Tuesday, October 24, 2017

freakboy on film: HAPPY DEATH DAY

Directed byChristopher Landon  
Written byScott 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!

Freak Out,

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...

Monday, October 2, 2017

Meanwhile in the Valley of the Dolls...(a gritty, beautiful dream)

-For Dr. Jones-

I know it was a dream because I could see just fine.

We were sitting on the tiled floor of a seedy gas station lavatory.  Your back was leaning against a faded green wall, your legs spread out, forming a V to accommodate me.  I was leaning back against your chest, staring up at the harsh fluorescent lighting, its electric hum filling our ears.

You gently placed two dolls in the palm of my hand.  They were little and white, almost resembling aspirin, but they were not so simple.  I knew you knew me, and I knew these two pills would contain what I needed.

I tilted my head up to see you.  You looked upon me with your kind expression and promised to watch over me.  Trusting you completely, I turned my attention back to the dolls and leaned forward, swallowing them without water.

As I settled back against your chest and once again gazed into the fluorescent lighting, I felt your arms wrapping tenderly around me.  Your embrace made me feel comfortable and secure, and I knew everything would be alright, no matter what happened next.

Well, that's all of my gritty, beautiful dream.
Thank you for reading my half-blind nonsense.

Freak Out,

P.S.  Related posts...
freakboy classics: THE DAY