Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5. USA, 2017. Blumhouse Productions, Digital Riot Media, Vesuvius Productions. Screenplay by Scott Lobdell. Cinematography by Toby Oliver. Produced by Jason Blum. Music by Bear McCreary. Production Design by Cece Destefano. Costume Design by Meagan McLaughlin. Film Editing by Gregory Plotkin.
Sorority girl Tree (Jessica Rothe) wakes up in a boy’s dorm and has no remembrance of getting there, discovering from the nerdy stranger that she was drunk at a party the night before and followed him back to his room. Downing a painkiller and heading back to her abode, she deals with a boy who is stalking her, has a conversation with her patient roommate (Ruby Modine), heads to class, faces off with the professor with whom she is having an affair, then prepares for the party she is attending that night, all the while avoiding the fact that it’s her birthday and the painful associations that this has for her. Not nearly as painful, though, as the way her night ends, chased down a tunnel by a masked killer who stabs and kills her. Much to her surprise, this is followed by Tree waking up in the boy’s dorm the next morning, only to relive the same day again; at first disoriented by the experience, she endures the same details and, much to her chagrin, is murdered once more, eventually realizing that she is trapped in a dark version of Groundhog Day that requires her to keep getting killed until she can figure out who is doing this to her and why. Delightfully deranged, this lightweight horror film (which won’t be too much for young teens to handle) benefits greatly from a star turn by Rothe as the obnoxious but sympathetic heroine who has a multitude of Scream Queen moments all in one film (including in a truly funny montage sequence), all of which she pulls off with great style. There are some genuine jumps, and of course you’ll have forgotten the whole thing by the time you’re out the door, but this matters little, the entertainment that this one provides makes it well worth the viewing.