waking up in unfamiliar places. Her birthday starts with the typical hangover and walk of shame back to the sorority house, but it ends with her being stabbed to death by a hooded figure wearing a baby mask. The next day, and the next, and next, and next she wakes up in the same, unfamiliar dorm room where her birthday starts all over again. She ends up as both victim and lead detective of her murder – actually murders – as the killer finds new ways to track her down and kill her.

Happy Death Day is a gory Groundhog Day. You’ll figure out the campy flick doesn’t take itself too seriously as soon as you see the opening Universal logo. The film can be funny and clever, which makes it too bad that the characters are all stereotypes and the budget didn’t allow for casting many extras (you’ll see what I mean in the hospital scenes). But in the end it’s a fun, occasionally scary, comedy/horror movie that uses all of the typical music, sound effects and jump-scares to keep you reasonably tense. There’s also good chemistry between Rothe and cute nerd Carter Davis (Israel Broussard). It won’t go down as a classic but it’s certainly worth the price of a matinee ticket, especially as we come up on Halloween.

Happy Death Day opens Friday, October 13 and is rated PG-13 for violence/terror, crude sexual content, language, some drug material and partial nudity.

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