Teresa "Tree" Gelbman awakens with a start. Is she in some guy's dorm room? Yep, there's the guy now—some cute but geeky nobody that Tree completely doesn't remember from whatever booze-fueled college party she was at the night before. In fact, she doesn't really remember much of anything.
She does, however, recognize the telltale throb of a post-blackout hangover. And the taste of something disgusting rumbling up from her stomach into the back of her throat. Those two bits are very familiar.
So she pulls herself up, strips off the grungy T-shirt she's wearing (his, apparently), slips back into her party clothes from the night before, demands Tylenol from the guy (who declares his name is Carter), and leaves. Another overly bright college campus morning. Another scummy start to a day. Another walk of shame.
Oh, and another birthday. Yeah, today's her birthday … wowee.
Now, anybody watching Tree wobble across the campus courtyard, smearing her eye makeup with the back of her hand, sneering at people who cross her path and snapping at the guy who stops her to talk, would instantly form a negative opinion of her. They'd likely think she was an unpleasant person. And when she even goes so far as to rebuff the girl seeking a signature on a global warming petition, why, most people would be certain that Tree's snooty self-absorption needed some severe discipline.
Well, OK, maybe not everybody would come to that conclusion. But there is one person who does. There's an individual who actually wants to see Tree dead. This person wants it so badly that he or she is planning on tracking Tree down that very night and stabbing her with a very large, very sharp butcher knife. Over and over. And then a little more, just for fun. This rotten Tree and her nasty roots will never infect anyone else's world, the mysterious murderer believes.
What this person doesn't know, however—in fact, what the wobbling Tree herself doesn't know—is that after the day plays out in this bloody ways, that won't be the end. There'll be another and another just like it. Exactly like it.
Teresa "Tree" Gelbman wakes with a start. Is she in some guy's dorm room? Yep. And it somehow looks as familiar as her pounding head feels.
And so her birthday—and death day—begins anew.
"When you relive the same day over and over you start to see who you are," Tree opines after several days of seeing how her self-focused choices have hurt others. She goes on to say that her deceased mother wouldn't be proud of the person she's become. In fact, we find out that her mother's death is what initially sent this young woman into her current tailspin.
As Tree seeks help with her time-loop conundrum, she opens up to both Carter and her dad about the emotional struggles she's been having. She apologizes to her estranged father and we see a healing process begin. They express their love for each other.
Tree also starts to help others after finding her new perspective on life. She stands up for a bullied student. She tells a male teacher whom she's been having an affair with that he needs to focus on his loving wife. We also find out that Carter is a sincerely nice guy who goes out of his way to help Tree, a girl he doesn't really know. He admits that he helped her back to his dorm and slept nearby because he was afraid she would fall and hurt herself or "choke on her own vomit like Janice Joplin." In turn, Tree eventually puts her future existence at risk in order to save Carter from a nasty fate.
There's obviously some kind of magical element in play here, but it's never fully described or explained.
It's implied that Tree is used to waking up in strange guys' beds—though in Carter's case we find out that they actually did not sleep together. Comments are tossed about Tree's sexual proclivities by other girls. We hear a story about her making out with someone's boyfriend while drunk.
We see Tree in her undergarments in a couple of scenes. During one of the days she relives, she decides to walk naked through the campus, and we see her bare back from the hips up. Some of the other college girls wear formfitting, cleavage-baring outfits.
While trying to track down her killer, Tree spies on a guy she once dated. There's a visual allusion to masturbation and gay porn. (An image shows too men kissing.) She later tells him, "Love is love, right? Go out there and get yourself a fine piece of man a--."
We hear a number of quips about masturbation, genital size and lust-fueled sexual encounters. For instance, a girl notes that déjà vu is supposed to be the result of someone "thinking about you while they masturbate." She reports that she has déjà vu some five times a day.
Tree and a male teacher are having an affair. They kiss, but their interaction is interrupted by the arrival of the man's wife. Tree and Carter also kiss a couple of times.
After she figures out what's happening, Tree spends much of her time during each rebooted day hunting her killer. She dies over and over again in a variety of ways. Tree gets pummeled and beaten viciously, often having her head slammed to the floor. She and others are hit with baseball bats, a crowbar and a pipe. She's also stabbed repeatedly.
And though it appears that each of Tree's brutal deaths have no obvious effect on her once the next day begins, we find out that's not exactly true. After a hospital visit and X-rays, she discovers that the bone fractures, stabbings and various physical impacts of past lives are having a toll on her current body—leaving her weakened and in danger of permanently dying.
Elsewhere, a guy has his neck forcibly snapped, and someone is poisoned and smashed through a second-floor window. A policeman is run over by a speeding vehicle, leaving his body in a crumpled pile. None of these scenes are profusely gory, but we do see blood spray. And blood coats large butcher knives and other murderous implements.
Cars smash into other vehicles. A police car is ignited in a huge ball of flames with an occupant in its back seat. We hear in a news report about a murderer who's killed several college co-eds and policeman. Tree puts a knife to a policeman's throat in order to get past him. An inebriated guy staggers into a room where someone is being attacked, but staggers back out thinking they were having sex.
Crude or Profane Language
One f-word and a about a dozen s-words are joined by a few uses each of "a--," "a--hole," "d--n" and "h---." There are many repeated uses of "b--ch," "whore," "slut," "douchebag" and "d--khead," as well as crude references to female genitals as Tree's day repeats over and over. God's name is misused about a dozen times. Someone uses a crude hand gesture.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Tree wakes up hungover. We hear about her drunken antics the night before. College students drink at a party. When a police officer pulls Tree over, she tells him she's been drinking and is high on drugs to prompt the policeman to arrest her. One college guy has a large bong. Tree downs Tylenol for her headaches.
Other Negative Elements
Tree passes gas in front of Carter to demonstrate how relaxed they are around each other. She also steals a vehicle to make an escape.
Sometimes it feels like we're caught in a Groundhog Day-like time loop ourselves doesn't it? Especially when it comes to mediocre movies at the movie house. In fact, it's conceivable you already know exactly how this review will play out.
You probably already know that this repeat-a-day flick features a college girl with a hangover who lives out her birthday with a sneer before being brutally murdered. Over and over and over again.
You likely also know—since this rip-rend-rinse-and-repeat pic takes place on a college campus—that I'll be pointing out all the typical gross-guy sex gags and catty co-ed slut-shaming in the mix; all the PG-13 levels of exposed youthful flesh; all the sexual situations; and all the requisite slash, smash and squish blood spatter.
To top it all off, you can't help but know that I won't find much to speak positively about here—other than the fact that the angry bad-girl protagonist eventually sees the error of her mean-spirited ways. And she finally gets around to signing the environmental activist's petition so we can put an end to all that nasty global warming. (Phew, I was on pins and needles about that one.)
So, since you have all that déjà vu foreknowledge, I won't say any of it. Why repeat myself?
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman; Israel Broussard as Carter Davis; Rachel Matthews as Danielle; Ruby Modine as Lori; Charles Aitken as Gregory; Rob Mello as Joseph Tombs
Christopher Landon ( )
October 13, 2017
January 16, 2018