Dir. Christopher Beau Landon
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
“I know this isn’t going to make any sense. I feel like I’m losing my mind. I’ve already lived through this day…”
Here for Halloween comes a fun new time-looping slasher thriller directed and co-written by Christopher B. ‘Paranormal Activity’ Landon. This is the tale of queen bitch college student, Theresa ‘Tree’ Gelbman (Jessica ‘La La Land’ Rothe), who has to somehow relive the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity and why someone wants her dead.
It begins like a normal day for Tree, who wakes up on her birthday in the dorm room of classmate Carter Davis (Israel Broussard) after a drunken romp the previous evening. She spends her day in a self-centred, condescending whirlwind, mean to her classmates, evil to her previous hook-ups, and rudely ignoring her father's invite to take her out for her Birthday. Tree is also having an affair with her professor and generally acts like nobody else matters.
But someone is watching with murderous intent and after a freaky underpass Birthday surprise Tree is brutally killed, only to immediately wakes up again in exactly the same situation as she started the day. Before you can say ‘Groundhog Day’ Tree is living the same events over again – but even though this time she avoids the tunnel of death, the same masked killer manages to murder her again.
"when mascots attack"
The time-loop dynamic is used effectively here both for fun e.g. one day Tree decides to walk through the campus naked just for kicks, but also for some effectively nasty surprises. The violence isn’t extreme but there are many scream out loud moments (if the crowd I saw this with were any indication).
Part of the fun is in guessing how Tree will die each time – but the bad news for her is that each death is starting to weaken her and soon she is hospitalized by her unnatural injuries. Afraid and unable to work out who is killing her, Tree manages to convince Carter of her predicament by showing that she holds knowledge of the day's events.
"When you know someone's out to get you"
Can Tree crack the case of her own murder? Will she learn that she should be a nicer person in the experience? Sure the plot is pretty predictable but Happy Death Day delivers a fun if disposable mildly horrific thrill ride.
Out of a potential 5, you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(3.5 - Lots to enjoy, and re-enjoy, and re-enjoy)
Awesomeness öööö – Classier slasher moments than many out there
Laughs ööö – Very funny in places
Horror ööö – Gets nasty too
Spiritual Enlightenment ööö - Karma eh?