Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Happy Death Day (2017)

Director: Christopher Landon

Writer: Scott Lobdell

Composer: Bear McCreary

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Jason Bayle, Rob Mello, Rachel Matthews, Ramsey Anderson, Brady Lewis, Phi Vu

More info:  IMDb

Tagline: Get Up. Live Your Day. Get Killed. Again.

Plot: A college student must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer's identity.

My rating: 7/10

Will I watch it again?  Yes.

I almost can't believe I went to the theater to see it.  I have a good excuse in that it practically didn't cost anything. but that doesn't matter.  I liked it.  This isn't the kind of thing I would normally watch, a teenie bopper, PG-13 horror movie (especially in the theater) but the reviews were good so what the hell.  I'm surprised as hell that it's as good as it is.  It has every right to suck based on the premise and the rating (which meant no nudity and little gore).  But it's a good horror/thriller.  It smacks of GROUNDHOG DAY (1993) but it just borrows that one gimmick.  They even have fun acknowledging it.  The tone shifts a couple of times from horror to comedy to horror to comedy and back to horror.  It was weird when it first happened but I went along with it pretty quickly and had fun.  Jessica Roth is the lead and she's fantastic.  For as good as the writing and direction is, she's one of the main reason the film works as well as it does.  The rest of the cast does fine, too, but she really stands out.  It's a much more complicated role than your typical horror heroine.  A lot more.  For as good as this is, it's got a major problem.  All of the "scares" are jump scares and they're fucking horrible.  Loud noises and something flashing on screen are the easiest and cheapest way to get a viewer to startle.  While I expected this picture to go the idiotic and cheap route for trying to scare people, it's a good movie on its own that didn't need to do such a pathetic trick.  I don't know if it was director Landon's fault they're in there or if there was meddling from the producers or the studio but it hurts an otherwise good film.

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