by Aaron Hirsch, staff writer
The new film Happy Death Day came out in theaters in October, on Friday the 13th, and has been a success so far through Halloween. Directed by Christopher B. Landon and produced by Jason Blum, the new movie features Jessica Rothe (also featured in La La Land and The Last Keepers) in a featured role, as she plays Tree Gelbman in the movie. Other main characters are Israel Broussard as Carter Davis, Ruby Modine as Lori Spengler, Rachel Matthews as Danielle Bouseman, and Charles Aitken as Gregory Butler. I had not heard of any of these actors prior to Happy Death Day, but
I thought the acting was decent and each character seemed to fit their respective role well enough to make each scene suspenseful and believable. The mystery/thriller which is one hour and 36 minutes long, was rated PG-13 in theaters prior to its release, due to obscure violence and profanity.
In Happy Death Day, Tree Gelbman is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named Carter. As the morning goes on, Tree gets the eerie feeling that she’s experienced the events of this day before. When a masked killer suddenly takes her life in a brutal attack, she once again magically wakes up in Carter’s dorm room unharmed. Now, the frightened young woman must relive the same day over and over until she figures out who murdered her.
Many people have compared this movie to Groundhog Day, due to their similar concepts. The 1993 comedy features a weatherman who wakes up constantly only to relive the same day, while everyone around him appears normal and unphased by the absurd comments they believe the man is making.
Director Christopher Landon is most commonly known for also directing the Paranormal Activity series, as well as other movies such as Viral and Disturbia. He is known for adding a horrifying and mysterious element to his films and does this notoriously in his most recent one, Happy Death Day.
Like many other horror and mystery movies, the cinematography plays a large role in the film and is actually very effective. During multiple scenes of the movie, a hidden character is often shown directly after an angle-change, which is aimed to provoke a frightening surprise element to the scene. The movie also seemed to be darker than light out, as the more intense scenes are outside at night or in dark buildings/rooms. Some scenes are longer than others, and the diversity of scene significance adds more mystery to the plot as well as interior and exterior camera angles at appropriate times.
This is a movie I would definitely recommend as long as you’re up to a few scares and can get over the baby-faced masked used by the killer early on in the film. While it won’t be out in theatres much longer, it would probably be more fun to watch now as opposed to later as Halloween just passed and that’s what the movie was based around.