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Thread: Happy Death Day (Christopher Landon)

  1. #1
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Happy Death Day (Christopher Landon)

    HAPPY DEATH DAY

    Director: Christopher Landon

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  2. #2
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    I thought this was pretty good. Sorta can't believe, however, that they actually included a Groundhog Day reference in the movie though. But hey, it's nice seeing a new decent slasher flick. Ghosts have sorta overtaken the genre in recent years, haven't they?
    Last edited by TGM; 10-13-2017 at 07:06 PM.

  3. #3
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Last Five Films I've Seen

    The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018) 8.5
    Creed II (Caple Jr., 2018) 8.5
    Green Book (Farrelly, 2018) 6
    Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018) 9
    Mirai (Hosoda, 2018) 8
    Wildlife (Dano, 2018) 9
    Roma (Cuaron, 2018) 9.5/10
    Prospect (Caldwell/Earl, 2018) 7
    Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Heller, 2018) 7.5
    Overlord (Avery, 2018) 8
    Boy Erased (Edgerton, 2018) 8
    The Grinch (Cheney/Mosier, 2018) 7.5

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  4. #4
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    I wanted to see this because Ryan Turek (of Blumhouse and, formerly, several horror fansites) was one of the producers.

    Is this your review?

  5. #5
    the maker of my own evil Ivan Drago's Avatar
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    Yessir! If there's a way you guys think I need to improve my writing style, don't hesitate to PM me.
    Last Five Films I've Seen

    The Favourite (Lanthimos, 2018) 8.5
    Creed II (Caple Jr., 2018) 8.5
    Green Book (Farrelly, 2018) 6
    Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse (Persichetti/Ramsey/Rothman, 2018) 9
    Mirai (Hosoda, 2018) 8
    Wildlife (Dano, 2018) 9
    Roma (Cuaron, 2018) 9.5/10
    Prospect (Caldwell/Earl, 2018) 7
    Can You Ever Forgive Me? (Heller, 2018) 7.5
    Overlord (Avery, 2018) 8
    Boy Erased (Edgerton, 2018) 8
    The Grinch (Cheney/Mosier, 2018) 7.5

    Fox Force Five News

  6. #6
    - - - - - Irish's Avatar
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    Very cool, Ivan!

    ETA: I put this one of my "must see" list based on your review. Keep writing -- and linking!
    Last edited by Irish; 10-13-2017 at 11:36 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Nice review, Ivan! (I miss typically having more than a tweet's worth of thoughts to say about a given movie. )

    Agreed on the lead, I thought the girl who played Tree was fantastic. She showed an incredible range throughout the film, and definitely stands out as someone to keep an eye on, I think. As to the film's rating, a similar sentiment about the lack of gore was also expressed in other reviews I checked out, but honestly, the way the film's edited (where she wakes up almost immediately upon being killed), I'm not sure how well that would've played out had they gone especially gory and given the time to really be a little more exploitative in that regard. I think it may well could've thrown the pacing off a bit, because honestly, the way it was all cut together, I personally didn't even notice the lack of gore. It was perfectly cut in that regard, IMO.

    That said, I'd agree that it's not necessarily a scary film, but hot damn is it a fun one, enough to where, again, I didn't even find myself realizing that I wasn't exactly all that scared throughout. This film was honestly a blast.

  8. #8
    Moderator TGM's Avatar
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    Also didn't realize the same guy directed The Marked Ones. I actually thought he did a good job on that one, too, and took a really potentially lame premise and made it a whole lotta fun, what with the dimension jumping and shotgunning witches and whatnot. And yeah, he definitely ups his game in that fun department here.

  9. #9
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    I'll agree with Ivan and TGM. The movie's nothing special, but it did keep me guessing. After I tried not to fall into the trap, the movie still managed to kill off my first suspected killer fairly early. So, I had to give them credit there.

    There's a couple of situations late in the movie where I feel like the police would have a LOT more questions for Tree. But oh well.

