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Unhappy Birthday (2011)

David Paisley , Christina De Vallee , Mark Harriott , Mike Matthews  |  Unrated |  DVD
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: David Paisley, Christina De Vallee, Jill Riddiford
  • Directors: Mark Harriott, Mike Matthews
  • Format: Multiple Formats, AC-3, Color, Dolby, Full Screen, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: Unrated
  • Studio: Wolfe Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B005ENCJ16
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,816 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features


Editorial Reviews


Impressive visual and sonic textures ... Recalls older Brit horror flicks (notably The Wicker Man) Variety Bold and wholly original ... stunning locations, a brave plot, great cinematography and a strong cast make Unhappy Birthday watchable and entertaining. SoSoGay Everyone knows in the horror world, nothing good happens on an island . . . Intriguing tale, worth a watch! Kevin Thomas, S.F. --Wolfe

Product Description

Inspired by British horror cult classics such as THE WICKER MAN and HAMMER HOUSE OF HORROR! Rick thoughtlessly chooses to bring his girlfriend Sadie who is terrified of water to the remote island of Amen to celebrate her birthday. He also brings along his pal Johnny, who he happens to be having an affair with. At the island, they meet Corinne, who turns out to have a mysterious family connection to Sadie. Horrific consequences await the threesome as they find themselves trapped on the island by the tide. Filmed entirely on location in Northumberland in the North East of England and on the stunning tidal island of Lindisfarne, Unhappy Birthday is led by a young British cast, including David Paisley (Holby City, Casualty) Jill Riddiford (Our Friends in the North), Christina De Vallee and Jonathan Keane, with a cameo by trash horror legend David McGillivray.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Yes this is a sexy, thriller, horror, gay themed road movie that ends on a spooky Scottish Island that is cut off by tidal flows. Sadie and Rich are partners she wants a baby, he keeps trying, but is firing blanks. He is also seeing Jonny on the side, his best friend who only cares so long as he keeps firing. They are all off for a party weekend on the above mentioned island.

Only big surprise is that Rick (Holby City's David Paisley - he will never live that down) has found Sadie's (Christine de Vallee - never been in Holby City but had an unscheduled stay in A and E once) long lost sister and family. Meanwhile the tide comes in and cuts them off before they have a chance to visit `Amen Island'. So they go to a Bed and Breakfast for some much needed sex.

The following day they make it to this island and any sane person would have skedaddled straight away - even without the scary music, which is a constant by the way, as all of the inhabitants are weird. Even the scarecrow has been crucified. They do have some more sex though so all is far from lost.

This is one of those modern horror types that feels it has to trowel on the frights and it keeps reminding you that bad things are gonna happen with the music, the constant shots of the incoming tide, shots of crows, cries of crows and the dysfunctional bunch of in breds on the island. There is also quite a lot of sign posting and some pretty flabby plot holes.

