Happy Death Day is a mystery thriller with a science fiction twist. The film stars Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman, a college student who wakes up to experience the day of her death over and over while she uses knowledge of the events to solve her own murder.
We’ve see this style of story many times before. The most popular of these is the comedy classic Groundhog Day. Much like that film, in addition to our main character being caught in a time loop, she’s also not a nice person at the start of the film. Yet what we do have that we didn’t get in Groundhog Day, is a nice combination of a sci-fi concept along with slasher film elements to create a well balanced thriller.
Although I was able to deduce the killer simply because I know slasher films, I enjoyed my time with Happy Death Day. Adding the time loop twist injected some freshness to a well known genre that can get stale at times. And I also felt it played on some of the audience expectations of the genre. Jessica Rothe has made a good first impression as a leading actress. She has done a really good job in capturing the many feeling Tree must go through during this mystery. I look forward to her future films and hopefully a sequel to this.
Happy Death Day might not be the leader of a new wave of slasher film like Wes Craven’s Scream series. However it is a well balanced and well paced (96 minutes) thriller that adds a new element to a classic genre.
Final Rating (3.5/5)