Maybe I should quit complaining about my “birthday”, honestly, that word creeps me out more than this movie, not scary, painful, but not scary and I don’t mean painful as in it’s bad. It’s actually quite good, decent, more a parody of a slasher flick than anything else though it takes itself quite seriously honestly.
I never played “Clue” as a child but “Happy Death Day” seems to be akin to that I believe and it was fun trying to guess whodunit because clearly, it’s not who it is or maybe I’m just sort of dense. The cast isn’t really known to me but they all took the roles exceptionally well and personally I always take to a love story, think Groundhog Day meets 50 First Dates. I also appreciate that they didn’t shy away from the blatantly obvious, but I won’t spoil that, a conversion between Tree and Carter.
I don’t expect this movie will be winning any awards, but I’d go see it again but Bill Murray can take it easy, I wouldn’t call “Happy Death Day” a classic anytime soon. Fandango gods having been appeased let’s get started, how did I really feel about this movie… I was honestly hoping there was more to it, I laughed, cringed here or there, and when it all came together I just went “what”? Some actors ask what’s their motivation for a particular scene and the directions must have been, remember any slasher flick with a pretty girl, what would your character do in that situation, and action.
If it does differentiate from Groundhog Day, it’s the fact that Tree technically was set to a timeframe, you probably saw in the trailer the doctor “Gregory Butler” played by Charles Aitken telling Tree that she should already be dead. It won’t take anyone long to realize how long she has to find the killer. As for the killer, my guess was wrong, I was somewhat expecting a person out of the blue but when you notice a certain aspect it’s “oh” so amazingly simple.
Not that I would call, “Tree Gelbman” played by Jessica Rothe simple, more a stereotypical, college girl, gets drunk and parties, sleeps with random guys, sticks to a particular crowd but doesn’t take crap from anybody. Of course to erase all of this they have to throw a bit of emotional depth into the mix, her romantic entanglements, the strained relationship between her and the dad, and of course and I know I keep stressing this but the Groundhog Day, I need to be a better person ideology of course.
For the most part, her character is the only one that received any real development, though giving her the love interest of “Carter Davis” meant that they cleared up how he met Tree in the first place. He became her “Rita” more Groundhog Day, the only one who she confided in about her predicament which already lets you know where this is going. As far as the character v. character development, nothing changes, though they attempt to throw you off the trail again and again.
You have the usual trope of characters from the popular sorority club president, to the dumb frat guy antics and roommates, to the yeah this guy isn’t the killer we’re looking for exactly. Now the real killer, that must have been hard, just saying how they probably shot all the scenes with Tree the same day I would have probably been laughing my head off. Plus, the backstory couldn’t help but be rushed so as not to tip off the audience of the motivation but the killer is a bit of a twist indeed.
The reasoning though again is cliché, which made the final conflict just sort of unbelievable, Tree was mad as Hell, I was pretty mad but, yeah let’s just end the killer like this and pretend Tree would have been thinking clearly. Of course the last scene, well I just sat in the theater after the credits expecting something more or even a cameo by Billy Murry or Tom Cruise, shooting for the stars am I right?
I’m essentially torn between three or four stars but I will give it four just on the grounds that birthdays suck, the movie is a solid three just so you know, and yes I’m about to get to some spoilers so you might want to turn away at this point. Maybe because I’m friends with a nanny, I feel I should mention this movie isn’t exactly bad kids, PG-13 no bad language other than bitch, no real nudity… I’m trying to figure out why she was naked, just because, some implied sex, but nothing was shown, maybe a little bit of blood but on a door, and a few minutes of violence, nothing too graphic.
The best part for me was the last death, given the fact that six were murders, one accident, one suicide and then the last one puts everything together and reveals the killer’s identity after she lived the perfect day too. On that day I also liked how she admitted her feelings for Carter, after death seven she died for him as he died for her, and she needed to reset the day and revealed: “I’m going to have his babies”. Ignoring the reasoning of the killer, the culprit eye-opening after Tree’s list and attempting to decipher who would try and kill her, you will say no way, along with the killing montage.
I like scary movies but this just wasn’t scary, though if you have no insurance and you hear how the doctor talks about Tree’s injuries, yeah ouch. I’m a fan of Blumhouse movies and I was somewhat worried “Get Out” might be a comedy but that was an original bit of horror, again Happy Death Day wasn’t a parody but more a facsimile of what a horror movie is. I just wish the characters perhaps were flushed out more, and when they showed emotion weren’t exactly over the exaggerating everything.
Three for the movie, four just on the personal level and maybe I’ll take a girl to see it sometime; speaking of girls I look forward to seeing more of Jessica Rothe. Happy Death Day, I’m glad I remembered because it is a “more than adequate” film but not legendary, Oh Is Death Day Today?