That said there are some pretty good performances especially from Mr Paisley - well he was on the BBC you know. And most of the production values are high. I think that writers and producers Mark Harriott and Mike Mathews just tried to shoe horn in too much and that took away from the film rather than adding to it.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must see! September 18, 2011
By Pippa A
One of the best films I've seen in ages. Very new, fresh and original with a great plot full of twists - a brilliant mix of horror, sex and humour! Can't wait for the next one...
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Twisted Brilliance September 8, 2011
Paying homage to the likes of The Wicker Man and a whole heap of paranoia from the Seventies, Unhappy Birthday builds a creeping sense of dread that eventually builds to a palm sweating finale and a pay off that had the audience crying out not once but twice at the preview screening I attended. Solid performances, striking cinematography and a truly unsettling score more than make up for the lack of budget. And although the story meanders in one or two places at the start of the film, it offers a solid balance of dark humour, decent scares and moments of the truly bizarre. All in all, Unhappy Birthday is a refreshing treat for thriller/horror fans of all denominations.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Format:Amazon Instant Video|Verified Purchase
This unassuming and brow-stitching flick set me up with seemingly uninteresting, moderately attractive young characters only to leave me creeped-out and using too many adverbs in this review. I wouldn't call this a psychological thriller but I will note that it disturbed me in an insidiously head-shrinking way (there goes another adverb). There are no real shock moments until the end but there are tons of behaviors that I didn't expect and couldn't decide how to interpret; therein lies the power of "Unhappy Birthday". That power fizzled when the ending turned out to be convoluted, "jumping" from nowhere with ****** ******** and ***********. I'm leaving these descriptions partially omitted (replaced with asterisks) because they might actually spoil the end for some viewers. Watch the film and enjoy the understated strangeness.
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7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Totally Unmissable September 5, 2011
By jayeffc
This is an amazing film, so good I went to the cinema twice to see it.
It has everything: drama, suspense, comedy, brilliant cinematography, its a real thriller...with a good dash of sex.
Miss it at your peril
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3.0 out of 5 stars Give it a go April 22, 2014
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I was very torn with the number of stars for this movie. I love my British films and maybe I expected too much but it is really and okay movie. Kind of predictable and kind of dull at the beginning. It really took a long time to get to the point. Pacing is one thing but let it flow. The idea of the tidal island was very cool. the performances were okay but I did like David Paisley, he seemed to give the best performance. I won't say too much because I don't want to give anything away but give it a shot. it is really okay.
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5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Recommended September 29, 2011
By jester
Fantastic British indie, this film is worth a watch. Eerie, full of suspense and a highly original plot. I hope to see more movies from these film makers.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars dark and compelling September 10, 2011
By jetslag
Unhappy Birthday continues to haunt me months later, with its brooding pace and delicious slow menace. It's a tall order to compare any movie to the original Wicker Man but for once the comparisons here are fully justified. But there's also an unpredictable sexuality here that takes you somewhere completely new. For me a mark of a good movie is that it gives me nightmares. Unhappy Birthday gave me nightmares. Loved it. But I'm not about to book a trip to Amen anytime soon...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Unhappy Customer!
This movie was so light weight I cant remember what it was about. I was disappointed. I love gutsy, political, deep movies and thougfht from reading reviews this would not be... Read more
Published 15 months ago by jordyn skye
2.0 out of 5 stars Unhappy Me Too
Although this film had some quirky characters doing some unpredictable and often mildly erotic things, i coiuld not really get comfortable with a sense that anyone in the movie... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Innerview
2.0 out of 5 stars Dark and disturbing
I wish I had given into the feeling I had of not watching this about 30 mins into it. It's disturbing, and I feel worse for having reached the end of it. Read more
Published 16 months ago by billy30
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't Waste Your Time!
Actually it's a "0" rating, but :1: is as low as I can select: This is the worst kind of, I won't even call it movie making. Crap making? Read more
Published on June 17, 2012 by MalibuViews
1.0 out of 5 stars big gaping plot hole
this is kind of a spoiler, but it kind of makes the whole movie a bit silly.
Why would you want to trick women to come onto your island when it's the men that are... Read more
Published on June 2, 2012 by C Randall Brotherton
4.0 out of 5 stars offbeat drama
This is a beautiful love story, full of suspense, mystery, and horror.
It deals with the amazing turn of events when thee young people who
Have a special love form a bond... Read more
Published on May 4, 2012 by jon
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressively creepy gem of an indie movie
I saw "Unhappy Birthday" on On Demand a couple nights ago (after reading a great review on [..]) and was blown away by it. Read more
Published on November 1, 2011 by Lionbelly
2.0 out of 5 stars Not great
Interesting storyline, great gay scenes which is the reason for the 2 stars, but the movie is very low budget and the end is not realistic. Read more
Published on October 30, 2011 by Katherine A. Schneider
5.0 out of 5 stars The right kind of scary...

Love is tidal right? The whole premise of the story is very well portrayed and done very well. Read more
Published on October 6, 2011 by Mr Dayy
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