DVD Review: Happy Birthday To Me

Teenage girls have it rough. Not only are their bodies undergoing a series of strange and unsettling changes, there’s the added media pressure of body image and (often unwanted) attention from boys. By far the scariest challenge is their peers. Cinema has tackled this is many way, most memorably in Mean Girls, Carrie, and The Virgin Suicides. In J.Lee Thompson’s Happy Birthday to Me, Ginny is desperate to fit in, but she simply can’t shake he traumatic past.

Ginny (Melissa Sue Anderson) is a beautiful and popular student at Crawford Academy. In fact, she’s in the school’s ‘Top Ten’: An elite comprising the richest and most-popular teens who meet every night in a pub called the Silent Woman Tavern. When members of the clique start getting bumped off, one by one, it looks like there’s a mass murderer on the loose. However, when a pattern starts to emerge, it quickly becomes apparent that the killer may be closer to home.

Happy Birthday to Me is an enjoyable horror film which delivers on death toll whilst unleashing a dazzling array of surprises. The new HD restoration is very impressive, and whilst unashamedly ‘80s, it retains a sense of palpable drama thanks to clever script and some deft editing. Happy Birthday to Me is a well-made and well-acted slasher flick which is full of twists and turns. The Indicator release is a beautiful package.

Indicator Limited Edition Special Features:

• HD restoration
• Original mono audio
• Alternative 5.1 surround sound track
• Alternative score: experience the film with the controversial re-scored electronic music soundtrack, as used on the 2004 home video re-release
• Audio commentary by The Hysteria Continues team: Justin Kerswell (author of Teenage Wasteland: The Slasher Movie Uncut) Joseph Henson, Erik Threlfall and Nathan Johnson
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional material
• Original trailer and TV spots
• New and improved English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Limited edition exclusive 24-page booklet with extracts from the original press kit, advertising and promotion guide, and selected film reviews
• UK Blu-ray premiere
• Limited Dual Format Edition of 5,000 copies

Happy Birthday To Me is released on Dual Format by Powerhouse Films as part of their Indicator series on Monday.

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