Culture

We're all stuck in a reality where we relive the same movie over and over again.

12 Movies That Will Give You Groundhog Day Déjà Vu

Well, it’s Groundhog Day. Again. AKA one of my favourite days of the year, not because I love watching an oversized squirrel tell me we’re going to have six more weeks of winter,1 but because it means I get to pay tribute to my favourite movie of all-time. A movie so influential, it’s gone on to inspire its own small subcategory of movies that rip off “pay homage to” its central premise—a single day repeating over and over again—only with one small twist. It’s like Groundhog Day, but a horror movie. It’s like Groundhog Day, but with high school kids. You get the idea.

So, in honour of the best movie ever made about one man being trapped in some kind of Twilight Zone Pennsylvanian purgatory, here are a dozen other movies (and one TV show) that will give you some serious Groundhog déjà vu.

50 First Dates (2004)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… With gaslighting.

Technically, Drew Barrymore’s character isn’t stuck in a loop—she just suffers from short-term memory loss after a serious car accident, so she thinks every day is October 13th. Ostensibly, watching Adam Sandler repeatedly woo her anyway is supposed to make for a lighthearted rom-com. In reality, it’s a low-key horror movie about a woman who gets repeatedly gaslit by her family to avoid having to confront her tragic accident and ensuing disability in any real way. Hilarious!

The Last Day of Summer (2007)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… About a kid who suffers multiple head injuries.

Hayden Panettiere’s younger brother plays a skateboarding 12-year-old who wishes his summer vacation would never end in this made-for-TV kids movie. So, to teach him… the true value of a proper education, I guess?, he’s cursed to relive the last day of summer over and over again—which gets reset by him getting repeatedly clocked in the head by a large wooden board.

Triangle (2009)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… As a more murder-y Gilligan’s Island.

Starring Melissa George and a pre-Hunger Games Liam Hemsworth on a boating trip gone horribly wrong, Triangle’s one of the better Groundhog Day rip-offs out there, using its creeping sense of déjà vu to deliver a serious mindfuck of a thriller that’s too good to ruin if you haven’t seen it yet.2

Edge of Tomorrow (2014)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… With Tom Cruise kicking alien ass.

The only movie on this list that’s as endlessly rewatchable as the OG, Edge of Tomorrow is basically a live-action video game: Cruise’s initially hapless solider uses his endless lives to level up again and again until he’s able to save the human race from alien invaders. And if you’re not a Cruise fan? At least you get to watch the guy get taken out over and over (and over and over) again.

Repeaters (2010)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… With more drugs, rape and murder sprees.

Groundhog Day gets pretty dark—I mean, there’s an entire montage dedicated to Bill Murray’s repeated suicide attempts—but Repeaters takes Phil Connors breaking bad and turns it into the whole movie. In the 2011 Canadian thriller, three young drug addicts are given a day pass out of rehab in order to make amends with their loved ones. Only instead, they become trapped in a time loop, and the ensuing lack of consequences brings out the worst in their self-destructive tendencies.

Source Code (2011)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… With a much shorter loop.

Jake Gyllenhaal stars as a US Army Captain sent into a computer simulation, tasked with repeatedly reliving the final eight minutes before a terrorist bombing in order to uncover the bomber’s identity and prevent a future attack. Taking the Groundhog Day loop and turning it into a satisfying sci-fi puzzle box, Source Code is one of those movies that’s been called underrated so many times, it’s probably become slightly overrated, but there’s definitely worse places to get stuck for 93 minutes.

Day Break (2006)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… As a lame cop procedural.

Proving there’s nothing TV networks can’t turn into fodder for a cop show, Day Break re-envisioned Groundhog Day as a primetime procedural starring Taye Diggs as a detective attempting to solve a murder mystery and clear his name… All while trapped in a never-ending time loop. Fortunately for the rest of us, the show ended after 13 episodes.

Happy Death Day (2017)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… With a dude in a creepy baby mask.

Literally “Groundhog Day, only as a slasher movie,” a sorority girl gets killed on her birthday—Irony 101—and is doomed to relive the day until she can figure out who the killer is, and break the cycle.

Before I Fall (2017)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… With teen angst.

A high school mean girl gets caught in an inescapable loop that ends in her and her friends’ death until she learns a valuable lesson about bullying. Like Groundhog Day meets Final Destination meets emo afterschool special.

Naked (2017)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… With a wedding. And nudity (spoiler alert).

No, it’s not déjà vu. Three different Groundhog Day rip-offs really did all come out in 2017. But Naked is probably the only one you haven’t heard of. Starring Marlon Wayans and released straight to Netflix, Wayans plays a groom-to-be who gets blackout drunk the night before his wedding, only to wake up naked in an elevator—and stuck in a time loop.

ARQ (2016)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… In a dystopian future.

Set in a futuristic dystopia where every movie is just Groundhog Day done in a different genre humanity’s been nearly wiped out, ARQ is part home invasion movie, part Groundhog Day scenario and part love story, all wrapped up in a tidy time-travel thriller.

12 Dates of Christmas (2011)

It’s like Groundhog Day, but… Over Christmas.

Turns out, there’s actually an entire sub-subgenre of movies about people getting trapped reliving Christmas. Which, OK, weird. This one stars Amy Smart and Mark-Paul Gosselaar and makes the song “The 12 Days of Christmas” sound less like a wholesome holiday carol and more like a thinly-veined threat.

References   [ + ]

1. This is Canada – there’s always going to be more winter.
2. Or just don’t remember seeing it.