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Happy Death Day Movie Review

Reviewed by on Oct 12, 2017
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Happy Death Day, a horror movie with some laughs. Does this combo of horror, Groundhog Day rehash and some great chuckles make for a fun trip to the Cineplex? Check our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Happy Death Day, Teresa (Jessica Rothe) is one of those snooty college sorority girls more centered on her “look” than her prickly personality. When she wakes up on her birthday in the unfamiliar dorm room of a nerdy/cute student named Carter (Israel Broussard) after partying too hearty, she is disgusted with him and herself. She exits after demanding Tylenol and parades back to her sorority house dissing peeps on the way. Later that night she is viciously murdered! Imagine her surprise when she wakes up in Carter’s room again, repeating the birthday horror…over and over.

Will Tree's birthday finally get a happy ending?Will Tree's birthday finally get a happy ending?Courtesy of Universal

Birthday Nightmare

College sorority girl Teresa, nicknamed “Tree”, wakes up in a strange dorm room after a big party. She doesn’t remember the occupant Carter and rudely leaves crossing paths with various students on the way including annoying Tim with whom she had one date. At the sorority house, her roomie Lori (Ruby Modine) welcomes her with a home baked cupcake which Tree throws in the trash. Later we see that she is having an affair with her married professor/doctor hoping for great grades. That night Tree is late for a party and, in an isolated area, she is confronted by someone in a weird baby mask. The person knows it’s her birthday and stabs her to death!

Tree's roomie Lori presents her with a birthday cupcakeTree's roomie Lori presents her with a birthday cupcakeCourtesy of Universal

Rude Reawakenings

Tree wakes again in Carter’s dorm room and thinks she is going mad as she relives her day. By the end, her death is a bit different. She makes it to the party this time and it’s a surprise party for her. Roomie and Carter don’t believe that she is reliving her death day over and over. As the day repeats, Tree dies in varying murder scenarios, starts to fall for Carter and even takes the repetition in stride, surprising others by “predicting” what will happen next and joking about it Groundhog Day style.

Carter is thrilled to find a girl in his roomCarter is thrilled to find a girl in his roomCourtesy of Universal

Getting Serious

Tree reconciles with her dad. They’ve been estranged since her mom died three years before. Tired of dying over and over and ready to solve her own murder, she makes lists of suspects and starts checking them off all while getting Carter on her team and gradually realizing what a douche she has been to others. After one especially brutal death, she ends up in the hospital and is told that her body is a mess inside. She realizes that she is more and more exhausted after each “regeneration”. Her time to solve and stop her own murder is running out. When Tree learns that the infamous murderer of a series of coeds has escaped and is in the area, she is sure she has identified her killer. Has she? Will she break out of her awful death loop?

Teresa (Tree) is stalked by her killerTeresa (Tree) is stalked by her killerCourtesy of Universal

Wrapping Up

Although there are a few holes and inconsistencies in the plot, Happy Death Day is an entertaining horror flick.  Acting is good. Humor, which isn’t shown in the trailers, works, twists are mostly surprising and the film contains decent, if “been-there-seen-that”, PG-13 horror movie action. I also enjoyed the way that the Tree character progresses to realize what a beyotch she has been and we end up liking and understanding her a bit better.

Before the first deathBefore the first deathCourtesy of Universal

Jessica Rothe as Tree is able to be sympathetic despite the character’s “I’m all that and you’re not” initial attitude. Some would say it is sappy, but it was nice to see her “learning” to give a crap about others and the film does explain why she is…what she is. As new boyfriend Carter, Israel Broussard is cute, charming and caring. What’s not to like? Ruby Modine (of TV’s “Shameless”) does a nice job as Tree’s roomie who has a pivotal part in the plot.

Will the baby-faced killer get her this time?Will the baby-faced killer get her this time?Courtesy of Universal

Sure, Happy Death Day isn’t perfect but goes a different direction with the Groundhog Day formula or get-caught-in-a-time-loop premise. (For those who are clueless, Groundhog Day is a classic, 1993 fantasy/comedy starring also classic SNL comedian Bill Murray in which a not-too-nice TV reporter has to relive the same day until his personality changes).  If you like your horror with a few jump scares, a little less blood and an interesting plot with some good laughs thrown in, the film is for you. It would make a fun trip to the cinema with BFFs as well as a date movie. We can go four stars. 

Happy Death Day Movie Rating: 4

Happy Death Day Movie PosterHappy Death Day Movie PosterCourtesy of Universal

See Happy Death Day in theaters this Friday, October 13th!


Have Your Say

Do you like a little tension taming humor mixed into your horror movies? Do you have a snooty friend you wish would change? Exchange comments below!