Happy Death Day 2U
Writing - 6/10
Acting - 7/10
Directing - 8/10
User Review( votes)
Stars: Jessica Rothe, Phi Vu, Israel Broussard, Rachel Matthews
Director: Christopher Landon
Writer: Christopher Landon
Producer: Jason Blum
Production Company: Blumhouse Productions
Maturity Rating: PG-13
Release Date: February 13, 2019
Tree Gelberman wakes up on a new day only to be sent back to her birthday in a parallel universe. This time everything is different, and Tree must find out who the killer is in order to save everyone around her. Along the way, she will discover the source behind the time loop and will be faced with another lesson in growing as a person.
Happy Death Day 2U is All Fun but Few Scares
While its predecessor wasn’t a full-fledged horror film, Happy Death Day 2U goes full circus act by ditching the slasher roots. Shifting focus to the comedic elements first shown in the original, this film has more charm and heartwarming moments for everyone to enjoy. Jessica Rothe once again steals the show in a very strong performance as the protagonist, Tree. There is fun to be had while watching this follow-up, but if you came for scares you will be disappointed.
Christopher Landon returned to direct, and also wrote the script this time around. Despite its lack of scares, Happy Death Day 2U is a well-done sequel. It offers enough callbacks to the original, but still looks to establish its own identity. Landon’s new approach works on every level, for the most part, and creates a more entertaining experience.
What’s the Story?
Happy Death 2U picks up shortly after the original and reunites Tree (Jessica Rothe) and Carter (Israel Broussard). Just as they are ready to move on, Carter’s roommate Ryan (Phi Vu) has other plans. Learning that he is now stuck in a loop, all three work to resolve it. However, they soon learn Ryan played a crucial role in Tree’s loop from the previous film. Looking to stop the disturbed timeline, Tree is mistakenly sent to another universe. Tree must convince everyone to help her, since everything in this new reality is different.
Since there is a killer involved, slasher elements come and go, but not as much as some will like to see. Happy Death Day 2U is mostly a sci-fi comedy for the majority of its runtime. Landon’s storytelling becomes illogical at points when certain aspects contradict what we already knew. Rothe carries the film in a very heart-warming performance, and several tear-jerking scenes show her talents. Those who saw the original will be treated to a similar plot device involving Tree’s mother. Several moments in the film are also utilized in the first Happy Death Day. However, this time around they are done differently and with more humor.
Aside from the ridiculous explanation for the time loop, Happy Death Day 2U is an enjoyable return to the series. Sadly, the killer will feel like an afterthought once all is said and done. Luckily, the film has enough going for it and makes it clear that the killer isn’t the focus this time around. Rothe’s death montages are more ridiculous than the last, and several minor characters are shown in a different light for this outing.
Happy Death Day 2U manages to leave the slasher elements behind and stand on its own. There are questionable moments in the film indeed, but Rothe’s performance makes up for all of Landon’s sloppy penmanship. If you enjoyed the first film you will have lots to appreciate here as well. While not necessary, this sequel is a reminder of what made the original so good, and an example of an effective follow-up.
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