Movie Review: Happy Death Day

happydeathday

by Bob Garver

Tree (Jessica Rothe) is having an unhappy birthday. She wakes up in the bed of a stranger named Carter (Israel Broussard). Carter’s roommate says something disrespectful. She gets hassled by an environmentalist. She’s being stalked by an ex. She lives in a sorority house run by a judgmental bully. She’s annoyed by her own roommate (Ruby Modine) and throws the special cupcake she made into the trash. She’s late for class, but she’s off the hook because she’s having an affair with the married professor. She shares a birthday with her late mother, and her estranged father nags her to remember that fact when all she wants to do is forget. As if all that weren’t enough, at the end of the day, she gets stabbed to death.

Tree once again wakes up in Carter’s bed. The same roommate bursts in with the same inappropriate remark. She gets hassled by the same environmentalist and ex. She’s getting a weird sense of déjà vu, but since she got killed in the day she remembers, she’s not too beaten up about it. She avoids taking the path that brought her to the killer and makes it to her surprise birthday party. At the party, she gets stabbed to death. She wakes up in Carter’s bed again, with the obnoxious roommate coming in right on cue. She’s in a time loop, and it seems the only way to get out of it is to avoid being killed, and the way to do that is find out who keeps killing her.

Tree’s killer has to be someone who hates her, so the list of suspects is narrowed down to everyone she knows. There’s even one she doesn’t know: an escaped serial killer (Rob Mello). Her killer knows the nuances of her schedule and this guy wouldn’t, but he’s still a suspect because… you know, serial killer. She investigates the suspects’ whereabouts one by one, usually getting killed as soon as she eliminates that person as a suspect. The repeated murders take a toll on her well-being, so there is a sense of urgency, because each time she gets killed she’s increasingly unlikely to spryly wake up again.

The movie is a mess, and a lot of it has to do with the main character. Simply put, Tree is incredibly unlikeable. I get that the movie is doing a whole “redemption” arc where she’s mean at first and ends up learning a lesson, but even “nice” Tree has no respect for other people’s schedules and resolves a conflict by pouring “chocolate milk” (brown sludge that the movie insists is chocolate milk) onto an offender’s head. She makes for a lousy horror movie protagonist, as she keeps making the same major mistakes again and again. She gets killed a good half-dozen times and never thinks to rip the killer’s mask off. She waits until the last minute to perform life-saving actions that she could have done at any point in the day. Perhaps most infuriating is that there’s nothing to stop her from fleeing campus, yet she only tries escaping once and it’s a half-hearted attempt that she has no reason not to revisit with her subsequent chances.

My theory about “Happy Death Day” is that somebody wanted to make a movie about the least-frightening killer with the least-threatening weapon imaginable. The killer wears the mask of a cartoon baby, which I guess is supposed to tie into the birth/birthday theme, but those dots are never connected. I won’t get into the silly weapon because of potential spoilers. Give yourself a happy random day and go see something else.

Grade: C-

“Happy Death Day” is rated PG-13 for violence/ terror, crude sexual content, language, some drug material, and partial nudity. Its running time is 96 minutes.

Contact Bob Garver at
rrg251@nyu.edu.

Facebook Comments

Website Comments

  1. Desiree Debrock

    Hello, constantly i used to check blog posts here early in the daylight, because i love to gain knowledge of more and more.|

  2. Bette Ruggs

    Hi to all, how is everything, I think every one is getting more from this site, and your views are pleasant designed for new viewers.|

  3. Lupe Huson

    With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagorism or copyright infringement? My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help prevent content from being ripped off? I’d truly appreciate it.|

  4. Alexandra Poer

    Fantastic beat ! I wish to apprentice while you amend your site, how could i subscribe for a blog site? The account aided me a acceptable deal. I had been a little bit acquainted of this your broadcast offered bright clear concept|

  5. Marcelo Methvin

    Every weekend i used to pay a visit this site, because i want enjoyment, since this this web page conations in fact pleasant funny stuff too.|

  6. Lia Cyphert

    constantly i used to read smaller posts that also clear their motive, and that is also happening with this paragraph which I am reading at this place.|

  7. Odell Pallone

    Just want to say your article is as astounding. The clearness in your post is just cool and i could assume you’re an expert on this subject. Well with your permission allow me to grab your feed to keep up to date with forthcoming post. Thanks a million and please carry on the rewarding work.|

  8. Billy Stubson

    I every time used to read paragraph in news papers but now as I am a user of net therefore from now I am using net for articles or reviews, thanks to web.|

  9. Kareem Mehalko

    It’s really very complicated in this full of activity life to listen news on Television, therefore I only use web for that purpose, and obtain the newest news.|

  10. Barney Chalker

    Hey there would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you recommend a good internet hosting provider at a reasonable price? Thank you, I appreciate it!|

  11. Artie Roedel

    Hi, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues. When I look at your blog in Chrome, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping. I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, great blog!|

  12. Augustine Heritage

    I like the helpful info you provide in your articles. I’ll bookmark your weblog and check again here frequently. I’m quite sure I will learn lots of new stuff right here! Best of luck for the next!|

  13. Sharell Hollon

    Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok. I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.|

  14. Clifford Teator

    Excellent post. I was checking continuously this blog and I am impressed! Extremely useful info specially the last part :) I care for such info much. I was seeking this particular information for a very long time. Thank you and best of luck.|

  15. Annalisa Todhunter

    Oh my goodness! Awesome article dude! Many thanks, However I am having difficulties with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to join it. Is there anybody having similar RSS issues? Anyone that knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!|

  16. Darrel Krumholz

    Good day! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous room mate! He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this write-up to him. Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!|

  17. Sherwood Hertz

    you’re actually a excellent webmaster. The site loading velocity is incredible. It sort of feels that you’re doing any unique trick. In addition, The contents are masterpiece. you’ve performed a fantastic task on this topic!|

  18. Humberto Gajda

    Wonderful goods from you, man. I’ve take into account your stuff prior to and you are simply extremely magnificent. I actually like what you’ve acquired here, certainly like what you are stating and the way in which by which you are saying it. You’re making it enjoyable and you still care for to stay it wise. I can’t wait to learn much more from you. That is really a wonderful web site.|

  19. Charles Villecus

    I loved as much as you’ll receive carried out right here. The sketch is attractive, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get bought an nervousness over that you wish be delivering the following. unwell unquestionably come further formerly again as exactly the same nearly very often inside case you shield this hike.|

  20. Lou Tissot

    Hi just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the images aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show the same results.|

POST A COMMENT.