Meewella | Critic

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Tag: Bear McCreary

QuickView: Happy Death Day (2017)

Happy Death Day quad poster

“Oh hey. You’re up!”

Carter Davis

Despite a masked killer with a knife, Happy Death Day is less a slasher horror and more a modern take on Groundhog Day (a similarity it acknowledges explicitly), as sorority girl Tree Gelbman finds herself reliving the same day on a loop after being murdered. Jessica Rothe is effective at humanising a selfish and self-involved woman who begins to change. Much like Groundhog Day, the film is at its best when Tree starts to lean into the concept and enjoy herself; it is at its weakest when it falls back into standard slasher territory as, despite some creative camerawork, interest rapidly wanes. There is nothing deep here, but it is enjoyable and surprisingly fresh without lingering too long.


QuickView: Tau (2018)

“They gave me life, but I did the rest. I created me. You understand? We grow up, and we become our own creators.”


Despite pretensions toward cerebral sci-fi in the vein of Ex Machina, this is really a derivative trapped woman thriller that is elevated only by some impressive production design. The conceit is that Julie’s captor is using an AI-controlled house to imprison her, allowing her to develop a relationship with the AI rather than directly with her captor. Although Tau raises a few interesting ideas about controlling AI and limiting its access to information, it fails to capitalise on these. That the science fiction is more about aesthetic than intellect is clearest from the way deletion of memories is used as a method of “punishing” the AI but inexplicably manifests as inflicting pain.


"A film is a petrified fountain of thought."

(CC) BY-NC 2003-2023 Priyan Meewella

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