Horror-comedy inventive, solid

Gabi Wy, Editor in Chief


With a premise essentially the horror version of “Groundhog Day”— a girl is stuck reliving the same day, and when night falls, she’s murdered by a mysterious figure in a baby mask— you’d think “Happy Death Day” could get a little boring.

On the contrary.

“Happy Death Day” manages to keep you on the edge of your seat with inventive new ways protagonist Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) meets her end— well, the end of her day at least.

Every time Tree wakes up in a new situation, she grows weaker and more frustrated. The dialogue varies from day to day as she reacts differently to the people around her, for the most part, staying constant.

As Tree becomes determined to find and eliminate her killer, Rothe gives a solid performance through the varying stages of her development. Life lessons are embedded throughout the horror-comedy narrative— Tree starts as a cold, uncaring sorority girl who thinks only of herself, and as the days continue, she finds a change of heart.

Israel Broussard plays the adorably awkward love interest whose name you’ll forget within the hours after watching the film, and he’s the perfect one-dimensional character to root for.

Rothe carries this film on her back. She takes up most of the screen-time, and with little help from others, she gets closer and closer to finding her killer.

“Happy Death Day” is an enjoyable slasher flick— nothing too spectacular, a twist that’s perhaps too silly and ridiculous and lots of suspense.

The jump-scares aren’t cheap like they often are in horror movies today. There’s no feeling quite like being terrified and laughing your ass off at the same time. I was honestly clapping during some of the killing scenes because the jump-scares were both scary and hilarious in a harmonious way.

Sure, the plot is basically just like “Groundhog Day.” The movie even acknowledges it in the latter part of the film— a character says, “You know what your situation is like? ‘Groundhog Day.’”

But that’s what this movie is— self-aware. It’s not trying to be groundbreaking, It’s here for a good time.

And I could relive that over and over.

5 out of 5 stars (5 / 5)