    Jessica Rothe is the story here, absolutely carrying the movie and adding a fresh take to each new scenario. She makes me wish that the film was either funnier or grittier, because I know she could handle it. As it stands, the film is surprisingly safe. It's basically a horror movie for people who like Pitch Perfect.
    Suspiria (Guadagnino, 2018) ***1/2
    Madeline's Madeline (Decker, 2018) ***1/2
    The House That Jack Built (Trier, 2018) ***
    Border (Abbasi, 2018) ***
    Crazy Horse (Wiseman, 2011) ***
    Lips of Blood (Rollin, 1975) **1/2
    Burning (Lee, 2018) ****
    Amour (Haneke, 2012) ***1/2
    Mid90s (Hill, 2018) **1/2
    Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. (Loveridge, 2018) ***1/2

  10. #10
    The Pan Spinal's Avatar
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    By the way, for people who come to this thread after watching this movie and wonder where you've seen her before, watch the first couple minutes of this clip:

    []
    Suspiria (Guadagnino, 2018) ***1/2
    Madeline's Madeline (Decker, 2018) ***1/2
    The House That Jack Built (Trier, 2018) ***
    Border (Abbasi, 2018) ***
    Crazy Horse (Wiseman, 2011) ***
    Lips of Blood (Rollin, 1975) **1/2
    Burning (Lee, 2018) ****
    Amour (Haneke, 2012) ***1/2
    Mid90s (Hill, 2018) **1/2
    Matangi/Maya/M.I.A. (Loveridge, 2018) ***1/2

  11. #11
    Administrator Ezee E's Avatar
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    Spinal basically said everything about the movie that I feel here. Fun, some logistical issues here in regards to the final playout, but it's still a fun movie to watch. Ditto thoughts on who the killer would be, and that Rothe's performance is part of why the movie works so well. She's what was fun about movies like Mean Girls and Pitch Perfect. Now the horror genre has theirs. Wonder where she'll go from here.

    Only thing I get to add is that she comes from Denver, woot.

    Hold the Dark - **
    The Rider - ***
    Widows - ****


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  12. #12
    unattainable Zac Efron's Avatar
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    This would make a great double-feature with Mean Girls and/or Heathers. The film manages to be inventive even with its obvious influences. My one major complaint is that some of the images were a little touchy (graphic) for me and I wish it had been rated R because of them. But overall if this was on cable and I came across it, I'd probably give it my time even if it was half over.

  13. #13
    In the belly of a whale Henry Gale's Avatar
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    Yeah, this is susprisingly cute and breezy!

    Despite knowing the premise and who was behind it, I don't think I actually ever saw a trailer, so the tone was definitely lighter and confidently sillier than I had built it up to assume it was like in my mind, but it certainly knows what it is and makes it work.

    Rothe is super charismatic and her evolution from being super icy and vapid to the armed and dangerous give-no-fucks heroine tracks seamlessly with her Groundhog Day-ing spiral. It's especially impressive when you consider they likely did the most heavily reoccurring parts (like the wake-up scene(s)) all on the same day, and she is the only character actually having to lock into her progression, and know just how to play that based on where they are in the script.

    It ended up being perfect for the low-key Friday night with friends looking for something horror-y (especially since our first choice, the new Insidious wasn't out yet), but getting more thrills and (intended) laughs as a bonus. It's really nice to see the Blumhouse model work to make something like this that not only feels oddly throwback-y in its tightness and 80s to early millennium college movie vibe (as in, barely made for theatrical venues anymore), but also wears so many genre hats that manages to function so well front-to-back as a movie, and then after all that for it only cost less than $5 million and connect with audiences enough to $122 million(!!) worldwide. It's the best kind of anomaly that I'd love to see Jason Blum stretch beyond horror even more than he did with this and Get Out last year.

    So the part of me that did have fun with it already admittedly feels its impact fading, as some of the resolutions and revelations feel plucked from the discount aisle of the horror shop and some of the reasoning for people who end up not being the killer feel confusingly weak [
    ], but for the ride it provides in the moment, it absolutely does its job, and it consistently sustains in fulfilling its ambitions better than most big horror.

