Weekly Movie Review: Happy Death Day

Happy Death Day; terribly, horribly bad

Every year, when the Halloween season returns, there are just some things that are inevitabilities. For instance, those cheesy haunted houses, professing to be the scariest in the state, open for business. Retailers likely see a dramatic increase in the sale of toilet paper. That one house in the neighborhood that goes overboard decorating for every holiday hauls out their tacky Halloween amenities. Also, the frequency at which horror films begin popping up at theaters ticks up considerably. In keeping with up the predictability of the Halloween season, a new horror film recently opened at theaters.

Happy Death Day is the story of Teresa, a college student who is more concerned with the goings on of her sorority than going to class. She’s a sorority member as typically depicted in film; she’s shallow, cold, cruel and uncaring. Then for really unexplained reasons, Teresa gets stuck in a Groundhog Day situation, where she is reliving the same day over and over. However, each day – no matter what she does or changes – ends in her murder in some form or fashion. While questioning her own sanity all along the way, Teresa sets out to figure out who her murderer is, for she believes that is the key to escaping her inexplicable time warp situation.

While Happy Death Day is technically a horror film, it’s not in the vein of the Saw or Halloween franchises. There is very little actual gore that appears on screen; instead Happy Death Day is mocking horror films. However, while the film has fun at the horror genre’s expense, that doesn’t mean there is any enjoyment for the audience. The script is lazily put together, constructing stock characters, putting them in familiar situations and then expecting the audience to laugh right along with the filmmakers. This may be the case for the first 10 minutes or so, but after that it gets quite old and rather tiring.

As laughably bad and campy as the script, the acting doesn’t fare much better. I get it; the performances are apart of the joke, too. Except this joke, once again, is not funny.  Nobody is outright terrible, but everyone is trying way too hard, and again, it just gets very old.

Happy Death Day is an unbelievably bad film with an absolutely horrible ending. How someone was given millions of dollars to put together this dumpster of a film is wholly incredible. 1.5 out 5.