"Happy Death Day" looks, on first inspection, like a standard slasher flick. A young woman dies a horrible death at the hands of an assailant in a creepy mask. But then - she wakes up to live the same day again. And again. Definitely similar to "Groundhog Day" - which they reference toward the end of the film.
Jessica Rothe is Theresa "Tree" Gelbman, the mean-spirited sorority girl who is trying to figure out who her killer is before she dies again. Since she's been so unpleasant in her life, she finds the suspect list is very long.
The film has a couple problems. Jessica Rothe is (while very attractive) visibly too old to be the college student she's portraying. Sure, 30 year olds go to college - but they don't live the classic sorority life, and we're meant to believe she's about 20. The other part of the movie that doesn't quite fly is Tree's conversion from horrible person back into the daughter her mother would have wanted her to be. "Groundhog Day" made a similar transformation work by taking Bill Murray's character through thousands of days worth of experiences with small changes each day - and relying on a brilliant performance from Murray. Rothe isn't as good as Murray, and doesn't have nearly as much time in which to reform.
It was an interesting and decent movie, but doesn't live up to "Groundhog Day."