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Happy Death Day’s ad­ver­tis­ing tagline sums up the en­tire plot in eight words. “Get Up. Live Your Day. Get Killed. Again.”

Like Ground­hog Day with a ter­ri­fy­ing twist, it’s the story of Tree Gelb­man, a col­lege stu­dent stabbed to death by a masked stranger at her own birth­day party. Stuck in the twi­light zone, she’s forced to re­live the day of her mur­der again and again. The only way to save her life is to search for clues and solve her own mur­der. “I’ll keep dy­ing un­til I fig­ure out who my killer is,” she says.

The un­likely named Tree Gelb­man is caught in a time loop, a Hol­ly­wood de­vice screen­writ­ers use to play with the lin­ear na­ture of their plot­lines. Bill Mur­ray’s Ground­hog Day role, a drunk, sui­cide-prone weath­er­man who dis­cov­ers the beauty of life by liv­ing the same day end­lessly, may be the grand­daddy of all Hol­ly­wood déjà vu sto­ries, but many other movie char­ac­ters have been caught in cin­e­matic time cir­cles.

Run Lola Run sees crim­son­haired Lola, played by Franka Po­tente, on a mis­sion to help her boyfriend avoid a fate worse than death. He’s lost a bag with

100,000 deutschemarks and if he doesn’t find it in 20 min­utes ter­ri­ble things will hap­pen. She rock­ets through Ber­lin look­ing for a so­lu­tion, but each time she fails to find the loot and the

20-minute time loop starts again. In­cluded in the 1001 Movies You Must See Be­fore You Die, the film in­spired an episode of The Simp­sons and the mu­sic video for It’s My Life by Bon Jovi.

Be­fore I Fall is a Young Adult time trip. Zoey Deutch stars as a wo­man trapped in her worst day ever. Like the time-trav­el­ling child of Ground­hog Day and Mean Girls (but with­out Bill Mur­ray or Rachel Mca­dams), it’s a study of teen angst mag­ni­fied by a glitch in time. For its young adult au­di­ence the wild story raises ques­tions about tol­er­ance, bul­ly­ing and be­hav­iour.

The hor­ror genre lends it­self to time-bend­ing tales as well. Camp Slaugh­ter is a 2005 throw­back to the slasher films of the 1980s. In this one, a group of mod­ern teens stum­ble across Camp Hi­awatha, a dan­ger­ous place where not-so­happy-campers are trapped in 1981 and forced to re-ex­pe­ri­ence the night a ma­ni­a­cal mur­derer went on a killing spree. La­belled “Ground­hog Day meets Fri­day the 13th (part 2,3,4,5,6,7,8… ev­ery one of them!)” by one critic, it’s gory good fun.

Not into gory? The Yule­tide pro­vides a less bloody back­drop for time-loop­ing. The ti­tle Christ­mas Ev­ery Day is self-ex­plana­tory but 12 Dates of Christ­mas is bet­ter than the name sug­gests. Us Weekly called this Amy Smart ro­man­tic com­edy about a wo­man stuck in an end­less Christ­mas Eve, a sweet “nicely wo­ven jour­ney.”

Fi­nally, the aptly named Re­peaters is about a trio of re­cov­er­ing ad­dicts who find them­selves in “an im­pos­si­ble time labyrinth” af­ter be­ing elec­tro­cuted in a storm. Like most time-bend­ing films, Re­peaters is about learn­ing from your mis­takes. What sets it apart from some of the oth­ers are three un­like­able leads who use their sit­u­a­tion to raise hell and break the law. It’s only when Kyle (Dustin Mil­li­gan) re­al­izes they could be in big trou­ble if time sud­denly un­freezes for them that fa­mil­iar time-loop themes of re­demp­tion and sel­f­re­flec­tion arise.

Uni­ver­sal Pic­tures

In Happy Death Day, a col­lege stu­dent played by Jes­sica Rothe re­lives the day of her mur­der again and again. Happy Death Day The For­eigner Mark Felt: The Man Who Brought Down the White HouseThe Meyerowitz sto­ries (new and se­lected)The Lime­house Golem 78/52

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