Life is full of missed opportunities. It has been said that you should not dwell on them, but for some of us they can define who we are and who we become. Like with life, movies also can have missed opportunities, but those do overs are a little more hard to fix. I mean yeah sure someone will learn from past mistakes, which is good for us so we don’t have to be stuck in an endless cycle of movies that can’t get it right. Right? Speaking of endless loops, “Happy Death Day” has taken the “Groundhog Day” approach and tried to put a little horror spin on it, all while trying not to make any mistakes along the way. Too late, it’s PG-13.
Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is one of those girls you kind of wish bad things would happen to. She is in a sorority and treats most people around her like they are not worth her time. Today though is going to be different as this is the day she dies, but for her it doesn’t end there, instead she is doomed to repeat the same day over and over again. First comes the feeling of being and hearing things before they happen, followed by panic, then of course comes the moment of clarity, stop me if this sounds familiar. Anyway Tree keeps waking up on this special day in Carter’s (Israel Broussard) dorm room and when she finally tells him what is going on, his suggestion is that she has the opportunity to find out who her killer is. Unlike Eminem, Tree gets more than one shot, but is that enough for her to figure it all out and live to see tomorrow?
For me you can’t really go wrong with a movie that wants to live the same day over and over again until something gets righted. It leaves a lot to play with. After being pleasantly surprised with this years “Before I Leave” I was looking forward to a horror spin on it. Those hopes were quickly snuffed out by the filmmakers aim for a PG13 film, but that was only the beginning of the downfall. With a screenplay written by Scott Lobdell (Man of the House), “Happy Death Day” falls into too many routine traps for a film like this and never quite recovers. The film sets the table like every film with a life on repeat story and follows the etiquette to a tee, and when it starts to enter something different it moves past it, never to bring it back again. Instead of delivering something that you enjoy you are left with a film that you feel misses the target way more than it ever should. With is ironic considering the plot. There is not even a little fun to this and even with a run time just over and hour and a half it starts getting hard to sit through. I wanted to enjoy this, but when a supposed horror films take out its teeth at the door you are left with scares with no bite.