Reviewed by: Raphael Vera
What about the film’s crude sexual content, language, and partial nudity?
What is LASCIVIOUSNESS? Answer
What does the Bible say about MURDER? Answer
|Featuring:||Jessica Rothe … Tree Gelbman
Israel Broussard … Carter Davis
Ruby Modine … Lori Spengler
Charles Aitken … Gregory Butler
Laura Clifton … Stephanie Butler
Jason Bayle … David Gelbman
Rob Mello … Joseph Tombs
Rachel Matthews … Danielle Bouseman
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|Director:||Christopher Landon—“Paranormal Activity” franchise, “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” (2015)|
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vulgar, repetitive time-looping slasher flick
Sequel: “Happy Death Day 2U” (2019)
Tree (Jessica Rothe) is a college student who begins her day waking up in some guy’s dorm room not remembering how she got there, nor much of the night before, because she was very drunk. The room belongs to Carter (Israel Broussard), who, sensing her discomfort and confusion, tries to be helpful, but all Tree wants to do is to get out of there, as soon as possible. After all, today is Tree’s birthday, and that means she has a sorority ‘house’ meeting, classes to attend, a date with a married professor, and a lunch with her dad that she is trying desperately to avoid—all before her birthday party begins that night.
Little does Tree know, but she has a knife-wielding stalker intent on making this her last day on Earth, and, after a brief but terrifying chase, he succeeds in killing her. The next moment, Tree reawakens in Carter’s dorm room alive and well, but more disoriented than ever. Didn’t this all happen before? At first, feeling this is the most bizarre example of déja vu ever, by the time she is killed again, she begins to realize that she is in an endless time loop that resets everytime she dies at the hands of her mysterious killer.
Ultimately, she enlists the help of Carter to start finding clues that may lead to the identity of her assassin, so she can end this horrific cycle and, quite literally, take back her life.
A contemporary “Groundhog Day” (1993), however set within a ‘by the book’ teen slasher flick, the time loop gimmick, as presented here, is not without appeal, and while it does play out amusingly, be warned the movie is chock-full of offensive material.
Proanity: Heavy. The Lord’s name was taken in vain many times (see detail list below), and there is abundant vulgarity, including: f-word, “Did you hit that fine v*gina?”, v*gina (5), “She's been boning some mystery guy,” “It's not like you have a foot-long,” “d*ckhead,” d*ck (4), “p*ssy,” “Welcome to the pleasure dome,” masturbating, “man a**,” condom, “s*cks,” “wh*re” (2) “w*nch,” “slut” (2), “b*tch” (7), “douche bag,” “a**hole” (3), s-words (11+), “dumba**,” “scr*w,” “sh*t” (several), “cr*p,” “b*lls,” and “heifer” (referring to other girls).
There are two instances of her talking about males masturbating. The language alone makes this film very inappropriate entertainment. In both content and usage, this is “R-rated” language, in my opinion.
Violence: Heavy. Tree and other bystanders are killed in any number of ways including by knife (in head and body), drowning, run over by car and bus, bludgeoned, poisoned, neck broken, shot by a gun, thrown through a window, head impaled by broken glass and by a car explosion. As with the language, the MPAA has chosen to declare this material as acceptable for 13-year olds and up. Parents would be wise to always use Christian wisdom and discretion—don’t simply trust in the MPAA’s rating.
Sex/Nudity: Heavy. Each day begins with her waking up without her pants, and as she dresses one can see her briefly in her bra. Her clothes are form-fitting and meant to showcase her cleavage. A couple is seen kissing on the college lawn, and she lustfully follows suit with her professor—a married physician—but is interrupted before sex occurs. On another occasion, she goes to a student’s room in anticipation of having sex, but is again interrupted.
The claim that having “casual sex” with someone is no big deal is a BIG LIE.
What is SEXUAL IMMORALITY? Answer
The evil of ADULTERY
On one of her more flippant days, she gleefully takes a stroll through the campus fully nude, although all that is seen is her bare back and a partial upper side view. While spying on suspects, she catches one as he was preparing to masturbate as he watches pornography, although all that is shown are men kissing on his computer. Later, she tells him she knows his chasing her is only a ruse, and he should just go get himself a man.
The casualness with which immoral sex is treated reinforces the bad behavior and messaging that our teens are exposed to every day, and we should not go out of our way to see even more of the same.
Regarding that selfsame media, consider that with the prevalence of gay messaging it is no wonder that millennials have been led into believing that homosexuality is commonplace, rather than making up less than 2% of our populace. Another reason why Christians and informed adults in general need to be wary of media misinformation, especially when it comes to fornication.
“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” —1 Corinthians 6:9-10
The central focus of the movie is death, and it should almost go without saying that ideas along the lines of reincarnation do not exist, let alone the film’s fanciful storyline that one can relive a day until a better outcome is achieved. On death’s certainty, the Word of God is clear:
Death’s finality is what makes it something that is naturally feared by all who live. However, death to the Christian takes on a whole new meaning, once you have the assurance that comes with trusting in the Son of God, Jesus Christ. As the Apostle Paul tells us:
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” —1 Corinthians 15:55
Tree’s many deaths make her come to realize what a bad person she really is, and she admits as much, “You relive the same day over and over… you begin to see who you [really] are.” King Solomon spoke about how death is an occasion that can work to our benefit, so long as it causes us to look inward.
“It’s better to attend a funeral than to attend a banquet, for everyone dies eventually, and the living will take this to heart.“ —Ecclesiastes 7:2
Likewise, Tree learns to be ashamed of her behavior and, by the end of her journey, is kinder, and more considerate of others, including her long-suffering dad.
“Happy Death Day” employs a clever twist to the typical slasher flick and will most likely entertain the very teen audience it was intended for, however it does so at the cost of impressionable sensibilities, further desensitization to what is unwholesome and showcases bad behavior with the lame excuse that ‘everyone is doing it.’ Deserving of an “R” rating, it is not recommended for Christians and wholly inappropriate for youth in general.
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.