Comedy and Horror Blend Flawlessly in Happy Death Day

Classic ‘Groundhog Day’ Theme Makes A Comeback in Happy Death Day.

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Virginia Connor, Staff Writer

Combine “Groundhog Day”‘s with “Scream” and you get “Happy Death Day,” the new, underrated comedy thriller.

Released on Friday Oct. 13, “Happy Death Day” is an abnormal birthday time loop for Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), a sorority girl, just trying to “literally” survive. Her day starts off waking up in Carter Davis’ (Israel Broussard) dorm room after a night of heavy partying and the walk of shame back to her sorority house. At night, while walking to a frat house for a surprise birthday party, she gets attacked by her creepy baby-face masked killer.

Once Gelbman catches onto the groundhog curse, she comes to the realization that the only way it will end is if she reveals her murderer and kills them. With each new day, she comes up with different plans only to see that her killer is always one step ahead. Originally, Gelbman thinks that she wakes up unaffected by these constant deaths. However, toward the end, we learn that her body shows signs on extreme internal damage and time is running out.

First impressions from the trailers do not immediately hint at the amount of comedy placed strategically throughout “Happy Death Day.” Many popular opinions say that the comedy complemented the horror precisely. The perfect amounts of smart jabs from the main character and sarcastic humor made this thriller very enjoyable and unique.

“Happy Death Day”‘s casting was fresh considering a lot of the main characters were not mainstream actors. Jessica Rothe, also known for her role as Alexis in “La La Land,” did a great job capturing a troubled teen in a confusing and messed up day cycle. Israel Broussard played her love interest and created a sweet and supportive new friend when Tree needed one the most.

Director Christopher Landon, known for his direction in the “Paranormal Activity” series and “Disturbia,” did a fantastic job making a new twist on the “Groundhog Day”’s effect. However, the amount of times the day repeats can get annoying. It is possible that this was meant on purpose to give the effect and mindset that the main character feels. It becomes frustrating for not only the main character but the movie-goers as well.

One scene in particular that was the same amount of eeriness no matter how many times it was replayed was Gelbman’s first encounter with her killer in the tunnel. The darkness in the tunnel complemented the theater darkness forcing fans to feel thrown into the tunnel with her. The mask is very pale to play off of the all black outfit that the killer wears. In such a dark setting, the people are focused on the mask. Pale face with blue eyes and a single baby tooth taunts Gelbman until she pieces everything together.

“Happy Death Day” ended very unexpectedly catching many off guard. Most even say that the ending was what made the movie different from a stereotypical “Groundhog Day” themed film.  With just one week in theaters, the film made over $35 M worldwide and the numbers are climbing. So see for yourself how this movie is above expectations.