Happy Birthday to Me is a weird movie. I didn’t really know too much about the movie before starting it other than it being about a birthday. That was my main reason for choosing the movie, as a way of halfway celebrating my own birthday. It was either that or a Thanksgiving movie, which I may still do but the birthday part of the day is my main goal.
I was surprised when I saw the name John Saxton, because I thought it was the John Saxton that I knew from the Nightmare on Elm Street movies, but it wasn’t him. This Saxton was one of the writers on the movie, alongside Timothy Bond, Peter Jobin, and John Beaird. Beaird going uncredited though. Happy Birthday to Me was directed by J. Lee Thompson. I didn’t recognize Thompson’s name immediately but after looking him up I knew who he was.
This movie seemed to be heavily influenced by Italian Giallo movies. The visual style being so similar worked really well for the story up until it didn’t. That last ten to fifteen minutes the movie goes off the rails. I didn’t even come close to seeing the final reveal in any shape or form. That being said that practical effects are absolutely outstanding throughout Happy Birthday to Me. I wasn’t expecting them to be so good. There were also some pretty insane car stunts. The music from Bo Harwood and Lance Rubin works with the style of movie it is.
Happy Birthday to Me is kind of an insane movie. Its functionally a Giallo for most of the movie and it does that really well. When it stops doing that it goes off the rails. I wouldn’t even say that I feel anything overly positive or negative about the movie. It has moments that I liked quite a bit while other times I found it boring. This is also an incredibly Canadian movie, which was pretty interesting to me. I watched the movie through Tubi, which continues to come in clutch. I give Happy Birthday to Me 6 scarfs out of 10.