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Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

Chosen One of the Day: The delightfully oblivious sorority sister in Happy Death Day

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Jan 24, 2018

What if Groundhog Day were a horror film? In some ways, it is, but 2017's Happy Death Day put a new spin on the idea of reliving the same day over and over again. What if that day was both your birthday AND your death day?

In Happy Death Day, college student Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) wakes up on her birthday in a strange boy's dorm room (as you do). She then proceeds to go about her day dealing with typical college problems like roommate issues, a sorority bully, and being murdered. However, the next morning she wakes up to repeat the whole day again -- including the getting killed portion. This happens over and over again, giving Tree the opportunity to investigate who her murderer could be. Again and again, we watch Tree wake up and go about her day only to die a horrible death, leaving even the audience wondering who the murderer might be. The cute boy? The bully? The skeezy professor? Everyone at some point falls under suspicion.

Everyone except for this shining beacon of light.


Happy Death Day. Image courtesy of Universal Pictures

Meet Emily (played by actress Tran Tran). Emily is Tree's oblivious sorority sister, who she passes every (same) day again and again. By the end of the film, Emily witnesses an actual murder -- all from her spot in the front of the sorority house, just trying to enjoy a chill day listening to music. 

Since Happy Death Day is all about Tree's story, this day is all about Emily's story. Here's what Emily was probably thinking about every time we saw her in the film.


Emily wakes up feeling a little contemplat,ive, wondering if she's taking advantage of everything life has to offer. The sorority house is loud in the morning, so she wanders outside for some peace. Emily doesn't know what the day will bring, but she knows her headphones match her shirt so all is right in the world. As she jams out to Số Nhọ (Bad Luck) by Lip B, she sees a girl rushing home looking the definition of a hot mess.

She thinks to herself, "Oh, hey, there's my strange sorority sister Tree. I wonder why her name is Tree. Hmmm. I've never asked her."

Emily is friendly, so she waves at Tree.

Tree ignores Emily.

Emily is sad.


Again outside hoping to get a moment of serenity, Emily sees Tree rushing toward the sorority house full of toxic energy.

Emily is friendly, so she waves at Tree.

Tree ignores Emily.

Emily is sad.


Happy Death Day. Image courtesy of Universal Pictures


Tree rushes by AGAIN, and moments later a flurry of papers and books are thrown in front of Emily from the window above.

Is no space sacred anymore? Where can one go to get a moment to jam out to K-Pop without the fear of flying literature?! AND WHY ARE PEOPLE LITTERING?


Happy Death Day. Courtesy of Universal Pictures


GOOD MORNING. What will this day bring? Oh! Is that my sorority sister Tree? It can't be. She never smiles. And she is exuding such confidence. Maybe she's on drugs.


Happy Death Day. Courtesy of Universal Pictures


Wow. Music can really re-focus your mind after a stressful week. This is exactly what I need to start the day off just right. My morning couldn't be any more peaceful than this exact moment.


Happy Death Day. Courtesy of Universal Pictures.

So here's to Emily. Sure, Tree is out trying to discover who is killing her every single day, but she fails to appreciate the constant in her life: Emily. And what does Emily get in return? A dead body flung towards her.

It seems that neither LIFE nor DEATH is fair.

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