Review: Happy Death Day

Matt Troher, A&E Editor

In today’s oversaturated market of horror movies, Happy Death Day brings nothing new to the table. A conceptually interesting plot, shamelessly borrowed from Groundhog Day (1993), is brought down by lackluster acting, cheesy dialogue, and an ultimately disappointing ending.

The story follows Theresa “Tree” Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), who after being brutally attacked by a masked killer, wakes up the next day only to live the who cycle over again, until she can find out the identity of her killer. Although this concept had a lot of potential, it was ultimately under-developed, not giving a reason as to why the main character was stuck in this cycle.

Watching the film, it is easy to visualize what went on in the writer’s room. Cliche gimmicks are placed throughout the entirety of the first scene to capture the audience’s attention without busting too much of the writer’s brainpower. The annoying roommate keeps popping his head into the room, a tired frat boy passes out in the quad. Although memorable, these gimmicks quickly get old after the second time around.

Throughout the film, there were far too many needless comedic moments to build suspense, making it hard for the audience to keep interest. If you were to think of this film more as a comedy, it may become more appealing depending on your sense of humor. Many jokes are cheesy, and many gags begin to become overdone by the time the film is over.

Comparing the film to it’s inspiration, although Groundhog Day has the theme of repetition, it does so without being repetitive. The same cannot be said for Happy Death Day, becoming repetitive to the point of becoming bland.
For it’s 1:36 run time, Happy Death Day can be charming and humorous at times, but in a year’s time, I highly doubt anyone will remember this film as more than a slightly scary version of Groundhog Day.