Happy Death Day is yet another play on the Groundhog Day formula. Groundhog Day has a weatherman wake up every day on the same exact day. He couldn’t escape it. Happy Death Day has the sameish sort of plot except it is about a sorority girl being hunted and killed. Every time she is murdered she comes back to relive the same day. And die over. And over. And over. And over again. Every time I groaned at something in this film it redeemed itself. Every time I said, “Well, why doesn’t she just do this?!?!” she then did it…and failed. I always thought I was too smart for this movie. It turns out I was wrong. Even when you think it’s over…it’s not over. It’s pretty genius and I really loved it. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO let’s review.

30 year old Jessica Rothe plays Tree. Yes …her name is Tree. Shrug. Joaquin Phoenix used to call himself Leaf…so whatever. So Tree is a snotty sorority girl in a sorority full of mostly snotty bitches. They get off on being bitches. I will say this…for a bitchy sorority they also have some real non bitches in the sorority. Which is….I think weird. Other than if the sorority is really, really popular so non-bitches still want to pledge the bitchy sorority just to be popular…??? I dunno…I’m thinking way into this. We had bitchy sororities at my college but most sorority girls were really chill. This has nothing to do with the plot…does it…?!?!?!

So Tree is a bitch who lives a bitchy life and goes through her birthday being a bitch…until someone kills her. The killer has a creepy baby mask which is actually the college’s mascot. Friggin creepy. Tree awakens to find herself back in the random guy’s dorm room she had woken up in the day before. She then goes about her day the same way she did the “last time.” She’s unsure of what’s going on and chalks it up to deja vu. Until she dies again.

When she wakes up again in Carter’s (AKA random guy) dorm again she really starts freaking out. Carter (Israel Broussard) tries to calm her down but Tree then goes about her day trying to figure out what the hell is happening to her. She had no clue who is trying to kill or why. No one believes that she is stuck in some time loop. And Creepy Baby Mask Killer is always able to track her down.

I LOVE THIS MOVIE because every time I thought, “You are stupid for not doing (this)” she then did it. And then it didn’t work. So I felt dumb. So I thought, “Well….you should just do (this) then.” And then she did it. And it didn’t work. I loved it. I so loved it. Every time I thought I had the movie figured out or thought that I was smarter than the movie it completely proved me wrong.

Blumhouse producer Jason Blum has made a career of taking no-name actors combined with minuscule budgets to make a film that is usually pretty decent and kills at the box office. The man has taken this formula and made a damn fortune. I have no clue who Jessica Rothe is but she was fantastic in this role. She was one hell of a scream queen. Her character actually has an arc sort of similar to Phil Connors in Groundhog Day. The thing is in Groundhog Day becoming a better person helps him in the very end. Not so with Rothe’s Tree. She grows as a person but it doesn’t actually help escape her fate.

I never heard of director Christopher Landon but I see that he’s directed some of the Paranormal Activity sequels (that I actually enjoyed). At the end of the movie when “Written by Scott Lobdell” came up I squealed. Lobdell is one hell of an amazing writer having written some various X-Men books (including the incredible Generation X), Daredevil, and a bunch of Wildstorm books like Jim Lee’s Wildcats. He really showed his writing prowess here and did such a good job. Right up until the end. The last scene is so, so, so fantastic. It is literally perfect. It is what I had in my mind for the entire film and then…..BAM. Nailed it.  GREAT JOB, SCOTT.

This film may be low budget ($5 mil) but it looks fantastic. Great acting, great direction, and a great script. I really dug Rothe and the film really rests on her shoulders. She carries it with ease. I’m going to enjoy seeing more movies in which she stars. There’s been a ton of time loop films since Groundhog Day like Edge of Tomorrow, Before I Fall, and Source Code but I’m actually going to place Happy Death Day above all those films (which is hard because I LOVE Edge of Tomorrow) to be right underneath Groundhog Day. The script is just so well done and really proves that every single avenue of approach was taken in getting Tree to try and stop her death. Great horror movie. Great Halloween movie. Highly recommend this one – check it out.

OH! Before I go there was one thing that REALLY BOTHERED ME about this film. It takes place in Louisiana. No one had a southern accent. In Louisiana. NO ONE. Out of everything in this movie that was the most unrealistic.


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