Laughable thriller

Happy Death Day is a fun mash-up of comedy, thriller, and parody all pulled together in 96 minutes by a hint of romance. I would rate it a three out of five in the “scary” department, only because of its maturity rating. Overall, it really only had two or three jump scares, but not much horror, which could be expected of a PG-13 movie.

The movie starts out by running through Tree Gelbman’s (Jessica Rothe) day and introducing us to all the main characters in the first ten minutes. She wakes up on the morning of her birthday in Carter Davis’ (Israel Broussard) room—a random guy from the previous night of drinking, and does the walk of shame back to her sorority house. There, we meet Danielle—Rachel Black—the star of most of the comedic plays on stereotypical sorority girls, followed by Tree’s roommate, Lori Spengler, played by Ruby Modine.

As you see from the trailers, Happy Death Day is about Tree being stuck in a loop where she is forced to relive the day she dies, over and over and over again. Tree’s character is, at first, extremely ill-mannered, which leaves little room for sympathy from viewers. Throughout the movie, however, her character is deepened by an added back story, ultimately giving her time to improve every time she revives. Throughout the film, viewers also get a sense of the sweet character that Carter is, and eventually find themselves rooting for him as the movie adds a little bit of romance to the mix.

After Tree realizes she is stuck in a Groundhog Day-like loop, she decides the only way to break it is by finding out who her killer is and stopping them before she is murdered again. This allows for a fast-paced middle section in the movie where lots of suspects are proven to be innocent while Tree dies repeatedly.

Near the end, the movie adds a few small twists which keep the audience interested and allows Tree’s character to make a complete U-turn. Ultimately, though advertised as more of a horror film, Happy Death Day is a fun comedy and mystery movie for October, but lacks what it takes to become a Halloween classic.