It's Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day in this bewildering mess of a movie
The pi delta frat house slasher movie has provided plenty of cheap thrills for decades now and since the advent of horror send-ups like Scream, plenty of laughs too. However, when film producers attempt to mix cliché with a true classic they have truly hacked off more than they can chew.
The USP of the catchily-titled Happy Death Day is that it's Mean Girls meets Groundhog Day with maybe a spot of the underrated Tom Cruise sci-fi actioner Edge of Tomorrow thrown in.
Britney Spears lookalike Jessica Rothe plays Tree Gelbman but let's call her Groundhog Girl. She's a classic alpha sorority queen of mean who finds herself living the same day over and over, the fact that the day in question is her birthday seems only pertinent as a naming and not a framing device.
Every day Groundhog Girl meets her maker at the hands of an assailant in a PG-rated Jason Voorhees mask but what is a cycle of terror for her, is a cycle of tedium for us. The comedy falls flat, the schizoid script (from whodunit-to-me to serial killer thriller) is baffling and every character is a central casting carbon copy.
Unlike the guilty pleasure Final Destination franchise, the recurring death scenes don’t even have the decency to be entertainingly ingenious. In one offing, the deeply unlikeable Groundhog Girl even croaks it in a direct steal from, well, Groundhog Day.
Talk about diminishing returns. Not half as knowingly absurd as it should be and lacking any style of its own, you will die a little inside while watching this.
Alan Corr @corralan