Film Review: Happy Death Day – 7.5/10

‘Would you stop looking at me like I just took a dump on your mom’s head?’

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If I were to say the words Blumhouse Productions to you, you would probably stare blankly at me before inching away terrified. If I were to list some of the horror films that Blumouse Productions have put out however, you might sit up and take notice. Paranormal Activity, Insidious, Sinister, The Purge, Oculus, Creep, Hush, Get Out and many, many more have all come from Blumhouse Productions. It is not hyperbolic to suggest that Jason Blum’s company has revolutionised horror to the point where we finally have a horror film nominated for Best Picture at the goddamn Oscars for chrissakes. Happy Death Day is just the latest wild success story to come from the influential production company and boy is it a whole lot of fun.

Imagine Groundhog Day, but with a teenage girl in the place of Bill Murray and being repeatedly murdered in the place of dancing in the snow with Andie MacDowell. You have just imagined Happy Death Day. Jessica Rothe plays the role of the murdered. She must figure out this puzzle quicksharp as she becomes weaker and weaker each time she is resurrected. Israel Broussard is the charming yin to her yang who tries to help.

The great thing about Happy Death Day is that it wears its influences so emphatically on its sleeve that you can help  but get swept along in it all. If you were raised on a diet of teenage slasher films like me, then you will love Happy Death Day. It is predictable in parts but in a way that you can’t wait for the next thing to happen. The characters are unlikable on the page but the young cast do a great job in making you root for them. There may be a couple of cheesy lines and cliched characters in there but that is what teen slasher films are all about. The difference here is that it isn’t bad writing that produces those things but loving homage. Scream was a masterpiece that subverted and challenged the idea of a slasher movie. All Happy Death Day does is bring the slasher movie kicking and screaming into the 21st century… before falling down the stairs whilst wearing a tiny top.

Because of Blumhouse Productions, the horror landscape is changing so fast that it is difficult to keep up. We need films like Happy Death Day to keep the audience rooted in the past to allow to fully prepare for the future. Blumhouse has at least five more films coming out in 2018 including a Halloween reboot. Bring. It. On.

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