Film: Happy Birthday to Me

John is a lucky man, as he doesn't appear in the movie at all.note 

Happy Birthday to Me is a Slasher Movie from 1981.

Set in the prestigious Crawford Academy, the film centers around Virginia who suffered a traumatic accident on her birthday during her childhood. As another birthday is coming near, her buried memories of that fateful day have started returning little by little. But she also tends to have blackouts during these events. And some people tend to coincidentally disappear too, especially those close to her...


These are jolly good examples:

  • All in the Eyes: After escaping from the killer's clutches, Bernadette leans against a concrete pillar, which conveniently has light that frames her eyes shining on it.
  • Big Bad: The killer, who could be anyone.
  • Danger Takes a Backseat: Killer attacks Bernadette inside her car, grabbing and strangling her from the backseat. She manages to get free and escape by pretending to die.
  • Downer Ending: In the end, Virginia survives, but only to get all the blame for her half-sister's murders.
  • Dutch Angle: Done whenever Virginia has flashbacks.
  • Enter Stage Window: Etienne enters Virginia's room through her window, spies on her as she prepares for a bath and steals her panties.
  • Final Girl: Virginia, after the truth about the killer is revealed.
  • George Lucas Altered Version: The original DVD release from Columbia featured a different musical score. This version was actually taken from an old work print that had a temporary musical score. Anchor Bay's re-release featured the proper score, as does Mill Creek's Blu-ray.s
  • Grave Marking Scene: Virginia goes to visit her mother's grave often, which is disapproved by her father, as he wants her to get over her death.
  • Hand of Death: In the stalking and murder scenes, the camera focuses mostly on the black gloves that the killer wears.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: The stage for horror was set way back on Virginia's birthday, and ends on one as well.
  • Ironic Nursery Tune: The theme song. It sounds like it's sung by a 10 year old girl and has plenty of slow creepy music.
  • Killer Outfit: Etienne is killed when the killer throws his long scarf into the spinning wheel of his dirtbike that he was fixing, which strangles him.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: In the climax, the killer arranges all the victims around a birthday cake to form a twisted Trophy Room.
  • One-Person Birthday Party: The Top Ten not showing up to Ginny's birthday party is part of her tragic backstory. The person who framed Ginny wanted people to think that this was the killer's motivation.
  • Ramp Jump: After causing a commotion in the pub, the cast hop into their vehicles and driver over a drawbridge that is opening, leading to a series of these. Virginia freaks out when Greg does it, since he almost total's his car from the jump.
  • Red Herring: The creepily acting Alfred, the angry Rudi and ultimately Virginia, who turns out to be a victim of a frameup.
  • Slashed Throat: Escaping from the killer, Bernadette runs into someone whom she recognizes, thinking that she's now safe. This mysterious person then opens a razorblade, and cuts her throat.
  • Taxidermy Is Creepy: The odd Alfred stuffs animals as a hobby.
  • Twist Ending: The film became a notable slasher film mainly for its ending; the killer is Virginia's best friend Ann, who is also her bastard half-sister who has been systematically drugging her and wearing a latex mask that makes her Virginia's exact double.