Happy Death Day (2017)

Review by CJ

Christopher Landon

Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard

Other notable appearances:
Rachel Matthews, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Rob Mello, Caleb Spillyards

Running time:
96 minutes

Watch this if you liked:
Groundhog Day, Urban Legend, Heathers, Scream


Tree Gelbman (Rothe) has had better birthdays. Not only does she wake up in a strange man’s dorm room and have an awkward encounter with him later in the day, but she is murdered by a masked killer. Until she wakes up the next day and has a new chance to start over. Tree must live through her birthday every time she awakes from death until she works out who is trying to murder her — or die trying.

Happy Death Day wasn’t at all what I expected it to be, but it is a fun ride nonetheless.

The formula is almost a carbon copy of Groundhog Day and even manages to be self-aware by referencing the classic comedy. Yet instead of feeling overly derivative, Happy Death Day puts its own new twist on the formula and comes up with a plot that is engaging. At its heart, Happy Death Day feels a lot more like a dark comedy with a slasher shroud.

Much like Bill Murray’s Phil, Tree starts the film as a jerk but ends up with a lot of time for self-reflection and improvement. While the character varies from being horribly unlikeable to quite endearing, Rothe’s performance is always on point.

Non-horror fans shouldn’t be too afraid of giving this new twist on an old comedic trope a go — there is very little blood and almost no big scares. While horror fans can sit back and enjoy their horror themes with a good dose of humour. Win-win all around!


“Who’s Bill Murray?”


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