Movies like Happy Death Day typically fall into horror-comedy or, more specifically, the subgenre of slasher comedy. These films often blend horror and humor, creating an entertaining and sometimes lighthearted experience for the audience. The movie combines the concept of a time loop with a classic slasher film narrative.
It follows Tree Gelbman, played by Jessica Rothe, who finds herself trapped in a time loop, reliving the same day repeatedly. To make matters more interesting, she is murdered at the end of each loop, and her task becomes figuring out the identity of her killer to break the cycle. The movie incorporates suspense, mystery, and humor, making it a unique and engaging addition to horror-comedy. If you enjoyed the concept of Happy Death Day and are looking for similar movies that combine horror elements with humor, here’s an introduction to 12 films that share some thematic similarities.
12 Best Movies like Happy Death Day
Director: Duncan Jones
Writer: Ben Ripley
Stars: Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Monaghan, Vera Farmiga
Genres: Action, Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Source Code is a 2011 science fiction thriller that revolves around time travel and alternate realities. Captain Colter Stevens wakes up on a commuter train to Chicago, not knowing how he got there. To his surprise, Christina Warren, the woman sitting across from him, seems to know him and addresses him as Sean. Moments later, the train explodes, killing everyone on board.
Colter Stevens awakens in a strange pod-like chamber, where Air Force Captain Goodwin contacts him on a video screen. Goodwin explains that he is part of a top-secret military program called the Source Code. In the Source Code, Colter’s consciousness is sent back to the last 8 minutes of another man’s life. His mission is to identify the person responsible for the train bombing in the hopes of preventing a more significant terrorist attack.
Colter repeatedly returns to the train to gather information and prevent the explosion. Each time, he learns more about the people on the train and becomes more emotionally attached to Christina. He could not prevent the outbreak despite his efforts, as the Source Code had limitations.
As Colter continues to relive the same 8 minutes, he uncovers a series of clues that lead him to suspect a larger conspiracy. With Goodwin’s help, he starts to piece together the truth behind the Source Code and the events surrounding the train bombing. He also learns that his life may be connected to the mission unexpectedly.
Director: Sophia Takal
Writers: Sophia Takal, April Wolfe, Roy Moore
Stars: Imogen Poots, Aleyse Shannon, Lily Donoghue
Genres: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Black Christmas is a 2019 horror film and a loose remake of the 1974 film of the same name. In this movie, Hawthorne College prepares for the Christmas holidays, and most students have left campus. However, a small group of sorority sisters, including Riley Stone, Marty, Kris, and Jesse, have decided to stay behind. They are preparing for the upcoming Hawthorne Christmas Gala.
As the holiday season progresses, strange and disturbing events occur on campus. The young women start receiving menacing messages and find themselves being stalked by a cloaked and masked assailant. It becomes clear that someone is targeting them, and they must work together to survive and uncover the identity of their attacker.
The film addresses various issues, including themes of feminism, toxic masculinity, and the abuse of power. The sorority sisters band together to fight back against their mysterious assailant, who is revealed to be part of a sinister conspiracy that dates back to the college’s past.
Director: Mike Flanagan
Writers: Mike Flanagan, Kate Siegel
Stars: John Gallagher Jr., Kate Siegel, Michael Trucco
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Hush is a 2016 horror-thriller film that follows the story of a deaf and mute woman who must fight for her life when a masked intruder invades her isolated home. The film centers around the character Maddie Young. This successful author has been deaf and mute since she was a teenager due to bacterial meningitis. Maddie lives in a secluded house in the woods, where she has chosen to live solitary, focusing on her writing.
One evening, while working on her latest novel, Maddie becomes aware of a masked intruder outside her window. The intruder, later identified as the Man, quickly realizes that Maddie is deaf and sees her as an easy target. He begins toying with her, deliberately trying to instill fear.
Maddie’s attempts to contact the police and escape are thwarted by the Man, who reveals that he has killed her neighbor, Sarah, and severed all communication lines to her house. With no means of contacting the outside world, Maddie must rely on her wits and resourcefulness to outsmart her ruthless assailant and survive the night.
Edge of Tomorrow
Director: Doug Liman
Writers: Christopher McQuarrie, Jez Butterworth, John-Henry Butterworth
Stars: Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 science fiction action film based on the 2004 Japanese light novel All You Need Is Kill by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. The movie is set in a near-future Earth under attack by alien invaders known as Mimics. The plot follows the character Major William Bill Cage, played by Tom Cruise.
In the not-too-distant future, Earth is invaded by an alien race known as the Mimics, who have taken control of most of continental Europe. In a last-ditch effort to counter the invasion, the United Defense Force (UDF) was formed to fight the Mimics.
Major William Cage, a public affairs officer with no combat experience, is ordered to cover a massive military operation in France to recapture a key area from the Mimics. However, Cage is shocked to find himself demoted to a private and labeled a deserter by General Brigham after he tries to avoid the dangerous mission. He is forcibly assigned to the inexperienced J-Squad and sent to the front lines.
