Happy Birthday (2016)

Vanessa Lengies, Tristin Mays, Erik Palladino, Matthew Willig,
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.
  • 5.1 /10.0 IMDB Rating:
  • DatePublished:
  • 2018-09-07 Added:
  • Writer:
  • Casey Tebo, Director:
  • Edward H. Hamm Jr., Sean McKittrick, Vince Palomino, Sheila R. Rose, Producer:

Trailer:

8 / 10

Fun little indie

I read somewhere that the budget for this movie was $500,000. That's ridiculous. I applaud the cast and crew and filmmakers as that's not easy. My favorite part of the movie was the guy from ER playing the tour guide, hilarious. Steve Tyler was funny as well. There were a few twists and turns, and it reminded me of the Hangover meets a Robert Rodriguez movie. I do think it's misleading calling this horror, but still, I had a blast!

The two girls, one who I knew from Waiting with Ryan Reynolds, was great as the love interest, and the other tall black girl was super scary!!! She was great. The other kid I didn't know, but I recognize Matt Bush from Adventureland and a bunch of TV commercials.

My favorite part was the drug kingpin in the hotel room, it shows that the director can fare well with some more serious stuff, but - it was a fun watch. Definitely worth a rental in this day and age of remakes and comic book movies.

3 / 10

one good twist and one bad twist

It's Brady Baxter's birthday and he finds his girlfriend had cheated on him. His crass friend Tommy Quinn takes him to Mexicali to party. They meet Katie and Lucia who warn them about the Mexican kidnapping cartel. They are guided by the Texican and his giant sidekick El Caballo to see the real Mexico and warned them about El Gato Enfermo. Aztec shaman Kasape Suka (Steven Tyler) leads them on a wild night. They run into the girls again and it goes all wrong.

Erik Palladino is a recognizable actor which makes him character less scary as a local Mexican. That pales in comparison to Steven Tyler. He makes the movie into camp. It can't regain its horror thriller sensibilities. I do like Britne Oldford who has a crazy vibe. The big bad is pretty nice. There is a nice twist but it's wasted as the movie turns into stupidity. This could never be serious and it's definitely not funny. It's all wrong and Brady is pathetic.

4 / 10

Prisoner

Sometimes you can be a prisoner. Even as a filmmaker you can be one. You set up something and you set it up too tight. The walls close around you and there is no where else to go. The characters in this know what I'm talking about and once you've watched it (or very likely while you watch it) you will too.

The thing is, if you do a movie that is carried by this one "special" ingredient, it may very well fall short. But of course as with other movies (one comes to mind from the 90s, which had way better production values and way better actors in it) this can work for some. Those will just be entertained with what is being delivered to them. And if you can do that, without seeing the many flaws, that is good for you. Doesn't make the movie special though

2 / 10

just awful and obvious

The whole way through, just waiting for the other shoe to drop. everything you think is happening, is totally happening. it's toothless, it's obvious, it actually gets a little racist in an unaware sort of way, and it's worst sin of all, it's boring.

and there's what i don't get, they threw it ALL the elements they could think of to keep your attention, and it still managed to be boring. i held on to the end, iron willed, waiting for 'something', but all you'll get is the twist that was all but promised from the first moment in.

4 / 10

Prisoner

Sometimes you can be a prisoner. Even as a filmmaker you can be one. You set up something and you set it up too tight. The walls close around you and there is no where else to go. The characters in this know what I'm talking about and once you've watched it (or very likely while you watch it) you will too.

The thing is, if you do a movie that is carried by this one "special" ingredient, it may very well fall short. But of course as with other movies (one comes to mind from the 90s, which had way better production values and way better actors in it) this can work for some. Those will just be entertained with what is being delivered to them. And if you can do that, without seeing the many flaws, that is good for you. Doesn't make the movie special though