I can’t remember the last time that I saw a trailer of a film where I thought it looked like an interesting concept but on the flip side, looked absolutely appalling. This might be the best time to introduce the latest horror film to hit cinema screens, Happy Death Day. If you have no idea about the film, then here is the best way to describe it: think Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day but as a horror. Sounds really interesting right? You would be correct and I have to say, the concept is something that I have encountered in this genre. A very brave move by the film makers to go down a fresh route but funnily enough, it actually works.
Jessica Rothe stars as Theresa, a stuck-up, condescending and disrespectful college girl who seems to be happy in the life that she is leading. She wakes up on September 18th which happens to also be her birthday, after a drunken night out. After realising she cannot remember anything from the night out, she sets out on her daily routine of being late for college, disrespecting her roommate, having an affair with her teacher and consequently being killed by a masked murderer at the end of the night. Catch is, she wakes up on the same day again having been murdered and has to relive the same day over and over again. After being killed consistently, Theresa decides to try and plot her way out of being murdered and investigates her own murder.
Directed by Christopher B. Landon, he manages to deliver a horror that doesn’t completely sell itself in the trailer. It doesn’t show all of its best bits and does well to hide what’s to come. It’s a film that you really have to stick with, it comes across as a stupid teen horror flick at the start, but as it plods along, Happy Death Day becomes a whole different type of monster. The story takes an interesting turn towards a different direction in the second half and kept me interested throughout. Interestingly, it has a big emphasis on comedy and breaks away from all the seriousness that it possesses.
The movie does suffer from The Lord of the Rings syndrome. It has the feeling that it ends multiple times before the actual ending. It took a bit of enjoyment away at the end as I was expecting the end of the film. Reducing the running time by about 10 minutes would honestly make Happy Death Day an even better film than it already is. Of course it has its flaws in that the characters can become extremely unlikeable at the start of the film. The main actress is brilliant in her main role though, she does very well to keep the film together at the worst of times. But it has some great moments that are backed up by a fantastic score by Bear McCreary that helps elevate the film, especially in the horror elements of the film. 3.5 out of 5 stars.