Happy Death Day – Film Review

Being new to Blumhouse films, I had only seen “Get Out” and didn’t know what to expect seeing the film. Though the trailer intrigued me enough to get a ticket, I hoped it would have that fun campy energetic feel of a slasher comedy — which it absolutely achieves. I am not one to seek out horror films but this film’s concept of “Scream” meets “Groundhog Day” with a female lead with a charismatic persona really comes across due to the great performance by newcomer Jessica Rothe. This film would not be as endearing or charming without her being the lead. It would fall flat.

The chemistry that Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard have as the leads of the film works well on screen. Each time that Tree dies and the performances Israel gives all feel genuine in making sure you believe it’s the same day repeating. The directing is solid and has some great transitions between each of the deaths that happen. The pacing of the film is well done to where it doesn’t slow down too much. The film takes its time so the audience is able to pick up clues along the way of who her killer is and could be.

Somebody is going to kill me tonight.

A few of the negatives I had with the film are that there are moments where it felt a little cheesy/Hallmark like in that it was trying to be not emotionally manipulative but more just trying to be appealing to audiences. I thought that the twists that the film had helped balance out the negatives for them to be able to be forgiven. I was able to think of who the killer was early on but the film gave me a lot of evidence to feel that it wasn’t so cut and dry.

I would say this is a fine beginner horror film for those people looking for a Halloween inspired film that isn’t a pure horror film but is more of an entertaining ride. The low production level Blumhouse model really comes into effect with the writing being strong with the characters to have that be the special effect than a bunch of CGI everywhere. I would say to those who want more of a true horror that this is not the film for them. It is a PG-13 film so the violence is not as egregious as a typical R slasher.

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