Monday, 23 October 2017

Ross's Reviews: Happy Death Day

This is a movie that has been on my radar since I saw the first trailer a few months back and it's been getting quite a bit of hype the last month with a good marketing campaign. Did it live up to expectations or did it repeat the sins of many other bad horror films? Let's take a look.

As usual no spoilers.

The movie stars Jessica Rothe as college student Tree Gelbman who wakes up after a night of partying to what seems like any normal day. After being attacked and seemingly killed by a masked villain, she starts to realise that she is living the same day over and over again, being killed by the same stalker every night and needs to find their identity before she never wakes up again.

First off you should know this isn't much of a horror film. There's about one or two scenes with tension and a spooky atmosphere but that's about it which brings me to one of my problems with the film: the tone is all over the place.

The movie doesn't seem to know what it wants to be as it tries to be a scary movie, a murder mystery, a comedy and a family drama all in the one which can work sometimes, but the way the movie was paced and laid out made it feel slightly confused at times.

I mean from the start the killings are made to feel serious and then later on we have a montage which got more laughs from the audience than scares.

I did enjoy the character of Tree though as she starts off as a bit of a bitch, only caring about herself and even sleeping with a lecturer that has a wife, but the movie still made her out to be likeable which can be hard to pull off. Of course she does get much better as the movie goes on as she starts to realise how she can affect people's lives when she sees the same scenarios every day.

Jessica Rothe was terrific here and gave the movie a better performance than it really deserved to be honest. There's an emotional scene which had her giving a bit of a speech and I'll admit it got me slightly emotional. I really hope to see her in more movies in the future because she definitely carried the whole thing. No one else was bad but no one was as memorable as her.

From the trailer I was intrigued by the killer and wanted to know more about how they continually found our main character in different locations to kill her, but the movie disappointed in that aspect as it never really reveals how the masked killer operated unless I missed something while watching.

The movie did start to drag towards the end I thought and the finale itself was kind of dumb with even one of the main characters pointing out how over the top it is. Again though no spoilers so I won't go into it.

Really if it wasn't for Tree as a character the movie wouldn't be anything special but the film has a way of making you care about her as you're constantly rooting for her to find the killer and put the madness to rest once and for all.

Overall I did have a good time with this one even if feels like I may have torn the film apart a bit but hey that's what I'm here to do. A lot of reviews have been mixed for this one and I can see why as horror fans will be disappointed whereas movie fans in general should have a bit of fun with it.

If you're looking for a scarefest this Halloween, this one isn't for you, but if you're like a few of my friends and hate being scared by horror films, then this should be perfect for you and might even be a great introduction to the horror genre if you're looking to get started out easy.

Verdict: 6/10

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