Directed by: Christopher Landon
Written by: Scott Lobdell
"Would you stop looking at me like I just took a dump on your mom's head?" - Tree Gelbman
Tree Gelbman is having a really bad birthday, and she probably deserves it. She wakes up in a stranger's dorm room and then sets about her day treating people in dismissive and vicious ways. From a guy she went on one bad date with to her sorority sisters to a university professor and his wife to Tree's own father, everyone has a good reason to hate Tree and wish her dead. Yet only one hates her enough to make that wish come true by putting on a hoodie with a freaky baby face mask and killing her on the night of her birthday.
Tree Gelbman is having a really bad birthday, and she probably deserves it. She wakes up in a stranger's dorm room...again. In a GROUNDHOG DAY twist, Tree will keep reliving and redying her birthday unless she figures out who is behind the freaky baby face mask. Will she succeed in solving her own murders? Does she have a limited number of deaths? Will she find love in the process and maybe become a thoughtful, decent human being?
I'm not about to tell you and spoil the fun of this clever piece of suspense-horror. Yes, I said fun! While there is suspense and some serious creepiness...have I mentioned the freaky baby face mask?...I found myself thoroughly enjoying the twists & turns and humor.
I almost want to compare my enjoyment to when I first saw SCREAM, but HAPPY DEATH DAY feels like a throwback to a less sarcastic, less self-aware cinematic horror experience. There's something innocent about how this story of death is presented. I know how strange that sounds, but it made me flashback to the 1980's, and I'm sure the SIXTEEN CANDLES moment played a huge part in this retro feel.
See wha I mean?
Putting aside all of that and the freaky baby face mask, it's the all-around decent acting from the cast that keeps this film afloat and believable. Especially Jessica Rothe as Tree, the most unlikely survivor girl ever...that is if she actually does survive to see the day after her birthday.
So, make a wish, blow out the candle and enjoy HAPPY DEATH DAY!
P.S. I'm sure this film will haunt me in a couple of weeks when my birthday rolls around.
P.P.S. Blogging of 1980's cinematic horror...