Happy Death Day (2017)
Directed by Christopher B. Landon
Written by Scott Lobdell
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, and Ruby Modine
IMDb 6.5/10 Rotten Tomatoes 70% Metacritic 57/100
On IMDb this film is classified as “horror/mystery/thriller”. I am surprised they left comedy out of the genre description list. Not to mention that they try to throw a little bit of a moral tale/love story into it. (Insert eye roll here.) Why do studios, writers, directors, whoever it is, feel that they have to ruin a perfectly good horror, action or war movie with a love story. Can we stop with the sappiness already? I watch horror for the entertainment. Not to be taught some sort of morality tale as if it were a fable I was watching. I don’t watch to see all the gushy moments of self-realization and redemption. Isn’t that what dramas are for? Add to that the fact that they add a romantic tension between to characters who obviously know they are hot for each other and drag that out just amplifies the chick flick aspect to something that is not anywhere near meant to be a romance movie with some feel good drama and mushiness.
The plot of the movie was good. It was like a horror version of Groundhog Day. A girl in college is killed by a masked assailant one night on her way to a frat party. She then wakes up reliving the same day of her death, which is her birthday, over and over again until she figures out who is killing her.
(Was that my fastest summary of a film ever or what?)
I thought this film, for the most part, was pretty good…minus the lovey-dovey garbage. And while it didn’t ruin the film for me, our main character’s little moment of “oh I’m a bitch and I’m mean to everyone and maybe I shouldn’t do that anymore” was completely overdramatic and gave a cheesy feel to that particular scene. Like I’m going to watch a horror movie to learn the lessons on how to be a good person and contribute to society. I really think there are better ways to learn that lesson than a murder flick. But hey, that’s just me.
Now, other than ALL that…I liked this movie. The mask worn by the killer is a creepy baby mask that makes you think twice about the idea that all infants are cute. And I have to say, it seems like every masked killer nowadays does the whole “Michael Myers” stare where they tilt their head to the side and stare blankly at their target. We gotta find something new people. Only the Michael Myers character pulled that off in the initial way it was intended. Now it’s all just copying the great characters of horror. Not every killer is on the same mental derangement level as Michael Myers. Freddy Krueger didn’t catatonically stare at his victims. NO. He taunted them and then tossed them like trash. Such an angry fellow.
Still, if we look at those kinds of things in this film, it does follow a lot of the formula. Female lead, her life is in danger, masked killer stalking her. I gotta give props for that. Then addition of the slight sarcastic comedy is subtle but noticeable. It doesn’t make anything bad and it adds a certain lightheartedness to the movie.
All in all, I’d say that this was good but average. Also, very predictable in many ways so, don’t be expecting the biggest twist in horror film history or anything along those lines. It’s an average horror movie than is very low on gore and would be tolerable even to non-horror fans.
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