By JAMIE BERARDI
Blumhouse Production’s latest horror film, Happy Death Day is opening in theatres today. I was fortunate enough to attend the Toronto premiere this past Wednesday, for an advanced screening. Before I fully dive into the review, let me begin by stating that I went into this screening with little to no expectations, but was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this film by the time the end credits rolled.
The story follows Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) as she relives the same day (her birthday) over again, but each time she relives this day she dies in a different way. Comparable to a cat using up each of its nine lives, each time Tree dies she comes back weaker. With her physical and mental strength deteriorating each time she dies, Tree must race against the clock to figure out who her killer is and why this is happening to her.
This sounds like a repetitive plot that can become tired fast. However, I was impressed that the film could keep such a monotonous story fresh, fun and wildly entertaining. What I appreciated most, was that at the core of this film is a coming of age story. When you are forced to live the same day over again, it forces you to evaluate your life and see your truth more clearly than ever before. If you decide to change your narrative and not be the victim to prosper for a better future, is completely up to you. I believe that is a great life lesson for anyone – especially my fellow millennials. If you’re a fan of camp, Happy Death Day delivers the goods in that department as well. The film is very self aware and takes advantage of that for our amusement, but also knows when to be serious and draw you back in for the scares. Another component of Happy Death Day that I admired was the music. I felt that the music choices in the film were very relevant of today’s time and I must give them major kudos for that. This was most effective when Tree decides to fight back against her adversity amidst “Confident” by Demi Lovato playing in the background. The queer in me was living for this in the theatre. Lastly, I must say that the heart and soul of Happy Death Day, is Jessica Rothe’s fierce portrayal of Tree Gelbman. She holds the film together and Tree goes through some major character development which is completely beautiful to watch. I am excited to see what Jessica Rothe has in store for us with her upcoming roles in Please Stand By Me, Valley Girl & Forever My Girl. Early box-office predictions estimate that Happy Death Day will take the #1 spot at the box office this weekend. Which means another win for Blumhouse Productions and the horror community in general. With that, have a Happy Death Day everyone!! Make sure you go watch Happy Death Day, in theatres everywhere today.