‘Happy Death Day’ Review


Kiely MacDowell (11th), Reporter


In Happy Death Day, becoming decent person requires a lot of repeating the same exact day.

Jessica Rothe plays Tree (short for Theresa), a stuck-up and seriously rude sorority girl who is unkind to her seemingly harmless roommate and a little too close with her married professor.

Tree wakes up the morning of her birthday in her classmate Carter’s (Israel Broussard) dorm room on campus and from there, continues on to celebrate her birthday. However, she doesn’t get to finish her day to its end. While on her way to her surprise party, she is murdered by a man in a mask. Unfortunately for Tree, she’s about to relive the same day over and over again until she can figure out who her masked murderer is.

Overall, Tree’s day plays out almost exactly the same every time. She wakes up hungover in Carter’s dorm, stumbles out into the quad, talks with her sorority president, gets a cupcake from her roommate (Ruby Modine), continues with her day in classes and then heads to a frat party later that night. But, each day varies in different ways – sometimes Tree spends time with Carter or, in the case of the very last time, she rights her wrongs. But each day always ends the same – Tree is killed without any knowledge of her murderer. She comes back every day weaker than the last, and as Tree relives every day she gets closer and closer to solving the overall mystery- Who is her killer?

As Tree struggles to find out who her killer is, the various plot twists keep the audience on the edge of their seats, wanting more. Once Tree finally thinks she figures out who her killer is, the most important plot twist is thrown at us- she wakes up again! Then it hits her, the obvious killer isn’t the real killer, just a cover up for her sneaky roommate who poisons Tree with the cupcake she gave her for her birthday.

The plot isn’t as annoying as it would seem, as no one in the audience knows who the real killer is. Instead, it turns the movie from a horror film into a murder mystery – the audience gets to try and figure out the suspect, alongside Tree and Carter. Throughout the whole movie, there is little gore and being rated PG-13, one might expect more of it from this movie. But again, there is little to none; in fact, one of the few “gorriest” moments is when Tree is stabbed in the neck with a shattered piece of a bong from a frat boys room in his fraternity house.

Even though the trailer makes it out to seem like all Tree wants to do is find her killer, (Because who wouldn’t?) she evolves into a better person by the end of the film, eventually realizing there is more to life than being stuck up and rude to others for no reason.

Some questions many viewers wanted answered (since the film never addressed it) was: Why does Tree keep dying? Does the killer know she is put in this painful loop?
Director Christopher Landon hinted at the answer to these questions with the possibility of a sequel, telling Insider, “The whole idea for my sequel is actually already in this movie, it’s hiding in plain sight.”The answer to why she’s literally stuck in a time loop — it’s something I have the answer to. It’s in my back pocket, because, knock on wood, you never know how things are going to go, and we’re not counting our chickens, but if I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to make a sequel, the answer to that question is the premise of my sequel.”

Happy Death Day a 6/10 rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and 69% of viewers liked it. The movie made 5.2 million dollars overall.