Happy Death Day—a horror movie about being killed over and over again on your birthday—is actually pretty good.
Jessica Rothe plays Theresa, a not-so-good person. If anything Theresa better fits the ‘bitchy blonde who dies first’ stereotype in horror movies rather than the profoundly rooted for final girl.
That’s the best part of Happy Death Day. A character we’re so immediately prepped to hate and her transformation into the untouchable bad-ass. Unfortunately for Theresa, the road to becoming the bad-ass final girl required a whole lot of dying. Theresa painfully keeps reliving her birthday, a day that keeps ending in her death at the hands of a hooded killer in a baby mask.
Adding to some of my small frustrations with Happy Death Day was the lack of explanation around exactly why Theresa is stuck in this mysterious time-loop. Writer Scott Lobdell teases with the idea that perhaps it’s because Theresa is a real jerk to everyone and this is some form of supernatural punishment, but that idea is thrown away entirely towards the very end of the film. My expectation was there would be a somewhat acceptable payoff around that concept. Unfortunately, there was not.
Happy Death Day isn’t exactly a horror film, though. In fact, it’s pretty difficult to determine what genre this movie really fits into. If you’re going in expecting a scary movie, you will be let down. If you’re going in expecting a flawed but entertaining quasi-slasher, you just might enjoy it.