Monday, October 23, 2017

Screamingly Funny Slasher—Review of Happy Death Day

This may seem off-subject, but I say the best Jake Gyllenhaal movie was Source Code from six years ago:


(Was that six years ago? Wow. See my review here.)
Now imagine a slimmed-down version, without the science fictional elements. The screenwriter who riffed off of Source Code would have pitched it as comedy/horror.


The trailers emphasize different elements, but I saw that the death-by-bus scene in Happy Death Day was almost identical to the death-by-train scene in Source Code.

So I went to go see it. To my utter shock, the matinee cost $12.06. But I had come this far.

I found Happy Death Day amusing and entertaining. One reviewer said the movie didn’t take itself seriously, and that matched the trailer. As a bonus, the boy whose dorm room Tree wakes up in is emphatic that they did not have sex—he wouldn’t do that sort of thing. And they never do anything sexual.

But is it a rip-off of Source Code? I say yes. The clincher is that Tree keeps getting birthday texts from her father, which she ignores. Late in the movie, she reconciles with her father, and that gives her the emotional clearance she needs for the climactic moments. This matches how Colter Stevens in Source Code needed to reconcile with his father late in the movie before he could finally do what he had to.


Is it worth seeing? If you have that much disposable income, maybe. It would be best for you to wait for it to come out on Netflix. If you want to analyze it, watch Source Code first. If you want the entertainment aspects, watch Happy Death Day first, so you won’t be depressed by the lesser effort. 

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