Critic Reviews



Based on 26 critic reviews provided by
What’s lurking beneath the surface of this ruthlessly violent horror movie is a glimmer of gold. Happy Death Day is fun enough to be worth watching.
Happy Death Day is “Groundhog Day” dipped in blood, and if the movie isn’t all that clever, it’s just clever enough to get by.
Thankfully never taking itself too seriously, the latest Jason Blum-produced comedy-thriller is happy to carve out its spot as the horror-themed, millennial-focused Groundhog Day, and to have fun doing so. A dynamic lead performance and a willingness to keep things short and snappy also ensure viewers won’t mind venturing into rehash territory.
Landon, who wrote four of the “Paranormal Activity” films, knows a lot about reverse engineering scary scenarios from mundane situations, but as with later installments of that series, he overcomplicates the logistics and mythology of the premise, aiming for something more raucous (and fun) in tone but lacking the intensity — or inevitability — to make its repetition feel truly chilling.
Slant Magazine
Happy Death Day twists the inherent repetitiveness of slashers to its advantage by exaggerating it to an impossible degree.
It’s a reasonably clever spin, but not much more than that; once the novelty of the genre swap wears off, you’re just watching another inferior variation.
When Landon moves away from the darker parts of the film, opting to play up the campier elements of a mostly silly story, Happy Death Day is the kind of dizzy fun as slasher horror can possibly be. Too bad then that all that goodwill has to reset every night, pushing everything back to square one just as it was getting good, murderously so.
Although concentrating on delivering easily digestible situations and scene progressions, Landon does demonstrate some enticing visual flair that gets rather diminished by the repetitiveness of the plot.
It’s a thriller’s job to make you jump out of your skin and Happy Death Day gets it done — on occasion.
It’s Groundhog Day meets Scream, although lacking the first film’s novelty and the latter’s postmodern smarts.

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