Happy Death Day movie still of lead star Jessica Rothe with masked man in background

Happy Death Day

Happy Death Day strikes a nice balance of intrigue, horror and humour and even manages a satisfying and unpredictable resolution. Enjoy!

3.5 out of 5 stars

Review: (rolanstein)
Let’s face it – you don’t go to a movie with a title like Happy Death Day expecting high art. And you sure don’t get it! But that don’t mean it ain’t worth checking out. It’s actually pretty good for what it is: light horror.

The narrative is intriguing. Hard-partying uni student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) wakes up on the day of her birthday in the dorm room bed of a student whose name she either can’t remember or never knew. Turns out he’s a good guy named Carter (Israel Broussard), who is destined to play an ever-increasing part in Tree’s life. As the day goes on, she can’t shake a sense of deja vu. She comes to realise that she’s caught in some strange, nightmarish loop as the day repeats over and over – a horror version of Ground Hog Day always culminating in her murder by a masked assailant.

I had some concerns early on that the looping day was going to get tedious, but the filmmakers invest thought and imagination in the premise and push it to unpredictable places, building on the intrigue and suspense to a point of surprise resolution that I doubt many will see coming.

En route, there are some laughs, but this is not a spoof. It’s a genuine horror film, yet unashamedly light-weight and entertaining. Shit, it even has a bit of a moral lesson to impart – and gets away with it! Those drawn to see a film entitled Happy Death Day will not be disappointed. Others dragged along by a horror fan friend might well find themselves enjoying the ride a whole lot more than anticipated.


Happy Death Day features: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine
Director: Christopher Landon
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Runtime: 96 min

Australian release date: Happy Death Day screens in cinemas from 12 Oct 2017

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