Watch Happy Birthday to Me
- 1 hr 50 min
Happy Birthday to Me is a slasher film from 1981, directed by J. Lee Thompson and starring Melissa Sue Anderson, Glenn Ford, and Lawrence Dane. The film is centered around Virginia Wainwright, a high school student at Crawford Academy who is recovering from a traumatic accident that left her with partial amnesia. Virginia quickly becomes entangled in a series of grisly murders involving her friends and classmates, each of whom is killed in a different and increasingly brutal way.
At the heart of the film is Virginia's struggle to uncover the truth about her own past and her role in the murders. As she begins to piece together her fragmented memories, she realizes that there may be more to her accident than meets the eye, and that the killer might be someone she knows.
The film is notable for its inventive death scenes, which range from a gruesome weightlifting accident to a fatal game of hanging by the neck. Each of the murders is well-executed and suspenseful, adding to the overall tension and horror of the film.
One of the strengths of Happy Birthday to Me is its strong cast, led by Anderson as Virginia. Anderson is convincing as a troubled teenager struggling with her past, and she brings a vulnerability to the role that makes the viewer care about her fate. Ford, who plays Dr. Faraday, Virginia's psychiatrist, is equally strong, bringing gravitas to his role as a man who may or may not have Virginia's best interests at heart.
The supporting cast is also well-chosen, with standout performances from Dane as Hal, Virginia's stepfather, and Tracy Bregman as Ann, Virginia's best friend. Each of the characters is well-defined and has their own motivations, adding depth and complexity to the film's plot.
The film's setting is another strong point. Crawford Academy, with its sprawling campus and Gothic architecture, is an ominous and foreboding presence throughout the film. The dark, twisting corridors and shadowy stairwells provide the perfect backdrop for the murders, giving the film an atmosphere of claustrophobic dread.
One of the film's weaknesses, however, is its pacing. At nearly two hours long, the film feels bloated and sluggish at times, with long stretches of exposition and character development that slow down the action. While these scenes are necessary to set up the film's final twist, they could have been tightened up to create a more streamlined and engaging viewing experience.
Despite this, Happy Birthday to Me remains a classic example of the slasher genre, with all the requisite thrills, chills, and gore. It's a must-see for fans of the genre, and anyone looking for a good scare.
Happy Birthday to Me is a 1980 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 50 minutes. It has received poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.0 and a MetaScore of 24.