happy death day trailer

It’s official: Groundhog Day has officially become a template for other movies to borrow. The short-lived television series Day Break took the concept of a character reliving the same day over and over again and made it a police procedural. Edge of Tomorrow retooled it for a (pretty fantastic) science fiction action movie. And now, Happy Death Day looks to make a slasher horror movie out of it.

The Happy Death Day trailer features a masked killer and a gruesome murder. It also features a masked killer and a gruesome murder. And then it features a masked killer and a–

While the whole “Groundhog Day with a twist” pitch should be wearing thin by now, there are plenty of pleasures to be found in this preview. Jessica Rothe plays a snobby young woman who finds herself murdered at her birthday party…only for her to wake up the morning of her death, alive and facing the same day. Over and over again. And while it’s an awful thing to realize that you will continuously die every single day in a myriad of different ways, this does offer her a rare opportunity: she has time to solve her own murder and stop the killer. She’ll just have to get murdered. A lot.

While the film definitely borrows some traditional slasher movie iconography (including a disconcerting mask for the killer to wear), the trailer’s focus on this being a mystery that can be solved rather than an excuse for a body count is refreshing. It feels like the last major horror movie to take that approach would be Scream and its sequels.

And while some horror fans may take issue with the trailer’s youthful, millennial tone, I can’t help but find that charming. In a year that has brought us genuine horror masterpieces like Get Out and Raw, a hip, modern slasher aimed at youthful viewers actually feels like a pleasant palate cleanser.

Happy Death Day is the next movie from director Christopher B. Landon, who helmed the surprisingly good Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones and the unsurprisingly dismal Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse. Since Blumhouse (the production company specializing in low-budget horror movies that are generally guaranteed to turn a profit) has brought out the best in him before, I hope this movie is as entertaining as the trailer implies. Interestingly, the screenplay was co-written by Scott Lobdell, a comic book writer best known for his work with Marvel and DC.

Happy Death Day opens on October 13, 2017. You know, Friday the 13th.

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