Entertainment 4/5 Spookles 2/5
Thanks to The Upside News for hooking the two authors of this blog up with a doubles to the preview screening! If you live in Adelaide and like live music, theatre, festivals and arts, go check them out.
This movie is hopefully the beginning of what I am dubbing, the ‘pop culture date night spooky movie with actual plot’ revival. I’m thinking Final Destination, I’m thinking The Butterfly Effect, I’m even thinking the better Saw films. I like a film that is engaging, has a cool idea behind it and best fall, you can discuss and debate the intricacies of afterwards.
You’ve probably heard that Happy Death Day is the ‘Groundhog Day’ of college-schtick horror. To be fair, I haven’t seen Groundhog Day in ages (although, with the musical version having being scored and written by Tim Minchin, I’ve got to get back on that gravy train). However, the last thing that HPD comes across as is a quick rehash built around a concept. It’s a crafted, well-executed and fun modern horror movie!
Now, as you can see, it’s only 2 spookles out of 5 – I would feel comfortable taking my partner to this and she gets scared watching the OG Willy Wonka (look, who doesn’t though – that tunnel scene?). Basically, there’s a few scary set-ups and some enjoyable jump-scares (THEY ALWAYS GET ME – I have inherited my grandma’s habit of just jumping in shock at anything slightly alarming). Just picture me in the cinema holding pop-corn and just throwing it up anther every time and screaming.
I don’t want to give away anything about the film, because it’s basically a murder mystery with lots of suspects, red herrings and twists. In short, Tree (yep, that’s her name) is going to college and seems to have fallen in with a horrible sorority. She wakes up in a stranger’s bed, CUE CUTE BOY…
Then, she goes about her college life. It’s her bday and she keeps ignoring calls from her dad, which you find out is because she shares her birthday with her mother, who died a few years ago. This is actually a really powerful part of the film because in one of her many reincarnations, Tree and her dad have THE REALEST CONVERSATION about someone close to you dying and how you feel – we both got teary at this, which was just unexpected in what had been a fun romp thus-far.
Anyway, back to the bulk of the movie, Tree keeps getting murdered by some shady baby-masked character. Luckily, she wakes up from her violent death in the same bed, on the same day. She figures out it’s up to her to solve her murder, otherwise it’s her and babyface for the rest of eternity…
Now, I would totally recommend going to see this movie, because it’s smart and fun. The only downsides were a missed opportunity to make a statement about campus sexual assault (you’ll see what I mean), and a joke in it that I don’t think was made at all maliciously (it’s illustrating a mean character), but still it left a bit of weird vibe. Finally, while Tree is a multi-faceted strong female lead, the other girls in the film could do with some bulk. BUT WHO CARES COS THE BOY IS CUTE.
So seriously, there’s some minor sins but otherwise this film kicked bum-bum. It’s only been a week and I could totally watch it again, which has to be a good sign.