    *** / 6.5
    Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (Yates, 2018) ** / 4.7
    The Spy Who Dumped Me (Fogel, 2018) *** / 6.4
    Suspiria (Guadagnino, 2018) **** / 9.3
    Mandy (Cosmatos, 2018) **** / 8.9
    mid90s (Hill, 2018) *** / 8.6
    This Is The End (Rogen/Goldberg, 2013) *** / 8.5
    Scary Movie (Wayans, 2000) * / 3.6
    Halloween (Green, 2018) *** / 7.8
    First Man [IMAX] (Chazelle, 2018) *** / 8.4
    Overlord (Avery, 2018) *** / 7.6
    Hell Fest (Plotkin, 2018) - ** / 4.8

  14. #14
    Replacing Luck Since 1984 Dukefrukem's Avatar
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    Cute and Bizarre are two good words for this. It goes from a 90s - Scream-like feel, to a parody of itself (which is prominently displayed in a weird montage) back to straight Groundhogish-fan service. The humor was oddly placed at times. And for someone who lived on campus the college-life is super cringe-worthy. I'm convinced mean girls do not exist like this anymore (or ever). But whatever. This was a fun time. Saw the joke from a mile away at the end.

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  15. #15
    Moderator Dead & Messed Up's Avatar
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    Fun!

    Mostly.

    Well, I mean...

    Two great things lift Happy Death Day. One, its fun conceit, which allows the film to function on three levels: slasher picture, murder mystery, and comedy. Two, Jessica Rothe, who develops her character with necessary bluntness and occasional subtlety. She knows how to play for comic timing, she approaches final girl ferocity with conviction. She heroically hangs herself at one moment (to "reset" the day), and her smirk feels triumphant. It's a star-making turn.

    The director, Chris Landon, who made a film I didn't give many shits for (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones), sometimes leans onto hacky camera tricks (a Snorri-cam freakout, a tiresome zip through a frat party that looks like a beer commercial). But he shows restraint during moments that need it, like when Jessica Rothe's Tree finally meets with her dad, and during the multiple scenes where she wakes up alongside Carter in his dorm room. One visual moment I adored: the killer swings a bat at her head, and as it connects, the camera slows and follows her head's arc as it falls from the scene of the crime and back into the dorm room bed, imagery transitioning behind her. That's great. That's kinda new.

    One of the reasons I hesitated to watch this for a while was the PG-13 rating. Not because I'm a gorehound, but because I think a film that leans into college life and slasher convention has a certain responsibility to be true to the nature of both, which are R-rated. The film skirts this issue by having Tree "wake up" at the moments of violent impact, which is fair, I think. But also, operating on the premise that Happy Death Day is a film fundamentally made for young (pre-college) women, a PG-13 rating allows many of them to more freely go see a film about a young woman who deals with some common teenage girl problems (the unspoken threat of date rape, falling to peer pressure, learning to be a responsible adult) and come out the end watching a girl who's learned to be a better, more confident, more empathetic person.

    This also makes the depiction of college life a bit more understandable. Its caricatured people and places don't play like reality; they play like a high-schooler's dream of what college is. Queen Bees and Dorm Dorks and Hunky Teachers and a campus quad designed by an Abercrombie and Fitch flyer. It's absurd and sometimes threatens the more grounded emotional moments, but it may also connect to teens with how it feels emotionally true to their fears and anxieties and predictions. [There's also the question of whether or not the film's lighter tone and comic choices would suffer were it to play closer to reality. But Groundhog Day played specific with its world-building. Happy Death Day feels a bit like it was written by people who learned everything about college from '80s brat comedies, rather than from living it.]

    Shame about the multiple endings, though. The film tries to have it both ways regarding its story, offering up a heartwarming "final day" where Tree becomes a better person and makes herself emotionally vulnerable and reconciles with those who require her contrition (her father, a roommate) while sticking it to those enabling her worst tendencies, all before saving the day and herself...

    [
    ]

    That held me back the most while watching, but since that's only the final 10 minutes (if even that), the film's a marginal but genuine success.

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