Friday, March 3, 2017
HAPPY BIRTHDAY (2016)
Written & Directed By: Casey Tebo
Cinematography By: Terrence Hayes
Editor: Brendan O’Connor
Cast: Matt Bush, Britne Oldford, Vanessa Lengies, Steven Tyler, Erik Palladino, Riley Litman, Tristin Mays
When two friends embark on a journey to Mexicali for a Birthday celebration, they soon realize their psychedelic shenanigans have taken a turn for the worse.
This should have been called worst case scenario the movie. Since as the movie moves along that seems to be what happens in most scenes. I don't seem to dislike this film as much as some who have seen it. I believe it to be quite lively and fun. Though it is a film that makes you feel disbelief at how dumb the characters are when it comes to decisions. That the film. Tries to explain away with the excuse that they are young.
Though we all have a trouble making friend it is hard to believe that the main character Brady would be friends with and trust so much in his supposed best friend Tommy so much.
I will admit part of the reason I gave his film a chance was the cast as I usually enjoy lead actor Matt Bush in the films I usually see him in he has a sad sack Every man look in which he proves stronger than his looks usually.
Vanessa Lengies, I have been a fan of ever since the show AMERICAN DREAMS. Though it is rare after that show to see her in a role where she really gets to make an impression or really a script that is worthy of her talents.
I was really excited to see Britne Oldford in this film as I have only seen her on the television show AMERICAN HORROR STORY: ASYLUM. Though she was so vulnerable in that role. I couldn't wait to see her in a tougher role.
I really enjoy the whole cast as they are young and seem really into their roles. Even if at times it seems more a game of dress up.
The storyline also helped to hook me in. Though I have seen many films with the same premise. I have to say at least this film was a bit more playful and didn't make the movie half of which takes place in a motel room seem that claustrophobic
Through most of the film it seems like an endurance test for the main character. As he is tortured throughout. Though the film luckily is more suggestive as to the horrors and violence then actually showing it.
Strangely the film is more of a thriller with comedic elements more than anything that would suggest horror. It seems strangely Tarantino influenced with it's crime plot and quirky dialogue that has abbot too much racial elements and language for no real reason. Especially in a film where there are barely any minorities in the cast.
Despite itself the film is more enjoyable then it should be. As you follow along to see where it goes. Despite it’s restrictions
As with this film as long as you take everything with a grain final salt and don’t really think too much the film is rather enjoyable. Even if it seems to think it is smarter than it is. Especially believing itself smarter than the audience.
Luckily the film stays simple while indulging in some risqué material that you would expect when it comes to drugs and sex. Though the film stays small scale. As it was shot in only 14 days. As half of the film seems to take place in a single room
The casting of Steven Tyler (Lead Singer of the band Aerosmith) is a mixed bag as he is funny in the film, bit barely needed. As he just seems cast to get more of an audience as he is really the only recognizable star in the film. So it more reeks as a stunt.
It is really hard to speak about this film without spoiling the films nature.
I will say this is a better bough different version of the same type of story that KNOCK KNOCK seemed like. Though this one actually has ideas and some tricks up it's sleeve.
As again we have two attractive actresses as the bait and tormentors. Though at least here they get actual characters and personalities to play.
The film is basically APRIL FOOL'S DAY meets THE GAME. Only without a huge budget.
Though the film plays rough. It still manages to achieve all that it seeks to Without confusing the audience. I think the appreciation for the film is more due to what was achieved with so litTle.