Happy Birthday to Me

1981

Horror / Mystery

0
IMDb Rating 6.1

Synopsis


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2.11G
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English
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110 min
P/S 1 / 4
1.34G
Normal
English
/
110 min
P/S 0 / 4

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by CinemaAmoreStar 10

Happy Birthday to Me is an often neglected and seldom viewed 80&#39;s cinema gem. It is a damn shame that it has not received the cult status it so solidly deserves. The plot involves cliques, prep schools, and a very weird birthday party, but that is not what is important here. What matters is all the stops director J. Lee Thompson pulled out to make this into a near masterpiece of the slasher genre.<br/><br/>Let&#39;s begin with the topnotch cast. Melissa Sue Anderson (of Little House on the Prairie) bravely fills a leading role that is decidedly unclear about whether it is that of a protagonist or antagonist. Whichever way you look at it, Anderson acts with aplomb! Secondly, there is veteran thespian Glenn Ford who, despite what some overzealous critics said, gives a fine performance as the doctor in addition to adding a sense of dignity to the proceedings. Also of note is the luminary Lenore Zann (a multi talented wonder who has sadly never enjoyed the success she deserves). Her enlightened performance is both savvy and sensible and she brings a sense of validity to a character that other actress would have simply let fade away into the background as it seems the misguided script intended. Another unforgettable personality is Sharon Acker. Seen only in flashbacks, she takes the role of the overbearing mother to new heights: a sheer classic in overacting! For those familiar with Sleepaway Camp (another piece of great 80&#39;s horror) Acker&#39;s whacked out mother just might rival Desiree Gould&#39;s Aunt Martha. While these are the players who really stand out, also of note are Lawrence Dane (as the enigmatic father), Frances Hyland (the headmistress), and Lesleh Donaldson (who makes the most out of her &#39;1st victim&#39; cameo).<br/><br/>But enough about acting, on to the gore! And oh, what a gory movie Happy Birthday to Me is. The film skillfully manages to be bloody and raw, without becoming revolting. In fact, the grisliest scene is not a murder at all, but rather a realistic medical procedure! That&#39;s not to say there are no shocking murders, however. There are 6 bizarre murders as the poster promises, with the notorious shish kabob scene remaining one that will always live in infamy. The only thing more delightful than these sadistic killings is, of course, the twist ending! A real twist ending! What a twist! The twist is virtually unpredictable as it comes almost entirely out of left field and scarcely even makes sense! Oh, but it&#39;s just terrific! And let&#39;s not forget about the theme song that one hears shortly after. As an audience member, one barely has time to compose themselves after the twist when they&#39;re treated to one of the eeriest songs ever composed during the end credits.<br/><br/>In short, Happy Birthday to Me delivers on all levels and now that it is easily accessible on DVD, you&#39;d have to be a fool to let this unparalleled work remain unwatched.

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Reviewed by claudio_carvalho 7

The teenager Virginia Wainwright (Melissa Sue Anderson) studies in the traditional Crawford Academy and belongs to a group of wealthy friends named The Top Ten. Virginia had a serious car accident a couple of years ago where her mother died. Now she lives with her father and is psychologically treated by the prominent Dr. David Faraday (Glenn Ford). She has also frequent blackouts but she is slowly recovering her memory. When one by one of her friends are murdered and disappears, Virginia starts to believe that she is the killer, but Dr. Faraday does not think so. Who might be the serial-killer? <br/><br/>&quot;Happy Birthday to Me&quot; is a creepy slasher with a good story with many twists. When it seems to have disclosed the killer and the motive, there is one last unexpected twist that surprises the viewer. The conclusion is extremely dark and makes this movie one of the best in the genre. My vote is seven.<br/><br/>Title (Brazil): &quot;Feliz Aniversário para Mim&quot; (&quot;Happy Birthday to Me&quot;)

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Reviewed by FrightMeter 9

I may take a lot of grief for saying this, but I firmly believe that Happy Birthday to Me is one of most intelligent and well acted slasher films of the 80&#39;s. I think the reason that it never made as much of an impact as films like Friday the 13th and Prom Night, which were released around the same time, is that is was just TOO intelligent for its time. It was released around the time when gore and body count is what made a slasher succeed. HBTM relied on plot twists and character development. This film is comparable to something that would be released and be successful today, where plot twists are what make a &quot;slasher movie.&quot; Melissa Sue Anderson gives a excellent performance as Virginia, a member of the elite &quot;Crawford 10&quot; who suffered injuries in a car accident just months before the start of the film. At the approach of her 16th birthday, her fellow classmates begin to get butchered. Yes, a lot of things about this film are very confusing, and the ending can be tricky at best to figure out, but overall it plays out well and provides just enough gore and suspense to satisfy the slasher fans, but also tries to appeal to those who want more than just a bunch of murders on film. Highly recommended. Intelligent, and very well acted by Melissa Sue Anderson. Just remember this film was made in 1981. Way ahead of its time.

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