In the second episode of 'There's A Movie For That' Zach Stone and Ryan Berger talk about the Boy Scouts finally deciding to admit girls into their organization and one group or people who are not happy about it. They also talk about the new movie Happy Death Day, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Patton Oswalt: Annihilation
Happy Death Day Reviwed
We are in a renaissance of horror movies and most of that credit belongs to Blumhouse Productions. The company allows their directors to do whatever they want, as long as the budget is under $5 million. For that trust in their directors’ visions we have seen movies like Paranormal Activity, Insidious, The Purge, Split and Get Out. The latest addition to their string of horror movies is Happy Death Day, and not only was it another box office success but it was a good movie as well.
Happy Death Day is basically a horror movie version of Groundhog’s Day. Director Christopher Landon is well aware of that, even making a reference to the classic Bill Murray movie near the end. The story revolves around Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) a college student who is killed on her birthday only to wake up and relive the same day again and again until she finds her killer and saves herself.
While the movie belongs in the horror genre, the best part about Happy Death Day isn’t the scares, it’s the laughs. Don’t mistake that for me saying there aren’t any scary moments in the story. The person I was sitting next to used her popcorn to cover her eyes several times. The first third of the movie is made especially tense by the audience knowing our protagonist is going to die. But once Tree understands what is happening, writer Scott Lobdell shakes off the rules of the genre and reviles in its similarities to a comedy classic. Each death, and the moments surrounding it, becomes weirder and sillier.
Happy Death Day also does right by the mystery genre, as from the get-go the story is begging the audience to try and figure out who the killer is. What helps with the confusion is that Tree starts out the movie as such a horrible person that you genuinely believe there are at least a dozen people who would want to kill her. And for a movie with such a simple premise, Lobdell does a good job with misdirection and left me surprised multiple times.
Jessica Ross is quite good in the lead role. Over the course of the 96-minute movie, she changes from a bitchy, blonde sorority girl who we enjoy watching die in new and interesting ways, to someone we're rooting for. By the end I wanted her to live long enough to get a happily ever after with her own Andie MacDowell. Not only that, but Ross is pretty funny and wasn't afraid to let herself go for some of the moments that called for more physical comedy.
Happy Death Day has its scary moments, but that's not why the movie is good. The movie works due to its uncomplicated premise and light-hearted nature. The most disappointing part is that 'In Da Club' by 50 Cent isn’t her ringtone.