Happy Death Day – A Review

So, I just saw Happy Death Day, and I think I’m ready to give my opinion on it…

So, I just saw Happy Death Day, and I think I’m ready to give my opinion on it…

So, I just saw Happy Death Day, and I think I’m ready to give my opinion on it…

So, I just saw Happy Death Day, and I think – GAH!

So, for those of you that don’t know, Happy Death Day is a horror comedy that was released about a week ago. The premise is this – Theresa Gelbma is your basic stereotypical sorority girl that is murdered on her birthday… only it doesn’t stick. She continues to wake up on her birthday, alive and well, only to be killed again by the same masked person.

Basically, it’s a teen slasher film mixed with the hijinx of Groundhogs Day. And you know what? It worked. I liked it. Bravo.

For anyone who watched the preview, you should be able to assume that this movie isn’t one of those deeply serious horror movies. So if that is what you are hoping for when you go to see this film, you’re going to be disappointed. This film is clearly designed to be both funny and scary – along the same lines of Cabin in the Woods. And they honestly succeed in making a very good horror comedy movie.

The story is fine. The humor hits it when you need it. For people who aren’t a fan of gore, this is relatively light on it while still making some pretty enjoyable death scenes. And most of all, the characters are fun – especially the main character.

And this is what I enjoy most about Happy Death Day – it’s smart. Almost deceptively so.

The main character, Theresa Gelbma, starts out as the annoying girl who dies in the very beginning of every horror film. She’s the ‘dumb blonde’ who the audience is happy to die because she’s mean and unapologetic about her atrocious behavior. So the movie starts out there, and then you get to watch this annoying brat turn into what every great horror movie has; the Final Girl. And it does so by peeling back all those annoying qualities and showing the viewer that she’s just as human as the next person. She’s flawed, sure, but aren’t we all?

Watching this film sort of made me think back to all the other mean girls and douchebags who are killed in teen slashers and feel bad for them. I mean, yeah they were jerks but did they really deserve to be hacked to death by a mask man? Sure they might have made fun of the nerd and hit their books out of their hands, but maybe they’re dealing with some stuff too, you know? Maybe one day they would have been mature people who would feel bad for turning to bullying because of their parent’s divorce or drug abuse or just the million other things that make kids act out.

I know it’s almost silly to say but Happy Death Day made me a more sympathetic person.

In short, Happy Death Day is a fine movie. However, it is smarter than it lets on, and after thinking about it, you realize it’s a pretty damn fine movie. Is it perfect? No. Will it make my top five movies of 2017? Probably not. However, it’s a refreshing film that takes a concept we’ve seen before and do something new with it. And for that, I’m pleased.

Happy Death Day: B+


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About the Author
Billy started out his roots like many roleplayers - D&D. Playing it and then Vampire all through highschool and college, Billy picked it all up again when he made the move from Michigan to New York. Now working in publishing, Billy does what he can to view roleplaying games through a narrative's lens. Does that sound classy as balls? It should.

3 comments on “Happy Death Day – A Review

  1. Fabian says:

    After reading this article, I’m reminded of the characters you guys play in the End of the World sessions. I know that they were thought up to be horrible people that the audience would want to die just as horribly, but honestly? They aren’t really THAT bad. Obnoxious, oblivious, and maybe a little selfish, but outright evil? No, not so much. So, I’m always rooting for them to survive the apocalypse, even if better people haven’t.

    Now, if I happened to live next to people like them, I might not be so charitable, but…

  2. Matthew says:

    Interesting. I really hadn’t planned on looking into this movie after seeing the trailer. However, your review really put it on my radar. Horror typically isn’t my thing, and it took hard suggestions for me to sit down for Cabin in the Woods (and sort of similarly Tucker and Dale). I think I’ff give it a go.

    Thanks.

  3. Ruluzz says:

    @Fabian You also get to watch (hear?) the End of the World characters grow into slightly less shitty iterations of themselves with each apocalypse they experience. They learn and grow without knowing it.

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