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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Happy Death Day"

“Groundhog Day” tends to be the benchmark of films about living the same day over and over in order to get something right. Sure, it is a fictional concept, but in recent years, the concept has been visited in films like “Edge of Tomorrow” in “Before I Fall”. “Happy Death Day” takes this type of storyline and adds the twist of the horror genre.

Directed by Christopher Landon (Burning Palms, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse) and starring Jessica Rothe (La La Land, Valley Girl), Israel Broussard (Flipped, Good Kids), Rudy Moline (Central Park, Shameless), Charles Aitken (The Knick, Frontier), Jason Bayle (The Big Short, Trumbo), Cariella Smith (Sex School, Get On Up), Phi Vu (Logan, Pitch Perfect 2), and Rachel Matthews (who is making her acting debut), it is the story of Tree (Rothe), who wakes up in the dorm room of Carter (Israel) after a night of excess drinking and not remembering anything from the night before. She is a little self-centered and has major attitude, and after going through the day’s activities (which is also her birthday), she gets murdered by a masked assailant. The next thing she knows after being murdered is waking up in the exact same situation she was in the beginning of the day, and the cycle keeps going until she can find out who the assailant is and stop them.

The scenery is nice here featuring a college campus in Louisiana, and the lighting helped fit some of the moods. When it came to the acting for the film, it was fine overall, with Israel and Rothe carrying the load with a good supporting cast. Rothe does an especially good job by showing the evolution of her character as the story progresses. For a film whose genre is for the most part critic-proof, “Happy Death Day” takes the “Groundhog Day” meets “Friday the 13th” mixes its scares and laughs in at the right amount to stay entertaining. Of course this film is not for everyone, but I will admit I did enjoy it and will recommend it as a Saturday afternoon showing in the theaters.

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