Imagine reliving your own murder over and over again! This is the reality for college student Tree (Jessica Rothe), who wakes up on the morning of her birthday, only to be murdered by a creepy masked stranger at the end of the night. Except, after having her throat slit, she wakes up again, and relives the day over and over until she can work out who’s after her and prevent her own murder from occurring.
It’s an absurd plot, borrowed from the classic Groundhog Day, but Happy Death Day isn’t a serious, straight-faced film. It is a horror, but with such a strong element of black comedy, that watching it is actually a very enjoyable experience.
Complete with quirky cinematography, ridiculous music and your whole gang of stereotypical college students, director Christopher Landon, who also directed Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, has succeeded in a fun, outrageous, horror-comedy. As the lead, Tree is so unlikeable that it’s a genuine surprise when she transforms into the badass you wished for and tackles hunting down her own murderer with about as much attitude and wit as she can muster.
The storyline suffers a little in the second act, with the introduction of the escaped murderer whose motive is unclear, but picks up again before the ending. Though both derivative and repetitive, the story is still stronger than many other slasher films!