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Cast: Matt Bush (Adventureland); Britne Oldford, Vanessa Lengies (Waiting); Riley Litman, Steven Tyler (Be Cool); Erik Palladino, Matt Willig, Robert Miano, Sean McKittrick, Robert Deleo

Director: Casey Tebo

Genre: Thriller

Year: 2016

Rating: R

On his birthday, Brady finds out his girlfriend has been cheating on him. His best friend Tommy decides to take him on a raging drug induced birthday celebration in Mexico to forget his troubles. Things quickly take a dark turn when the two girls they meet at a bar are connected to a Mexican drug cartel and hold them for ransom. Drugged and tortured, Brady and Tommy now must fight for their lives and find a way to escape a desolate hotel room nightmare in a foreign land.

"Happy Birthday" tells the story of Brady who comes home to his girlfriend only to find out that she had been cheating on him with another guy. It also happens to be Brady's birthday so his day is already off to a bad start. After hooking up with his friend Tommy for something to eat Tommy suggests taking a trip to Mexico to party and have wild sex to help Brady forget about his now old girlfriend. After arriving they meet a con man and his over sized partner who promises them a good time for $500. They also meet two young ladies who invite them back to their hotel room. From there things get crazy and out of control.

"Happy Birthday" is one of those movies where the less you know about it the better. I am not going to go into any more plot details here so not to ruin all the fun and surprises that await those wanting to see the film but I will say that this is one wild, drug-induced ride. There are tense and suspenseful moments in the film as well as some very funny moments as well. And while there are some realistic characters in the film there are also some over the top characters too and some zany moments as well.

"Happy Birthday" is Writer/Director, Casey Tebo's feature film debut and all I will say is he nailed it. The film keeps you on the edge of your seat as you wait to see what is going to happen and it does a great job of keeping the audience off guard. At around the 1 hour 10 minute mark the story tosses in a huge twist that you will never see coming but it doesn't end there. One thing I will say is you are going to love the film and its ending.

Another thing that made the film so good was the cast Tebo got to play all these characters. Matt Bush and Riley Litman are both terrific as Brady and Tommy but the amazing work doesn't stop there. Two of my favorite performances were by Steven Tyler who plays a drugged out Shaman named, Kasape Suka. His role is small but he really brings some laughs the whole time he is on screen. And my most impressive performance was by Britne Oldford who plays Lucia, one of the two ladies they meet. Britne gives a strong performance as the crazy girl and she brings brings some intensity to the film. The rest of the cast was all amazing and there wasn't a wasted performance.

"Happy Birthday" was a real surprise for me because I wasn't really expecting much from it but I enjoyed it so much. This is a clever, original and well-written thriller that has so much to offer. Suspense, thrills, laughs and a bat shit, awesome story that needs to be seen to be believed. Like any other movie it has some flaws but it more than makes up for them. Available in Theaters and on VOD September 9th so I highly recommend checking it out. "Happy Birthday" is one wild and crazy thrill ride that I will be revisiting soon.

Released by Momentum Pictures

**** Out Of *****


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