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Happy Death Day
by Christopher Landon

Happy Death Day is a fantastic horror comedy that throws back to Groudhog Day in more ways than one. There’s even an awesome scene at the end where one character brings up the Bill Murray film and our totally clueless main character, Tree (Jessica Rothe), has no idea what her friend is talking about.

I’ll explain the premise, just in case you’re like Tree and you don’t know anything about Groundhog Day. Tree, a hard-partying sorority girl, wakes up hungover. To quote Tree, “am I in a dorm room?” We’re then introduced to Carter (Israel Broussard), a sweet guy who babysat her drunk ass. It also happens to be Tree’s birthday, and she is not into celebrating, but on her way to a party she’s brutally murdered on campus. The catch? She wakes up in Carter’s dorm again, screaming in horror. Is Tree doomed to an eternity of reliving her grisly murder or will she be able to catch her killer and end this deadly time loop?

For a PG-13 “horror” film, I can’t say that I was expecting to be blown away, so that’s probably why I enjoyed this film so much. Viewers are treated to all sorts of horror tropes and throughout the film I was reminded of the Scream franchise. In addition to the many Groundhog Day references there’s a scene toward the end that is totally Sixteen Candles.

Happy Death Day never takes itself seriously and thus the film can be an instant hit amongst horror, comedy, and slasher fans alike. While repetitive, the death montages are done well and they entertained me, so I can’t complain really about anything in this film. I will say the ending is predictable and about ten minutes could have been cut out, but again, not going to complain since I enjoyed this immensely. Fun fact, if you pay close enough attention, the writers basically hand you clues as to who the killer is very early on in the film. Over the course of the film the viewer is treated to Tree being a total bitch to basically everyone, even her sorority sisters, roommate, and her father, so we get a nice character redemption arc as well.

I’ve read rumors that director Christopher Landon has plans for a sequel and I desperately hope this isn’t true. I can’t imagine that a sequel could do anything but infuriate me as this movie was a nice one-off of comedy and horror. I don’t smell a franchise here, so please, Mr. Landon, just don’t do it.

This Halloween, I’d say Happy Death Day is worth a watch! There’s also the new Saw film you can go and watch, but hey, I’m not pushing that film in this round of reviews, I’m pushing a rather worthy horror comedy that I can definitely see myself watching again!

Stevie Kopas, HMS

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