HAPPY DEATH DAY is so damn enjoyable, I can completely forgive the movie for having me easily guess who the killer is months ago in the trailers. Yes, it is not that hard to figure out who the killer is and why. But this was a perfect little Friday the 13th treat and a cool, fun Halloween flick. Granted it is just another twist on the Groundhog Day formula, but honestly, I could watch movies with the Groundhog Day formula everyday. It’s a cool premise, living each day over and over until you get it right. You just want to yell at the screen with all the solutions the main character isn’t thinking of how they can escape repeating their day. This is the first one to use the slasher horror formula mixed to this one, and even with the PG-13 rating, the movie hit my dumb sweet spot.
If this movie was Rated R and maybe a tad longer (it is a nice brisk 96 minutes), I think this movie could’ve been a masterpiece, but instead it is just a really really enjoyable multiple watch film that won’t win any awards and will just be watched every Halloween by you personally. The movie especially wouldn’t have worked without newcomer Jessica Rothe. She is fantastic in this and her chemistry with everyone else is exhilaratingly fresh. So is the Andie McDowell to her in this movie played by Israel Broussard. He has some very good scenes with Rothe and even though he is in it a lot, I wish he was in it more.
But man does this PG-13 really prohibit this film from discovering its full potential. I wanted some cool blood splattering kills every time they kill our heroine, but there is not that much blood and there is mostly jump cuts. I did however jump a couple of times due to a few good well timed cheap jump scares. Speaking of heroine, usually when a character has a relive a day over and over again, that character is a despicable son of a bitch. But Jessica Rothe’s Tree Gelbman is honestly not that bad of a person, or at least we don’t see her being that much of a bitch. If they had, it might’ve made her arc more convincing. Thank the stars that Jessica Rothe is so dam likable that I forgave this really quickly.
I don’t want to give much away, but the movie is very enjoyable. Although very predictable, the journey and our lead makes up for everything else. It’s a little bit scary, a little bit freaky, pretty funny, and the time will just roll by. It’s a very sweet Halloween treat that I wouldn’t miss. If you do miss it, at least give it a rental shot when it eventually hits formats for your home. Oh, another thing, I thought the Universal logo for this was pretty clever before the movie started. I liked this so much, I’m sure I will watch it again, and again, and again, and again. Just make sure you turn your brain off at the door.