Happy Death Day and all the images you see in this review are owned by Universal Pictures
Directed by Christopher B. Landon
There are very few premises that will get more on board with a film than “like Groundhog’s Day, but…” and honestly I’m not even sure why. That movie is certainly a phenomenally crafted comedy that I revisit from time to time, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s one of my favorite films of all time. I guess it really is just how great of an idea that premise really is as I see it as basically THE perfect interpretation of a Bottle Film (it allows limitless possibilities while also having an enormous constraint) and its one of the few ideas that gets me to eagerly start putting together scenarios of what I would do in that situation. Throw a murder mystery in the middle of it, and you have something that could be not just a GREAT film, but an absolute classic for the genre! Can this movie POSSIBLY reach the lofty goals that it sets for itself, or will this be a bigger waste of time than Before I Fall? Let’s find out!!
The movie begins with Tree (Jessica Rothe) waking up in an unknown dorm room with a guy she doesn’t really know named Carter (Israel Broussard) and heads back to her sorority so she can ignore the fact that today is her birthday. She ignores calls from her dad (Jason Bayle), brushes off her roommate Lori (Ruby Modine) who’s at least making an attempt to make her birthday a little bit nicer, and just goes through her usual routine as if there’s nothing special about today; even going to see the married professor she’s sleeping with (Charles Aitken). At the end of the day, when she’s heading to her own surprise party, it turns out today is NOT going to be a normal day because someone in a crappy baby mask (the school’s mascot… for some reason) stabs her and she… wakes up in the same dorm room she did that morning. Same guy, same day, same ignored phone calls from dad. Oh, and also the same murder. Clearly she’s doomed to repeat the same day over and over again until she finds out just who it is that’s killing her each night which may not be an easy thing to do considering how many people she manages to piss off on a regular basis, though murder DOES seem to be a bit extreme to be just anyone she knows so she’ll need to narrow down the suspects as each night (and each death) brings her closer to the truth. Will Tree be able to put an end to this endless cycle of misery and stabbings by unmasking the one person on campus who wants her dead? Is every day TRULY a repeat of the last, or does something linger every time the clock goes backwards? Just how many absurd and hilarious ways will Tree have to experience the ice cold hand of death before this is all over!?