During the battle, Cage is killed by a Mimic, but to his surprise, he wakes up and relives the same day repeatedly. He retains the memories of each iteration of the day, allowing him to become a more skilled and strategic fighter with the help of Rita Vrataski, a legendary UDF soldier played by Emily Blunt, who recognizes Cage’s unique ability and trains him. They realize that Cage’s time loop ability may be the key to defeating the Mimics, as he can predict their actions and devise strategies to win the battle.
Director: Niels Arden Oplev
Writers: Peter Filardi, Ben Ripley
Stars: Elliot Page, Diego Luna, Nina Dobrev
Genres: Drama, Horror, Mystery, Sci-Fi, Thriller
The 2017 film Flatliners is a psychological horror thriller and a remake of the 1990 film of the same name. Directed by Niels Arden Oplev, the movie follows a group of medical students who conduct dangerous and ethically questionable experiments to explore the afterlife.
The story revolves around a brilliant and ambitious medical student named Courtney Holmes, played by Ellen Page. Courtney becomes obsessed with exploring the afterlife after a personal tragedy. She enlists the help of her fellow students to conduct an experiment in which they intentionally induce near-death experiences (NDEs) to see what lies beyond.
Courtney convinces her friends to flatline her, temporarily stopping her heart while they monitor her vital signs. During her NDE, Courtney experiences euphoria and briefly encounters something supernatural. However, her friends manage to revive her just in time.
Inspired by Courtney’s experience, the rest of the group decides to flatline themselves individually to explore the afterlife and document their experiences. Each student has a different motivation for participating in the experiment. As they take turns flatlining, they encounter their own personal demons and unresolved past traumas, which manifest in terrifying and increasingly dangerous ways.
The students realize that their actions have disturbed the natural order of life and death, and they begin to experience haunting and malevolent supernatural phenomena. They are haunted by visions and manifestations of their past sins and guilt, and these experiences become increasingly nightmarish.
The group is forced to confront their past mistakes and seek redemption for their actions. They work together to find a way to end the supernatural occurrences and cleanse themselves of their guilt. As they delve deeper into their psyches and the mysteries of the afterlife, they must find a way to break the cycle of terror that they have unleashed.
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Jeff Wadlow, Christopher Roach, Jillian Jacobs
Stars: Michael Peña, Maggie Q, Lucy Hale
Genres: Fantasy. Horror, Mystery
The 2020 movie Fantasy Island is a horror adaptation of the 1977-1984 TV series of the same name. The story revolves around the enigmatic Mr. Roarke, who runs a luxurious, remote tropical resort, Fantasy Island. The island is known for making guests’ fantasies come true, but they must follow strict rules.
A group of seemingly unrelated guests arrives on the island, each with their fantasies they wish to fulfill. However, as they experience their stories, they realize these dreams become nightmares. The island’s supernatural powers take their darkest desires and turn them against them, forcing them to confront their deepest fears and secrets.
The guests must navigate a series of increasingly horrifying and life-threatening scenarios, uncover the mystery behind the island’s powers, and find a way to escape before their fantasies become their undoing. The narrative weaves multiple storylines throughout the movie, each focusing on a different guest and their story.
Director: Wes Craven
Writer: Kevin Williamson
Stars: Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette
Genres: Horror, Mystery
The story is set in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California. It follows a high school student named Sidney Prescott, played by Neve Campbell. Sidney is dealing with the traumatic murder of her mother a year earlier and is struggling with the anniversary of her death. As she tries to cope with her emotions, she becomes the target of a new series of gruesome murders.
The killer, who is known as Ghostface, begins a murder spree by targeting Sidney’s friends and acquaintances. Ghostface taunts his victims with phone calls and employs a terrifying voice-changer mask. This leads to a wave of fear and paranoia throughout the town, as everyone suspects one another of being the killer.
Sidney’s friends, including Tatum, Randy, and her boyfriend Billy, become deeply entangled in the mystery of the Ghostface killer. As the body count rises, Sidney & her friends must try to unravel the identity of the killer and uncover the motives behind the murders.
Truth or Dare
Director: Jeff Wadlow
Writers: Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach
Stars: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Truth or Dare is a 2018 supernatural horror film that revolves around a deadly version of the popular party game Truth or Dare. A group of college friends, including Olivia Barron and her best friend Markie Cameron, decide to spend their spring break in Mexico. During their trip, they meet a mysterious stranger, Carter, who entices them to a seemingly harmless game of truth or dare at a remote location. Little do they know that this game is cursed.
After the game starts, the rules change, and the group realizes that a supernatural force binds them. They must either tell the truth or complete the dare and if they refuse or fail to follow through, they face dire consequences, including death. As the game progresses, the dares become increasingly dangerous and disturbing, and the truths revealed threaten to tear the group apart.
The friends quickly realize that they are in a life-and-death situation and must uncover the origins of the cursed game to stop it. They embark on a perilous journey to find the truth about Carter and the game’s history. Along the way, they must grapple with their dark secrets and confront the moral dilemmas the game forces.
