MMT Quick Review of ‘HAPPY DEATH DAY’ by contributor Samantha Hollins

The title Happy Death Day had me intrigued the moment my eyes peeked its existence on social media. After viewing the trailer with 50 Cent’s song “In Da Club” as the under score, I wasn’t sure if this film would scare the crap out of me or make me want to meet up with the girls for a chick-flick night out on the town. I started to wonder, “Why am I bobbing my head when I should be feeling goosebumps?” And then – yes – it happened! I started feeling the stain of intensity smeared on the final moments of the teaser. That made me more curious of what was to come. Okay, I was ready to go see this celebration of the Grim Reaper’s calling.

Deja vu…what, where and who is the mystery of this romantic-comedy-blood commemoration. Waking up to a self-centered day, that keeps going around and around and gets tangled up amidst her birthday, is college student Tree (Jessica Rothe).

The essence of the characters almost reminded me of the brat-pack films in the 80’s with a terrorizing turn of events. The unraveling of self-evaluation stabs the heart of this story with tender, yet quirky, hell-raising moments. The stereotypical flare through the iris of Tree’s privileged way of life is put to the test as she relives her flaws. It’s a non-stop deadly haze until her state of mind can truly wake up.

Emmy award-winning composer Bear McCreary (best known for his work on Battlestar Galactica, Outlander and The Walking Dead) created many layers of sound to accompany each shifting scene of emotion. I could feel the dark side of the score skulking under my skin before I could hear its eerie whisper whenever the villain ensued his prey.

If you need a little humor to take the edge off the scare factor, then this film will tickle your mind to ease as you prepare for the slasher extravaganza. Cheesy thrills turn into clever chills, reminiscent of a mixture of Harold Ramis’ classic film “Ground Hog Day” (starring Bill Murray) bleeding into the cult favorite horror film franchise “Scream” (directed by Wes Craven). These two genres crawling together will keep you wondering what mood will strike you next.

Blumhouse Productions has been releasing a vast array of thought-provoking horror films this year (including the block buster “Get Out“), fulfilling every scary movie lover’s taste. “Happy Death Day” (directed by Christopher Beau Landon) is the gift this fall that is now playing at a theater near you.

Samantha Hollins, aka Ghetto SongBird, is a multi-talented singer/songwriter, guitarist, poet/writer, photographer and all around creative soul, who passionately enjoys sharing her positive artistic energy and harmonic vibes. You can follow her, and get additional information about her next tour date, on her Facebook page here; and check out her reviews of Annabelle: CreationThe Beguiled, and The Girl With All The Gifts right here on MMT!

 

MMT Quick Review of GET OUT by contributor Samantha Hollins

Get Out

A little than more than 50 years ago Jim Crow would have abolished the mere thought of interracial dating. My mom is 62, which means this was not very long ago. Her generation and our grandparents’ generation lived through this and I am only one generation away from being beaten, arrested or even killed for dating outside of my race because it was against the law. Although it’s no longer against the law, it is still against the morality of some. This is what makes “Get Out” so intriguing, heart pounding & immensely scary.

“Get Out” is a psychological thriller that will force you to step into each other shoes for 2 hours and 10 minutes and it will not be comfortable. No matter what race or culture, it is always nerve-wracking to meet the In-laws. When you add the Sidney Poitier’ “Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner” element, it can bring forth a deeper anxiety that Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) endures. Assumptions invade every space of his mind about how his white girlfriend’s family would perceive him not knowing he’s black. Caution becomes his defense while his lady Rose (Allison Williams) coerces him to put his guard down – based on the non-judgmental parents she knows raised her. As they arrive at her parents estate a series of unorthodox events ensue, making Chris ponder if the awkward energy pertains to his skin color.

“Get Out” is Jordon Peele’s (best known for starring in Comedy Central sketch comedy series “Key & Peele”) directorial début. He is also the writer and co-producer (additionally produced by Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm Jr. and Sean Mckittrick) of this brilliant storyline that integrates the perfect undertone of humor bleeding through the monstrous political plot that engages in the echo of scare tactics. It is a thought-provoking fear-fest that blazes through the core of delusional superiority within human nature – the real boogeyman in this film.

The score by Michael Abels conjures a haunting ancient soundscape, evoking old spirituals whispering through each well-crafted moment. The opening song lays the foundation for the racy journey this film inhabits.

And a compelling cast of diverse actors gracefully released the ghosts of the past creeping into the present; taking the mask off of denial with evocative passion.

When the trailer first came out, I read social media posts alluding that this film is racist, will only divide us more and how it will scare black men from wanting to date white women. There is so much fear over a conversation that is extremely necessary in a climate of unsettling hypocrisy. This story’s alignment with the social transformation that’s in the air is a powerful chess move on the board of a real life American horror story.

Universal Pictures film “Get Out” was released February 24th 2017 and is now playing at a theater near you.

Samantha HollinsSamantha Hollins, aka Ghetto SongBird, is a multi-talented singer/songwriter, guitarist, poet/writer, photographer and all around creative soul, who passionately enjoys sharing her positive artistic energy and harmonic vibes. You can follow her, and get additional information about her next tour date, on her Facebook page here; and check out her reviews of Nocturnal Animals and Blair Witch right here on MMT!

GIVEAWAY: advanced screening of GET OUT on Tuesday, February 21 (Philly, PA)

GET OUT

Happy Valentine’s Day MMT Fam! We are giving away 25 pairs of advanced screening passes to the highly anticipated film GET OUT, a speculative thriller from Blumhouse (producers of The Visit, Insidious series and The Gift) and the mind of Jordan Peele (Keanu, Key & Peele). The Philly screening will take place next Tuesday night in Center City.

In the Universal Pictures’ film, a young African-American man visits his white girlfriend’s family estate, and discovers he’s been ensnared in a more sinister real reason for the invitation.

To place your name in the hat to win, make sure you are subscribed to this site (and if you follow MMT on Facebook, you always double your chances) and send an email to contests@musicmoviesthoughts.com with your full name in the body and the subject line “Blumhouse.” Twenty-five winners will be selected and notified no later than Sunday, February 19.

You can watch the trailer below and get additional info about the film at the official website here. GET OUT opens in theaters on February 24.

Good luck!