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Happy Death Day – Too Tame Thriller?


One last leftover from Horror Month from an extremely disappointed Captain…

Hey, kids. Are you sick and tired of seeing those big kids getting in to see R rated slasher horror films? Well fret no more because now there’s a slasher film made just for you!

Happy Death Day is a watered down, neutered “slasher” film made for the Riverdale fans on The CW. This wannabe slasher film doesn’t actually have any slashing in it. I mean, god forbid we actually see blood in our horror movie.


Okay, that’s not true, you do get to see some blood… on the killer’s knife… once. Do you actually get to see how blood got on that knife? Nope.

To say this film sucks is a bit of an understatement. Even if this had all the gory goodness a slasher film should have, this film would still suck. I mean, the slasher films that came out in the early 2000’s were R rated, and they still sucked. One off the top of my head being Valentine. And I think the only reason it was the first one to pop into my mind was because the mask the killer wore was of a baby.

If you didn’t know, the mask the killer wears in Happy Death Day is that of a baby, but this time even stupider looking.

I guess it’s the school’s football team mascot. What’s their team’s name have to be to warrant their mascot being a baby? Are they the fighting babies? I remember seeing a banner on one of the kid’s wall being for Bayfield, but how’d they get baby out of that? The Bayfield babies?

Okay, I’m spending way too much time of this. The whole thing is dumb was my point, but this film is filled with dumb, so I need to be a bit more choosy.

Like take the hospital scenes. They know hospitals don’t shut down for the night, right? Like there isn’t a time where the hospital shuts the lights off and all the nurses go home. I mean, I guess they didn’t know since that’s exactly what happens.

Or even worse, they knew but didn’t care because it didn’t fit their narrative. Like dressing your nurses in old fashion nurse outfits, which thankfully this film didn’t do. Though it was something Cult of Chucky did.

Let’s get to the plot.

Tree… goddamn it, yes, her name is Tree. Tree wakes up in some guy’s dorm room. This is the first time we are treated to her cellphone ring, which will drive you insane. It isn’t the ringtone we hear in the trailer, no this is even more annoying. It basically sings a non-copy righted version of happy birthday. Which doesn’t really make sense. Did she set that ringtone? She must have. If so, why is she trying to keep her birthday a secret from everyone? Tree has a past. Not only is it her birthday, but also her mom’s. Sorry, dead mom’s birthday. Ever since, celebrating her birthday is something she dreads. Which begs the question, why the fuck did she set her ringtone yelling it was her birthday?

Moving on!

Actually, can we go back to her name again, Tree? Have you ever known anyone named Tree? Is that short for something? I mean, it must be, I can’t see parents being so cruel as to name their kid Tree.

Okay, back on track.

Tree wakes up in some dude’s dorm room. And that’s when we are introduced to her pleasant personality. It’s something we’re stuck with throughout the whole movie, so I hope you enjoy this raging bitch monster for 90 minutes.

As she stumbles home, she notices things in sequence, goth guy glaring, girl taking a petition to… save the environment? Hold on. A petition to save the environment? How is that going to help? You only ever see something like this in movies. Just kids handing out petitions for shit. But what happens afterwards? Who does she give it to? The school? Is the petition to save the environment only on campus? I mean, is her goal to get enough names on the list to make a politician to do something about global warming? Let’s hope she’s not in a red state or else her petition written on paper is just going in the trash, therefore adding to the trash epidemic. I feel like I’m ranting about the wrong things, let’s get back to the film.

After petition girl, we get the young couple getting sprayed by the sprinkler lawn system and an over worked pledge passing out. Tree also runs into the creepy guy she went on one date with. A clear red herring as to who the killer is.

Which was pretty easy to figure out. So spoilers now. If you want to stop reading to avoid spoilers because for some reason you still want to see this piece of shit, stop now. Just know this film gets a SKIP IT rating.

Now, as for the killer. I figured it out just by watching the damn trailer. Who could it be, I wonder? The guy she keeps waking up with? The teacher she’s sleeping with? Her creepy roommate that gives her a cupcake, or… no, it was the creepy roommate that gave her a cupcake.

