Happy Birthday To Me is a twisty Canadian slasher starring Melissa Sue Anderson. I'm devoting this paragraph to her because she's easily the best thing about this flick. Some of us will recognize her as the fair-haired beauty from Little House On the Prairie. Yes, I used to watch that show. Got a problem with that?
After you catch yourself falling into her cobalt blue eyes, you'll realize that her performance in Birthday is better than it needs to be. She sells her character's dementia, and she gives Jamie Lee Curtis a run for her money in the crying/screaming department.
The film itself, an elaborate potboiler about well-heeled college students who are picked off one by one, is largely uneventful. There are several scenes that could have been trimmed in the editing room. The sportive bits involving soccer and motorcycles are useless, and a couple of the death sequences wander for too long.
I can get behind the ballsy gore, but it's obvious that the MPAA forced their hand, thus removing the bloodiest (i.e. the best) parts. Where on Satan's red earth is the uncut version? Inquiring minds want to know. None of the characters are interesting, aside from our gorgeous heroine. Have I mentioned that Melissa Sue Anderson is kind of awesome?
Happy Birthday To Me becomes more ominous during the climax. The last 30 minutes are taut and engaging. You won't care for the ending if you think about it too much, but I can safely say that I didn't see it coming. Ultimately, this is a passable "body count" quickie with chunks of solid filmmaking scattered throughout its bloated running time. I can see why it has its fair share of admirers, but it didn't shish my kabob.