Happy Death Day – Blu-ray Review

Happy Death Day is a 2017 American slasher film that was directed by Christopher B. Landon, and written by Scott Lobdell and starring Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, and Ruby Modine. The film was produced by Jason Blum through his Blumhouse Productions banner. It follows a college student who is murdered on her birthday and begins reliving the day over and over again; at this point, she sets out to find the killer and stop her death.

The film was released on October 13, 2017, by Universal Pictures. It has grossed over $114 million worldwide on a $4.8 million budget and overall generally received positive reviews, with critics deeming the film entertaining while acknowledging the familiar premise, and describing it as “Groundhog Day meets Scream.”

The Film Itself (5/5):

I was completely enthralled with Happy Death Day as my wife and I watched it the other night.  Going into this movie with the basic understanding of the fact that it was basically Groundhog Day but with the main character being the subject of a murder, I hadn’t really seen much in terms of promotional content and had only previously read the synopsis on IMDB.  The story that we’re given this movie is one that despite the overall gist of seriousness that accompanies a murder in most stories, was actually really fun.  As it progresses, you find yourself trying to solve the identity of the criminal along with the main character.  There’s also a nice variety of comical elements that are included to lighten the mood and really help in making the overall experience that much more enjoyable.

Picture Quality (5/5):

Overall the visual presentation that the Blu-ray release of Happy Death Day offered was nicely done.  Every minor detail of the movie really looked great as it played out on my living room television.  Unfortunately, there really weren’t any scenes that stood out to me, but it is worth mentioning that even in the scenes that included lower levels of lighting, this release made everything about the scene visible and clean.  Those scenes had just the perfect amount of ambient lighting included that offered not only a more serious tone to accompany the scene, but enough so that my wife and I didn’t find any issues with it as it required no additional focus visually to see what was going on.

Audio Quality (4/5):

Packaged with an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 audio track, the Blu-ray release of Happy Death Day does absolutely everything that it can in its power to offer an immersive experience for its viewers.  While the quality of the track was clean and clear and made sure that everything was audibly understandable, I feel that it would have been significantly better had they chose to use a 7.1 audio track.  I say that because the front and rear channels weren’t really enough in terms of immersion and had they gone with the 7.1 track, the inclusion of the surround channels would have done a better job at keeping us in the movie.  Dialogue on the Blu-ray release was clean and completely understandable, and the bass track does a really nice job at conveying the impact of the more serious moments that occur as it powerhouses the floor.

The Packaging (3/5):

The standard Blu-ray release of Happy Death Day comes packaged in your standard two-disc Blu-ray amaray case.  Within that case is the standard Blu-ray copy of the film as well as the standard DVD copy of the film.  Unfortunately, both discs do not feature any artwork whatsoever outside of the standard release text.  A digital copy redemption pamphlet has also been included as well as a slipcover that features the same artwork as the case art.

  

Special Features (4/5):

The Blu-ray release of Happy Death Day comes packaged with a decent amount of additional content that not only explores the work that went on behind the scenes of this film, but allows audiences to explore the characters and storyline further.  Ultimately, I would have loved to have seen a feature audio commentary included with this movie; at least from some of the cast as they elaborate on their experiences for a given scene as the movie progresses.  Included with this release is:

  • Alternate Ending & Deleted Scenes
  • Worst Birthday Ever!
  • Behind The Mask: The Suspects
  • The Many Deaths Of Tree

Technical Specs:

Video

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1

Original Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1

Spanish: DTS 5.1

French (Canada): DTS 5.1

Subtitles

English SDH, French, Spanish

Runtime

Original Film: 96 minutes

Final Thoughts:

Overall, I was really glad to have picked up Happy Death Day.  The story of this movie is one that does a great job at maintaining the audiences attention throughout and shares the humor that accompanies the frustration of what the main character is going through.  Hell, as my wife and I were watching this, we found ourselves trying to solve the identity of the mysterious killer too; and that really made for an enjoyable experience.  The visual and audible presentation of the Blu-ray release was nicely done.  While the audio track was clean and completely understandable, I do wish that they would have gone with a 7.1 audio track for this film.  But, that is more of a personal preference as I feel that the inclusion of the surround channels would have offered a much more immersive experience.  The special features that are included on this release are really nice and offer a nice look into the work that went into making the film as well as the fun that the cast and crew had shared in making this film.  All in all, I would absolutely recommend picking this film up for your collection.  Happy Death Day is available now on Blu-ray and DVD.

If you’re interested in checking out Andrew’s thoughts on the 4K HDR Digital version of this film, his review is available here.

Doug

Movie lover, technophile, moderator of /r/dvdcollection and just your average, everyday movie viewer. Haven't heard of our subreddit? Check us out!

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