Happy Death Day Review

Naomi Ludlow | Arts & Entertainment Editor

Courtesy of Naomi Ludlow

Happy Death Day is the 2017 horror rendition of the 1993 movie Groundhog Day with a
bit of a twist.

The new film, which was watched by 200 Hampton University Students during a private
screening at the Virginia Air and Space Center this past week, takes reliving the same day over again to another level.

College student Tree Gelbman, played by Jessica Rothe, awakes to an unordinary
birthday celebration. Someone wants to mark this as her last day on Earth. Tree is obligated to find her killer before they find her. With a list of suspects, she sets out every day with a new plan on discovering who is after her.

Israel Broussard stars as Carter. Tree leans on Carter throughout her journey of
discovering what is happening to her, leading to an intense attachment. Carter unknowingly becomes Tree’s confidant, for he is essential in her decision-making process. Their relationship normalizes the life of a college student and made the film relatable to the audience.

The space center theater was filled with excitement, laughter and frustration as Tree faced each day.

Hampton junior strategic communications major Ludwidg Louizaire, from Miami, said the movie was “a bit frustrating at first because I was not sure what was going to happen, but it all tied together pretty well.”

It was important that the audience did not get lost in the repetitiveness of the storyline,
and that they instead remained engaged throughout the movie. Students were impressed with the unexpected twists and turns of the story.

Once the movie surpassed understanding the characters and the storyline, it grasped my
attention even more. Tree’s never-ending journey was enticing as each day she developed a more intricate plan. I was intrigued by the way the writers captured the same scene while still altering the essence of it each time it was repeated.

In a Skype interview with Rothe, she said, “We kind of got to map out the progression of
the script and how Tree’s journey escalates.”

The cast of the movie was successful in creating the suspense that any horror film needs.
Also, the lighting gradually darkened as the story progressed, making the scene more intense.

These elements worked together seamlessly to give the audience a full Blumhouse–
home of hit thrillers Get Out and Split–experience. There are common themes of horror, comic relief and subliminal messages that are present in each movie.

If you loved either of those movies, be sure to go see “Happy Death Day” when it premieres Oct. 13.


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