Called it. The first thought in my head was, oh, I bet she’s jealous that the teacher is sleeping with Tree and not her, so she’s going to try and kill her on her birthday. Bingo. I was right. It took like maybe 10 minutes into the film to figure it out. I mean, as soon as they introduced that her roommate was a nurse and that Tree was bonking her teacher, who is also a doctor, it was pretty easy to put the pieces together.

I’m not saying the plot needed to be endlessly complicated, I mean, I still don’t fully get the plot to Scream. What was story with Sidney’s mom again? And how did that play into the story at all? Her dad killed her mom so maybe he might be the one after her? What? Sorry, one dumb slasher film at a time.

Tree belongs to a fraternity Kappa Kappa who gives a shit. There’s a few more red herrings tossed your way by means of head bitch Danielle. Are they friends? I don’t know, I don’t know what the relationship is with anyone in this film. They all seem to hate each other. Even her relationship with her crazy roommate is weird. I mean, they seem to not like each other very much, yet she gives her a cupcake for her birthday. Granted the cupcake is poisoned, but still. What exactly is their relationship before this day? We don’t know. Tree is a bitch to everyone. I know, they did the same thing with Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. But it’s still Bill Murray, even as this depressed unlikable dickhead, he’s still pretty charming.

Getting home after a party, her surprise birthday party, Tree runs into a strange musical toy box playing the happy birthday song. In the tunnel is also a baby mask wearing killer. When she dies off camera, we are immediately brought right back the beginning of the film, with her in this nerdy guy’s dorm room.

After a while she starts to put the pieces together that she’s reliving the same day. Though it takes a few tries to really get it in her head this is really happening. The only one she seems to be able to confide in is Carter, the stranger she keeps waking up with. Like I said, she doesn’t have any friends, so the only one she can turn to is this dude she met that morning.

He tells her to just go down the list of potential suspects and just cross them off the list once the one killing you isn’t the person you’re surveilling.

As she goes down the list, none of them seem to be the killer. That is until she overhears that there’s a killer at the hospital who has just escaped. Obviously that is our number one suspect. Now in my head, it still meant the roommate was still suspect number one. I mean, who let him out? Clearly he had help, and who just happens to work at that hospital? The roommate. They do try to throw suspicion over to the married doctor Tree is banging, even making her find that stupid baby mask. But him being the killer didn’t make any sense. He wasn’t in love with Tree, he was just having fun banging a teenager. The doc wanting to kill her didn’t fit. His wife was an early suspect on her list but was quickly crossed off once the killer managed to kill Tree while she was stalking the wife from afar through the bushes.

So really that just leaves us with the roommate Lori.

So here is Lori’s plan. She is jealous that the doctor she works with is sleeping with Tree and won’t even notice her. So on Tree’s birthday, she poisons a cupcake. When Tree refuses to eat the cupcake, Lori goes to the killer getting treatment at the hospital. She figures when she is off killing Tree, they’ll just blame it on the escaped convict.

You know what would probably make more sense? Have it look like an accident or a suicide. I mean, this is on her dead mom’s birthday, add in the pressure of going to college, try to kill her and make it look like she killed herself. Just a thought.

One thing I forgot to mention is each time Tree comes back, she’s a bit more hurt. She realistically only has a couple more times before she dies for real, that does give the film a bit more urgency. They found a way to work in the ticking clock, so I have to give them props for that. Because if you think about it, where is the urgency? The only consequence would have to be restarting the day again. But if you add in she has a limited amount of lives, it helps us care a bit more. I mean, she’s still incredibly unlikable. Mostly I wanted it to get to the conclusion I already figured out 90 minutes ago.

Is this the worst horror film I’ve seen this month? Not even close, that award goes to either WTF or Bunnyman 3. Though Lycan is a close third.

Who is Happy Death Day for? The Riverdale crowd? 13 year old girls? I really have no idea. It isn’t for horror fans and for that, it gets a giant SKIP IT.

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