A look at the seedy and sometimes geeky underworld of cinema
Monday, March 28, 2011
Mary Ingalls Sees Dead People
The true tragedy of Happy Birthday To Me is that it could have been a great movie. It had a good set-up, interesting plot, and a fantastic ending. To bad everything in the middle couldn't uphold those standards.
Our favorite prairie diva Melissa Sue Anderson, plays Virginia. Virginia is a shy, quiet, girl who is a part of an elite group of teens called the "Top Ten". Unfortunately for Virginia, she suffers memory loss due to a tragic car accident four years prior.
Soon, her friends begin falling prey to a mysterious albeit, creative murderer. Virginia begins to suffer blackouts and fears that she may be responsible for the possible murders of her friends. Is she the killer or is someone going to great lengths to frame her.
Happy Birthday To Me is probably one of the better slasher films of it's era, but it had the potential of being a classic. To start off with there is no character development, it's hard to tell them apart let care about them.
Like Sleepaway Camp, the majority of the characters are massively unpleasant. One of Virginia's "friends" even breaks into her house in order to steal her underwear. Don't worry, he's not a pervert, stolen panties apparently bring good luck in motorcycle races. The storyline gets convoluted and there are one too many red herrings for my taste.
Melissa Sue does well as Virginia, she expresses a great level of vulnerability and is enjoyable to watch. However, the film focuses too much on her neuroses and not enough on the plot. At one point, you wish she'd just spank her inner child and get on with it.
As I said before, the gem of this movie is the ending. It could've have come off as rushed and tacked on but the phenomenal acting makes up for it. It has a great downer ending that is pretty realistic to the plot. This film is a must see for any slasher fan if you have the patience to sit through the boring parts.