Time loop movies, even if cross-genre, are no longer new. But when one is so confidently executed, it is simply a thrill to watch.
Happy Death Day Synopsis
College student Tree Gelbman has an awful hangover-ish birthday, and is brutally murdered. The next moment, she wakes up on her birthday again, and to her horror, discovers she is trapped in a time loop. What is going on? Why is she doomed to suffer gruesome murder again and again? And just who is the masked fiend so intended on ending her life?
I think time loop movies are double-edge swords. Agree, yes? The sheer intrigue of the premise assures a minimum level of viewership. On the other hand, how well the loopy loop is explained could result in the movie being extolled or condemned for years. However well-conceived the explanation is, there would also often still be haters and detractors.
In the case of Happy Death Day, I think it would go down in movie history as one of the best time loop stories. This is amazing, given that there was absolutely no hint as to why the phenomenon was happening. (That is, unless you believe Director Christopher Landon’s claim that the explanation was hiding in plain sight) I think what worked so well here was not just the creativity of the premise, which was already tried in 2009 by Triangle, or even the hysterically superb performance by Jessica Rothe. It was how confident the movie was. It dumps you into the loop. It then unapologetically freaks you out with one kill-scene after another, mere minutes after leaving you in stitches from Rothe’s antics. You get so caught up in the furore, you forget to question WTH it’s happening. You just want to know how the next loop is going to be. And who on earth is that freak behind the horrible mask.
For me, I didn’t even think about the “explanation” till after the show. And I went, oh, hmm, they never did explain why.
Believe it or not, I wasn’t annoyed too. Happy Death Day was so enjoyable, I didn’t mind being left in the dark.
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