Happy Death Day takes the Groundhog Day formula and provides a twist as death causes a young ladies' birthday to reset. It's done in the style of what's supposed to be a horror film, but it comes across more as a comedy. It's strange as the movie isn't exactly sure what it wants to be as it started out creepy to only become oddly happy as it progressed. I'm not sure where they were going with this one, but a more interesting experience is somewhere there. It's a fine watch for sure, I wouldn't view it again though I did find it interesting enough the first time.
This was also despite making a correct prediction of the killer rather early, this mention doesn't really tell you much and it's not something that sticks out though just popped as obvious to me. Being a repeat of days you get to experience Tree's (Jessica Rothe) birthday multiple times. There are some minor details going on in the background, but these aren't really explored to the extent I would have liked. It has that sense of trying to figure things out, but doesn't really dive into the discovery of every little thing that's going on within her environment.
I thought the acting was well done in Happy Death Day with Rothe providing an excellent performance with her freaking out and consistently dying character. I liked the sense of there being some penalties with her sequence of deaths and that helped make it feel as though this was something slightly different. While not every death was overly creative, there was a nice balance and some surprising attacks. There could have been some more tension or terror introduced, with the true horror parts appearing earlier in the film. It had some bright moments that brought some laughs and some generally entertaining scenes. Some aspects of the world around Tree weren't used to their potential as key moments would also be described but they didn't lead to anything. That's another aspect of the movie I wasn't fond of is that there was potential there to really build this into something creepy and perhaps that was the intension, but it didn't come across.
Happy Death Day is a fine film to watch, it's actually rather entertaining. I'm not sure I would view it a second time as I felt it didn't have that sort of replay value though it was a pleasant experience. It took the Groundhog Day formula and did something different, but I felt more depth could have been added within the universe it set up. There were many minor details that could have been explored further and that was somewhat hinted at during her first run of the day. It came across as more of a comedic movie as opposed to horror with some portions of the latter being littered throughout. The acting was fine, it mostly looked good though I was hoping for something more intricate or complex.
Happy Death Day Review at Theater with Standard Viewing
Screening Provided by NBC Universal