January 27, 2018

VOD Review: Happy Death Day (2017)

"There's something fun about this movie, even if it is a bit tame."

When it comes to the movies that Blumhouse Pictures churns out on the regular, it's safe to say that many of them are a mixed bag.

For every Hush, Sleight, or Viral that we get, we also have to endure the underwhelming mediocrity of titles like The Gallows, Exeter, or The Veil.

Then there's the next level down, where movies like Mockingbird, The Darkness, or Unfriended exist... and that is truly shit-filled level.

As Teen Terror flicks go, Happy Death Day is a step up for Blumhouse, although it feels fairly sanitized and tame, which holds it back from being great.

Tree (yes, that's actually what people call her) wakes up on her birthday, on Monday, September 18th, in some guys dorm room, where she ended up after a night of hard partying. She does her walk of shame and sets about her day, which involves her being a catty mean girl, and making us fine with the fact that she's about to be murdered over and over again.

You see, as her birthday draws to a close, she's murdered by a masked killer. Then she wakes up and it's the same day again, only she's still alive. So she sets out on her day again, experiencing a huge case of deja-vu at every turn, until she realizes that for some reason, she's reliving the same day over and over again, which includes dying in a new, painful way each time at the hands of her killer.

Pissed off at dying repeatedly, Tree, with the help of her nice guy love interest, tries to figure out who's killing her, and why.

Lots of things ensue over and over again.

Everyone who has seen Happy Death Day has already said that it's basically Groundhog Day gone the Slasher route, and it bears repeating, because that's exactly what it is. It's pretty sad that there's no Bill Murray in this one though, because he's the goods.

HDD is a fun movie. It's an inventive movie too. It would have played much better though had they not restrained the material so much. Director Christopher Landon's last feature, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse (review HERE), laid on the gore and crude humor, which made us love it. HDD feels neutered by comparison, and that hurts its enjoyment factor.

Maybe that's because as clever as the script was, we found it to be just as weak: what is causing the time loop?; why so many fake endings?; why was the reveal of the killer so random, and why did it feel like it made no sense? When a script is weak, visceral thrills tend to gloss over such weaknesses, and this movie needed those extra touches.

Plenty of inventive, and even fun, kill scenes throughout this one, although most of them are not very heavy on the blood.

No such luck.

This movie knows what it is, and that's cool, but it's short on likable characters, and some of its plot points feel stretched in order for them to make sense, but hey, this movie is about its gimmick, and it's at least a good one.

Just wish it had contained more R-rated elements. And answers.


Happy Death Day is available now on VOD, and hits Blu-ray & DVD now.


Happy Hottie Day.


  1. Jessica Rothe Talks Potential ‘Back to the Future’-esque ‘Happy Death Day’ Sequel


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