starring: Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford and Lawrence Dane
|Why are they called "Top Ten" if they're|
Still, that doesn't stop her from enjoying life as one of the popular girls in school; in fact, she shares her happiness with her late mother night by night before walking back home. But as Ginny resumes her life, her fellow Top Ten members began to be picked off, one by one, in vicious ways. As her 18th Birthday draws near, Ginny's lost memories began to resurface and her psychosis dwells deeper into dementia as she goes through each episodes. When she's left on her own this one night her father left for a business trip, could she be next on the cutting board? Is someone after the Top Ten with a grudge so strong that it leads to murder? Or could she be the one responsible in the end?
True enough, Happy Birthday to Me is pure on slasher panache but what sets it apart from the rest of the simplistic thrill rides that mostly dominated these years is that, plot-wise, the film was engaging all through out.
|I heard of "cutthroat" but this is literal!|
|Who could it be now? Him? or her?|
Likewise, the whole whodunit angle made Happy Birthday to Me easier to adore for me. Yes, this angle is flawed, as it gave up cat and mouse thrills, save the opening murder, for a steady, tension building kills that takes place in a single location and prolonged the movie to almost two hours. (which is really too long for a slasher flick.) A general slasher is almost stale without a good stalk-chase-kill scene, not in Happy Birthday to Me's case; what it lacks in stalks makes it up with story, and that uplifts this from the cliche-ridden runs and into something more of a mystery thriller with gothic horror elements, such as thunderstorms and, yes, the macabre party. Adding to this is the melodrama take on Ginny's life, both present and past, where we learn in each episode what really happened the night she lost her mother and the memory of that day, giving us some possible hints to who is, or are, the murderer/s in this story, and what perhaps motivated them.
|Bloody tire tracks...|
In a more technical view, Happy Birthday to Me is beautifully shot, with a stylish camera work, and I really love the movie's haunting and child-like score. Also deserving of a good recognition was this movie's ending theme, a song written by Molly-Ann Leikin and performed by theme song performer Syreeta.
|Don't worry daddy, it'll be over soon...|
1 female had her throat cut with 'cut-throat' razor
1 male had his face dragged and shredded against a motorcycle wheel after his scarf is thrown into it
1 male had his neck crushed by barbells
1 male stabbed in gut with garden shears
1 male had his throat punctured with skewer
1 female drowned
1 male bludgeoned to death with fire poker
1 male gets a throat cut with knife
1 female stabbed in gut with knife