Does it make it better if a movie copycats another, much better movie, but seems completely unapologetic about it? Jessica Rothe plays Tree, a bitchy, hard-partying sorority girl who finds herself repeatedly re-living a birthday where she’s killed by a masked figure, and can only escape the loop by solving her own impending murder. Yes, it’s Groundhog Day re-imagined as PG-13 thriller, as Tree plays with the consequences of her apparent immortality on the way towards trying to be a better person; the script even explicitly name-checks its antecedent. Rothe is fairly appealing in her “get me a Blake Lively type” role, as director Christopher Landon and writer Scott Lobdell feint and dodge their way through a variety of suspects in a story that’s more whodunit than actual horror. But while it’s moderately satisfying in a disposable genre way, it’s ultimately hard to ignore a story that’s riding on the coattails of one of the most perfect clockwork screenplays Hollywood has ever produced. Is there anything more that can be added to this identical character arc by throwing in more running, screaming and stabbing?
Director: Christopher Landon
Producer: Jason Blum, Angela Mancuso, John Baldecchi, Couper Samuelson, Jeanette Volturno and Seth Meier
Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, Charles Aitken, Jason Bayle, Phi Vu, Donna Duplantier, GiGi Erneta and Rob Mello