Happy Death Day
Director: Christopher Landon
Writer: Scott Lobdell
Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Jason Bayle, Rob Mello, Rachel Matthews, Ramsey Anderson
Seen on: 19.1.2019
College student Tree (Jessica Rothe) wakes up on the morning of her birthday, seriously hungover, and in the room of another student she can hardly recall, Carter (Israel Broussard). Not interested in celebrating her birthday, she ignores both her father (Jason Bayle) and her sorority sister Lori (Ruby Modine). Instead she meets her professor Gregory Butler (Charles Aitken) with whom she is having an affair. That evening a party is beckoning, but Tree is murdered on the way there by somebody wearing a baby mask. Then she wakes up again on the morning of her birthday and realizes that she has to figure out who her murderer is – or keep getting murdered over and over again.
I didn’t know much about Happy Death Day going into the film, apart from the fact that it will get a sequel this year. I also didn’t expect much, but I was absolutely pleasantly surprised. It is a thoroughly entertaining film.
I do have a weak spot for time travel stuff and Happy Death Day does fall into that category, so it did have a good start with me. It approaches both the concept and the story with a lot of humor and hit the right notes there for me as well.
Most importantly, I really liked the characters. Tree isn’t so likeable to begin with, but she has room to grow and Rothe’s pitch-perfect performance makes it easy to root for her. Carter is supercute, too. The film had me dreading the reveal of who would turn out to be the murderer because what if it’s Carter??? (I will not tell you whether my fears were founded or not.)
Happy Death Day learned a lot from Groundhog Day, giving us variations of the same encounters and making them entertaining in each iteration. It lies in the nature of things that this is slightly repetitive, but it never feels repetitive due to the film’s pace and its sense of humor.
I really don’t know how I could have missed the film that is so much up my alley, but I’m glad I saw it now because it gives me time to look forward to the sequel – and I will be there for sure.
Summarizing: fun indeed.