Sorority Sister Tree Gelbman wakes from the night before. It’s her birthday. Finding herself in a freshman’s bed, she’s not happy about it. Snapping with a mixture of discontent, impatience and ungratefulness, she rejects any help from the wholesome boy whose bed it is and lurches out into campus sunlight.
Interacting with other students, failed romeos and a room mate she detests, we quickly see that Tree Gelbman’s life runs on non-stop diet of ingratitude. However later that night her sense of entitlement comes to bloody end as she is brutally murdered en route to party by a killer wearing a childrens mask. And that would seem to be the end of her life. –Only it isn’t.
Instead of dying, Tree finds wakes to find herself in the same bed she was in that morning in a clear indication that karma has not finished with her yet.
… is a unashamed mixture of ‘Ground Hog Day’ and the same post modern irony that made ‘Scream’ such a departure…
‘Happy Death Day’ is a unashamed mixture of ‘Ground Hog Day’ and the same post modern irony that made ‘Scream’ such a departure from most routine slasher flicks. Reutilising ‘Ground Hog Day’s’ central premise, Jason Blum (producer of the similarly satirical horror ‘Get Out’) again is aiming at an audience well-versed in their horror movie lore. Skipping through the lessons that Tree must learn, ‘Happy Death Day’ has its spiritual compass set closer to ‘Ground Hog Day’ than a bona fide horror movie. The deaths when they come are cues to Tree’s growth more than scares designed to chill your bones, as knife-wielding-murderers are older that ‘The Hills Have Eyes’.
In the end ‘Happy Death Day’ plays its characters more for a mystery that must be solved than a dread-filled scare fest. Whilst the centrally character of Tree is enjoyably sketched, and the characters around her are likeable enough, ‘Happy Death Day’s’ reveal doesn’t have the same sparkle of ‘Scream’ in blending its irony with its blood letting. An amiable enough remix of its inspirations, ‘Happy Death Day’ is one birthday surprise that will quickly fade with repeated unwrappings but is entertaining enough on initial opening.