Director: Christopher Landon
Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine
Release Date: January 16, 2018
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 9/10
Disc Rating: 7/10
Blumhouse (Split, Get Out, Whiplash) produces this original and inventive rewinding thriller in which a blissfully self-centered co-ed (Jessica Rothe, La La Land) is doomed to relive the day of her murder unless she can identify her masked assailant and hopefully stop the madness. If she can’t, she will be stuck in an insane loop, reliving a ghoulish nightmare that has become her death day.
‘Happy Death Day’ accompanies selfish co-ed Tree (Rothe) who awakens in an unfamiliar dorm room on her birthday with a pounding headache, only to have the day become increasingly worse as one mishap after another finally leads to her murder by a mysterious masked killer. But when Tree oddly awakens in the same spot only to relive her terrifying day again, she soon finds herself stuck in an endless loop, apparently destined to relive the day time and again, each time ending with her murder. Now Tree must uncover the truth of the attempts on her life if she hopes to break the loop, but when her repeated deaths somehow begin to take a toll on her she realizes her time may be far more limited than she had expected.
Directed by Christopher Landon (Scouts Guide To The Zombie Apocalypse, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones) from a screenplay written by Scott Lobdell (probably best known for his work and characters in Marvel’s X-Men comics), Landon does a wonderful job at the helm of ‘Happy Death Day’ smoothly guiding this clever and fun little ride along each turn and reboot. The film also owes a good share of credit to the many lesser known, yet more than capable individuals that comprise the cast including Jessica Rothe (La La Land), Israel Broussard (The Bling Ring), Ruby Modine (TV’s Shameless), Charles Aitken (TV’s The Knick) and more, the majority offering solid performances in each of their respective roles and helping tremendously to allow this fun little horror comedy to work as magnificently as it does.
‘Happy Death Day’ is an absolute blast, a cleverly crafted horror comedy that borrows plenty of traits from other films and ideas, then weaves and twists them into a unique, hilarious and even occasionally somewhat creepy tale in the tradition of ‘Groundhog’s Day’ that delivers from start to finish without ever losing itself in the process. A truly gorgeous film, it offers an array of bright, vivid colors that result in each encounter and reboot of the day looking vastly different, always richly accentuating the mood and locations beautifully. A ridiculously enjoyable flick that offers plenty of laughs, chills and grin inducing moments, ‘Happy Death Day’ is definitely something special. Stylishly guided along each amusing turn by director Christopher Landon whose capable guidance is complimented by a lesser known cast that delivers highly capable performances, it all comes together into a pleasantly surprising little horror comedy gem. I would strongly encourage anyone already the slightest bit intrigued with the film to give ‘Happy Death Day’ a chance when you can have the opportunity. It’s a wildly entertaining movie that should have no problem keeping viewers glued to the screen and thoroughly entertained for its entirety. Fellow genre fans that appreciate a smart and well made horror comedy in particular won’t even want to consider missing out on this marvelous little film.
Overall, ‘Happy Death Day’ is a smart, fun and funny horror comedy that never disappoints and even offers a few fun surprises along the way. It’s filled with enjoyable characters and a fast paced story that continually serves up a wildly entertaining experience that you won’t want to miss. ‘Happy Death Day’ is definitely highly recommended, it’s a consistently fun little horror comedy that satisfies around nearly every turn. Chances are it will easily prove well worth your time and the cost of a rental at the very least, but don’t be too surprised if you find yourself wanting to purchase a copy promptly after. This is likely one of those flicks you’ll probably want to revisit time and again; I personally couldn’t resist watching it twice over the span of a few days upon receiving my review copy and wouldn’t be too surprised to find myself revisiting it yet again in the foreseeable future.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Happy Death Day’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks magnificent as a whole and provides a sharp, detailed and richly colored presentation from start to finish with no noticeable faults to be found along the way. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and fast moving sequences, never causing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation that should easily satisfy both fans of the film and those experiencing it for the first time.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 5.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack delivers a crisp, clean and often quite aggressive audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all five available channels in order to send music, some creepy and booming sound effects, along with crowd chatter and plenty more throughout the various speakers when appropriate, and always making certain that any dialogue or other audio elements that may be occurring simultaneously remain clean and fully audible. Overall, this is a fantastic 5.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers across the board and contributes plenty of additional fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Happy Death Day’ includes a few fun extras. Included on the release is an amusing ‘Alternate Ending’ (running approximately 2 minutes in length), plus a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ (running approximately 9 minutes in length altogether) from the movie, in addition to some short, Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus behind the scenes footage and more. The included Featurettes are: ‘Worst Birthday Ever!’ (running approximately 3 minutes), ‘Behind the Mask: The Suspects’ (approximately 3 minutes) and ‘The Many Deaths of Tree’ (2 minutes).
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