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6 Degrees Entertainment

'Happy Birthday to Me'
(Melissa Sue Anderson, Sharon Acker, et al / DVD / R / (1981) 2009 / Anchor Bay)

Overview: Welcome to upscale Crawford Academy, where everyone – especially new student Ginny (Melissa Sue Anderson of LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE) – wants to be part of the school’s most popular clique. But now somebody has begun butchering the group’s members. Could a deadly accident from Ginny’s past be connected to the brutal killings? And as her 18th birthday approaches, will Ginny be the guest of honor at the most horrific party of all?

DVD Verdict: The story centers around some private school students at Crawford Academy. They start disapearing one by one by an unknown killer whos on the loose while the main character 'Ginny' is trying to figure out whats going on and where her friends went. In the middle of all this shes having blackouts and flashbacks from her mothers death and some brain operation she had in the past and trying to piece together the mystery of where everyone went and trying to figure out who the killer is.

This movie did have some different inventive murders though the ending was a little disapointing, though there was something about this movie. It was a little different than the regular stuff. I liked this movie but I think it had too many plot twists and was kind of hard to follow at the end. There was so much going on and different details and suprises though the whole atmosphere and whodunit thing kept me interested.

And sure, the movie does keep you guessing (at least to a certain degree), but not enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Overall, "Happy Birthday to Me" is not a great suspense flick or horror movie by any stretch of the imagination. Sure, there are plenty of surprises, but surprises only go so far in a movie like takes more than some kills, a "whodunnit" plot and a bunch of twists to make a good horror movie.

Clearly, the acting is kind of bland and that includes Ms. Little House on the Prairie too. "Happy Birthday to Me" is definitely missing something. There is some character development, but the weakness of the cast is very evident and certainly hinders this movie in this regard and overall as well. However, "Happy Birthday to Me" does just enough to keep you watching and has decent enough kills to keep the horror movie honest.

All and all, this is really a very average horror movie which is best appreciated by someone who lived through the 80's, and appreciates the horror genre during this time period. You probably won't get scared by this one, but you might enjoy this flick for its nostalgia, 80s cheese and classic slasher pattern if nothing else. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and come with the Special Features of:

Complete Film Score - Composed by Bo Harwood and Lance Rubin