Happy Death Day

  • 04 Nov - 10 Nov, 2017
  • Farheen Jawaid
  • Reviews

When the premise of Groundhog Day meets Scream, you get Happy Death Day (HDD). Tree (Jessica Rothe) is one of the mean girls of her university. She is cruel to her roommate (Ruby Modine), is indulging in an illicit affair with her already-married professor, and belongs to a sorority, run by the meanest mean-girl of all Danielle (Rachel Matthews), that prides itself in body and food shaming. Yes, for once, our leading lady is a well-rounded mess you’d instantly hate. Then, out of the blue, Tree’s life gets stuck in a loop. On her birthday, Tree wakes up with a hangover in a dorm room of an unknown guy. Clearly she regrets her drunken-decision, because the young boy is well below her standard. She dashes from the dorm, exchanges unkind banter and snarls till the evening, and on the way to a party gets killed.

But rather than meeting the angel of death, she wakes up again at the beginning of the day in the same dorm room – until she is killed again, no matter how much she tries to escape, this loop repeats multiples times.

We know nothing about her before, or beyond her birthday/death day, and she keeps on dying and waking up each time weaker than the day before. After getting a grip on herself, she gets on top of things and starts to solve her own murder piece-by-piece, suspect-by-suspect, finding love, romance and enlightenment in the interim.

Director Christopher B. Landon keeps it straight and simple. The film looks like a generic slasher fare, however, the script from long-time comic book writer Scott Lobdell sets an overall tone of humour, elevating the movie from its overdone and over-spoofed slasher genre.

The inspiration from Groundhog Day and Scream is evident, but the good thing about HDD is that it embraces the theme and makes it its own. The reason behind the who, or why the loop comes into being is never explained, but HDD is that type of movie where logical rationalisations aren’t needed.

It’s breezy, sassy and gory. HDD is worth a watch and a repeat when it comes on cable, which, again, makes sense with the kind of movie it is. •