Christopher Landon’s Happy Death Day was a delightful (and horrific!) surprise filled with twists, turns and time-traveling hijinks.
It was also anchored by Jessica Rothe’s Tree Gelbman, a somewhat narcissistic college student who winds up being trapped in a never-ending time loop – think Groundhog Day only much, much worse. You see, Gelbman soon realizes that she’s being forced to relive the night of her murder ad infinitum, leading her on a wild goose chase as she tries to close the loop.
That road ultimately sees her cross paths with Lori, her former roommate. During the film’s fiery finale, the two come to blows, and Tree is left with little choice but to kill her attacker and bring an end to Happy Death Day. But it turns out the original ending, one that was wholly rejected by test audiences, had Tree kick the bucket…for the final time.
While recovering in hospital following her brutal fight with Tori (see above), Tree is left at the mercy of Dr. Butler’s vengeful wife, who disguises herself as a nurse in order to give Tree the lethal injection. Nasty.
As for what’s next for Christopher Landon and the team, Jessica Rothe (Tree) recently outlined a tentative pitch for Happy Death Day 2, one that may well spawn a horror sequel inspired by Back to the Future. Where do we sign up?
Chris has done this incredible thing where the sequel, the way he described it to me, elevates the movie from being a horror movie – and I wouldn’t even say it’s just a horror movie because it’s a horror, comedy, rom-com drama – into a Back to the Future type of genre film where the sequel joins us right from where we left off, it explains a lot of things in the first one that didn’t get explained, and it elevates everything.
Happy Death Day is now available on Blu-ray and DVD (buy it here), meaning you can now take home one of 2017’s undisputed sleeper hits – over $100 million worldwide against a production budget of just $4.8 million, which is an impressive feat no matter what way you spin the numbers. Now all we need is for Landon and Rothe to spearhead a sequel!