On September 28, 2017, the prerelease for Happy Death Day took place at the Gateway Megaplex Theatres. Going into the preview, I was excited to see how this particular movie would unfold. Happy Death Day is a horror movie that finds inspiration from and builds upon Groundhog Day. While there are other movies that manage to pull off this concept with similar themes, this one provides a unique perspective on movies where characters are stuck in a seemingly endless time loop.
This movie is a testament to both Israel Broussard’s (Carter) and Jessica Rothe’s (Tree) aptitude for acting. Rothe’s performance as the heroine was challenging because she had to perform different choices in similar scenes. Broussard’s performance as Carter was impressive as well, because he was able to remain funny, interesting and lovable throughout these scenes. His chemistry with Rothe allows him to draw the audience into the mysterious, horrifying nature of the time loop in which Tree is stuck.
One of the most intriguing parts of this movie was that it could not be categorized into one genre. While it was most obviously a horror movie, it also spans the breadth of romance and coming-of-age. The heroine, Tree (Jessica Rothe), starts out as an unlikeable character, but through the course of the movie she matures and starts to become more accountable for her actions. Tree’s relationship to Carter helps the audience empathize with her by the end of the movie. The script and the instinct of the two actors help to produce tension and excitement. The audience knows Tree is going to be killed over and over, but the question each time is how?
In an exclusive roundtable interview with Broussard and Rothe, they credit much of their great performance to director Chris Landon and their instant connection with him. Additionally, Rothe and Broussard both agreed that the movie had a wide genre breadth. According to them, the movie is not only suitable for horror movie buffs, but also great for taking a cuddle buddy or going with family and friends.
From the script written by Scott Lobdell, to the actors or to the direction choices by Christopher Landon, this is an absolutely innovative, wonderful movie that anyone can enjoy. If you have a spare minute, you should definitely watch this movie when it hits theaters.