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Published October 14th 2017
What if you had to relive your own murder, over and over?
A fun teen-horror film, just in time for Halloween! 👻🎃👻🔪🎃
Happy Death Day is not your average slasher film. It borrows elements from Groundhog Day, Scream and The Strangers to create an entertaining thriller with a hint of romantic comedy. It sounds bizarre but it works.
Jessica Rothe (La La Land) plays the college girl, Tree Gelbman who relives her birthday, getting murdered, every night. Carter Davis (Israel Broussard) is the sweet geeky guy whose dorm room she continues to wake up in, and who she has to continually explain her nightmare predicament.
The motives might be unclear, the list of suspects, long but Jessica carries this movie with ease, switching from the hapless blonde, getting chased upstairs, (but who can also throw a punch); to the sassy teen heartbreaker, whose love interests almost number her murder suspect list.
As with any 'same-day-over' movie, it prompts the question, what would you do? Which Happy Death Day answers with poignant and often hilarious moments. There's also some positive LGBTQI and anti body-shaming messages thrown-in for its target teen audience.
It's unusual for a horror film to switch genres (horror to romance) midway through but it keeps the movie fresh and unlike recent horror movies that set themselves up for multiple sequels, this happily sits on its own.
Happy Death Day has enough jump out of your seat moments to qualify for a horror film but it doesn't have the body count of Scream or the intensity of The Strangers. It feels more like a homage of the director's (Christopher Landon) favourite films, rather than a new style of horror movie.
Initially, I was hesitant to see this for fear of Hollywood ruining a classic film, (Groundhog Day) with its unnecessary remakes, but Happy Death Day offers enough twists to keep you guessing till the end and the on-screen chemistry between Jessica and Israel gives the movie sufficient sweetness to suit a wide audience.
Happy Death Day is out now at major cinemas. See it at Reading Cinemas for only $10, any day of the week.