Happy Death Day: Review by Holly Bareham

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Happy Halloween guys! However you’re choosing to celebrate I hope you have a great day. I personally am stuck at work and by the time I thought about having the day off I realised there wouldn’t be enough cover in the office so… I’ll probably watch a horror film later tonight though just to say I’ve done something.

So for those of you who never saw this trailer you’ve done a pretty good job of avoiding it because for a while it was all over Facebook and people were freaking out about it. To be honest I thought it looked interesting but I also thought it looked like one of those films that would just annoy the Hell out of me. I assumed right from the start it would be dreadful but I was still intrigued so I decided to give it a go.

‘Happy Death Day’ is about a college student who is murdered on her birthday but wakes up the next morning on her birthday. She is forced to relive the same day over and over again until she can figure out who her killer is and stop her own death.

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I actually really enjoyed it. I was intrigued the entire time and I found the whole thing really entertaining. It didn’t take itself too seriously which is just as well because it simply wouldn’t have worked if it had. Although at first most of the characters were unlikeable this was deliberate for the overall message of the film which was essentially ‘don’t be an asshole’. I ended up really liking Tree, the main character, by the end and I liked Carter right from the start.

Maybe I’m an idiot but I didn’t guess who the killer was at all. My friend told me she’d guessed before we even went in and was really bemused that I hadn’t figured it out. Listen, it’s good to be an idiot when watching films – I’m always shocked when the plot twist is revealed. I really liked this one. It was kind of ridiculous but in a good way.

As long as you don’t take it too seriously it’s a really good film. It’s entertaining and I’d really like to see it again before it leaves cinemas but I’m not sure I’ll have the time. I definitely wanna get it on DVD when it’s released though. I just really liked it and I’m quite surprised to say how many positive reviews it has on iMDB. Maybe we all low-key expected it to be trash but because it wasn’t that bad we can’t help by like it.

Compared to other horror films this year it just feels really refreshing. This is what ‘The Bye Bye Man’ should’ve been like because that was dreadful and took itself way too seriously. ‘Happy Death Day’ mocked itself and it worked really well!

Time for my piece of horror film trivia. There was quite a bit on iMDB and it was all pretty interesting but I’ve chosen this one: The scene where Tree walks across campus completely naked had to be done quickly as it was being filmed on an active campus thus presenting the risk of students witnessing the scene being filmed and taking photos. In the end they managed to do it in just 2-3 takes.

I recommend this if you haven’t already seen it and are looking for something interesting to watch this Halloween. I was genuinely really pleasantly surprised by this film so go into it with an open mind and just view it for it is: a bit of fun.


The Darkness: Review by Holly Bareham

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Okay, I am so late for a ton of reviews I need to write but I seem to have writers block at the moment… Hopefully since I just watched this film it’ll stay fresh in my mind and I can finish this review!

So, for those of you who don’t know, ‘The Darkness’ is about a family who return from a vacation at the Grand Canyon who suddenly find themselves haunted by an ancient supernatural entity they unknowingly awakened and they soon find themselves in a battle for survival.

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Where do I even start with this film? Me and my friend love horror movies and this film only showed for like three days here and we caught it on its last day. Before we went in my friend said “apparently it’s really shit.” With horror movies, you either hear “apparently it’s really shit” or “apparently it’s really scary.” You hear one or the other. More often than not, you hear the first one. Now I am not one to judge a film off other people’s opinions so I always try to go in with an open mind. But oh lord, she was right.

The premise is good and it seemed promising. The first ten minutes or so were pretty decent and I thought we were setting up for a decent film. Then suddenly out of nowhere, it went downhill.

First of all, let’s talk about the thing that annoyed me the most – the characters. They made no sense at all. I don’t even know how to explain it, their personalities just seemed to completely change every few seconds and suddenly they were backtracking and saying things that didn’t make sense to their characters?

This paragraph contains spoilers because I want to give examples: in the opening scene Stephanie seems to be really understanding towards her autistic brother Mikey but the moment they get home from the grand canyon all she does is scream at him, tell her parents he’s ‘weird and creepy’ and generally seems to hate him. Then we have Peter, their Father, who complains that Mikey’s behaviour is getting out of control but Mikey’s Mom, Bronny, sticks up for him. Then about half-an-hour later Bronny tells him that “you didn’t even notice his behaviour deteriorate.” Peter doesn’t even challenge that accusation. Stephanie just generally acted like a bit of a psychopath throughout half the film then suddenly changed into a good mood at the blink of an eye. Also, how many problems did they try and fit into one family? An affair, alcoholism, anorexia, autism… All the A’s in this family.

Okay, spoiler’s end now so you’re safe to keep reading.

I think because of the lack of character continuity it found it hard to find it scary. Yes I did jump a couple of times but the film completely lost the scary atmosphere it created at the beginning. It got to a point where the ‘scary’ parts were just boring. The whole thing was just… Awful.

I’ve looked on iMDB for a fun fact and there is only one piece of trivia and even that isn’t very interesting: This film reunites Kevin Bacon and Jennifer Morrison for the first time since Stir of Echoes in 1999. There you go.

Overall, I don’t recommend this film at all. There is nothing about that saves it and it’s just really, really bad.