Happy Death Day Review

An Underwhelming Trailer Leads to an Interesting Thriller

James Haberstich, Head Editor

The movie Happy Death Day released on Friday, October 13, 2017. This movie showcases the story of Tree Gelbman, a college student who, after waking up in the dorm room of Carter Davis, proceeds to go about celebrating her birthday. She goes to a party that night, where she is brutally murdered by a masked killer. The next morning, she wakes up again in Carter Davis’s dorm room, alive and unharmed. It becomes her task to find her killer, in order to stop dying and waking up on the same day again and again.

This movie’s trailer portrays this film as another bland thriller with a unique plot element, but it is more than that. The film’s main plot had a lot more than the trailer suggested, as the viewers are left guessing who the killer is until the last five minutes of the movie.

The protagonist, Tree Gelbman, played by Jessica Rothe. Photo credit to pop.inquirer.net.

The different ways that Tree died throughout the movie were quite creative. There was not a moment that seemed repetitive, and at times the different deaths could have been seen as clues to solving the mystery of the film.

The film had a very good sense of comedic relief as well; there are several moments where tension is created, only to be released with a well-timed joke or stunt. In one scene, knowing her day will most likely repeat, Tree walks out onto the college grounds completely naked, and the spontaneity of the event made the audience burst out laughing.

The masked killer in the film. Photo credit to www.commonsensemedia.org.

The character development in Happy Death Day was a bit unoriginal, but satisfactory. Tree Gelbman starts out as a rude, selfish person, but after viewing her own life over and over on the same day, realizes she needs to change for the better. In addition, each day, more and more detail is given to the different people Tree meets during her overlapping birthday. This gives the audience more and more information to try to figure out who Tree’s killer is, and draws the audience closer to the plot.

However, even with the things it did well, Happy Death Day had its flaws. There is a plot hole that could irritate viewers who enjoy logic or completion in the films they watch. It does not disrupt the entire film, but if a viewer noticed it, it could prove troublesome. In addition, the film tried to get most of its scares through the use of “jumpscares”. If a viewer is used to them, or is not particularly prone to them, it could take away some of the fear in the film.

Overall, Happy Death Day will most likely be underrated at the box office, but was quite enjoyable compared to its trailer. Anyone who enjoys a good thriller or a bit of mystery in a film will most likely find the film satisfactory, and maybe have a few laughs along the way.