Director: James Wong
Writers: Glen Morgan, James Wong, Jeffrey Reddick
Stars: Devon Sawa, Ali Larter, Kerr Smith
Genres: Horror, Thriller
Final Destination is a horror film released in the year 2000, it revolves around a group of high school students who narrowly escape a catastrophic plane explosion after one of them has a premonition.
The story begins with a high school student named Alex Browning preparing to go on a school trip to Paris with his classmates and teachers. Right before takeoff, Alex experiences a vivid and terrifying premonition in which he envisions the plane exploding in mid-air. Panicked and convinced that the vision is a warning, he starts a commotion, leading to a handful of students and a teacher being removed from the plane.
As they are escorted off the plane, they watch in horror as the aircraft explodes, killing everyone on board. While they initially believe they’ve cheated death, it becomes clear that they were meant to die in the accident. Death itself is now coming after them to claim their lives in the order they would have died on the plane.
The survivors, including Alex, his friends Clear Rivers and Carter Horton, must now figure out how to avoid their fates as a series of deadly accidents and incidents start occurring. These accidents are staged in a way that makes them look like freak accidents. Still, the survivors realize that they are all connected and that death is determined to collect their souls.
They turn to a mortician named William Bludworth, who suggests that they must intervene and cheat death by saving each other from their fates. The group unravels the clues, trying to outsmart death’s design.
Director: Joel Schumacher
Writer: Peter Filardi
Stars: Kiefer Sutherland, Kevin Bacon, Julia Roberts
Genres: Drama, Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Flatliners is a 1990 psychological horror film that centers around a group of medical students who conduct a dangerous and morally questionable experiment by inducing near-death experiences to explore the afterlife. The story revolves around five medical students at an esteemed university: Nelson Wright, Rachel Mannus, Joe Hurley, David Labraccio, and Randy Steckle.
Nelson Wright is the driving force behind their unconventional experiment. He’s obsessed with discovering what happens after death, believing it holds the key to knowledge and personal salvation. The group decides to conduct a dangerous and clandestine experiment where they induce near-death experiences in themselves, essentially flatlining, and then bring each other back to life.
Each of them takes turns experiencing clinical death for a short period, with the others monitoring their vital signs and renewing them. As they journey into the afterlife, they each confront their demons, experiencing haunting visions and traumatic events from their pasts.
However, these experiences start to have real and terrifying consequences. The students are haunted by the sins and secrets they’ve harbored as manifestations of their guilt and remorse begin to haunt them. The line between life and death becomes blurred, and they grapple with the supernatural consequences of their actions.
As the group’s experiment goes awry, they must confront the spirits of their past actions and make amends to avoid the supernatural retribution they are facing. They struggle to find redemption and closure for the wrongdoings they’ve committed.
Director: Christopher Landon
Writers: Michael Kennedy, Christopher Landon
Stars: Vince Vaughn, Kathryn Newton, Celeste O’Connor
Genres: Comedy, Horror, Thriller
Freaky is a 2020 horror-comedy film that combines elements of the slasher and body-swap genres to create a unique and entertaining story. The film opens with a prologue showing the backstory of a notorious serial killer, the Blissfield Butcher. He acquires a mystical dagger with supernatural properties. During a confrontation with a local high school student, Millie Kessler, he stabs her with the dagger. Unbeknownst to both, the dagger causes their consciousnesses to switch bodies.
Millie, now trapped in the body of the Blissfield Butcher, tries to convince her best friends, Nyla and Joshua, of her predicament. Meanwhile, the Blissfield Butcher, inhabiting Millie’s body, sets out on a murderous spree, taking advantage of the unsuspecting students at the high school. With the police on his trail, Millie must find a way to reverse the body swap and stop the Butcher’s killing spree.
To reverse the switch, Millie and her friends discover they have until midnight to stab the Butcher with the mystical dagger. They also learn that the dagger has an additional requirement: it must be used during a specific celestial event, complicating their mission. As they attempt to track down the Butcher and the dagger, Millie, in the Butcher’s body, experiences the challenges and dangers of navigating her new identity.
Ready or Not
Directors: Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett
Writers: Guy Busick, R. Christopher Murphy
Stars: Samara Weaving, Adam Brody, Mark O’Brien
Genres: Action, Comedy, Horror, Mystery, Thriller
Ready or Not is a 2019 horror-comedy film that follows a young bride embroiled in a deadly game of hide-and-seek on her wedding night. In this movie, Grace is a young woman who marries Alex Le Domas, a wealthy and eccentric Le Domas family member known for their success in the gaming industry. The Le Domas family has a tradition that every new member must participate in a game on their wedding night to welcome them into the family.
Unbeknownst to Grace, the game she must play is hide-and-seek, but she needs to realize that this is no ordinary game. As she hides, the Le Domas family members, armed with various weapons, set out to find and kill her before dawn. The family believes they must sacrifice her to a mysterious and supernatural tradition to maintain their wealth and prosperity.
As the night progresses, Grace faces various deadly traps and encounters with her homicidal in-laws, all while trying to uncover the dark secrets of the family and the sinister origins of their dead wedding night ritual. The film combines horror, suspense, and dark humor, providing a satirical commentary on class and family dynamics.