Déjá vu gets a fun, murderous touch with Happy Death Day. Read on to see if our movie critic says it’s worthy of a watch.
WATCH THE TRAILER(S) HERE:
KEY CAST MEMBERS: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Rachel Matthews, Phi Vu, Rob Mello and Laura Clifton
WRITER(S): Scott Lobdell
DIRECTOR(S): Christopher Landon
As it turns out, after being murdered by a figure dressed in all black save for a creepy baby mask of her school’s mascot, Tree awakens the next morning back in Carter’s room, only to experience déjà vu, reliving her entire day over. That includes getting murdered. Again. And again. And again.
But given the list of potential suspects, Tree might have to get used to get stabbed, shot, clubbed and maimed for the foreseeable future … Even in the mounting injury list might mean her time is starting to run out.
SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? A film that’s more about the character’s story than it is a straight out horror experience, Happy Death Day works because of a lighthearted (if you can have that in a movie where a female character repeatedly gets murdered) tone and a strong, well-rounded performance by its lead and a competent group of co-stars.
Rothe is, for lack of a better word, fun to watch as Tree, a character that is well-developed and goes from being pretty terrible to pretty well, not terrible while Broussard is so naive and likable you can’t help but root for his character. The pair make for a great duo, one a very alpha female while the other plays the role of a good Samaritan with a proverbial platonic best friend twist to a “T.” It’s really a credit to her that she is able to take what could have been a disaster of a character in the wrong hands and make it into a viable, enjoyable character that drives the story.
Whereas Rothe can be a word that rhymes with “witch” at times before switching her game up, Broussard is perfect as a Scooby-Doo-esque sidekick who just wants to get the girl, or, at the very least, help her from dying (after every time she explains what’s happening to her).
Throw in some nice cheesy-but-not-too-cheesy-to-be-enjoyable sequences with the baby face killer after Rothe’s character, some good ol’ fashioned disturbing music and a few nice, unexpected touches and Happy Death Day is a (well not perfect) mix of humor, horror movie tropes and an interesting story that will entertain you without draining you w/ silliness or gore. Whereas Blumhouse’s other big 2017 hit Get Out was a sharp, satirical that resonated due to its social commentary and exploration of the African-American psyche in modern America, Happy Death Day is more of a simple, gather with your friends/a full theater and take in the experience type of thriller that’s easy to digest but fun at the same time.