Tag Archives: Jessica Rothe

Happy Death Day 2U (2019) Review

Happy Death Day 2U

Happy Death Day 2U

Time: 100 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Violence, offensive language & content that may disturb
Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman
Israel Broussard as Carter Davis
Suraj Sharma as Samar Ghosh
Steve Zissis as Dean Bronson
Director: Christopher Landon

Collegian Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) wakes up in horror to learn that she’s stuck in a parallel universe. Her boyfriend Carter (Israel Broussard) is now with someone else, and her friends and fellow students seem to be completely different versions of themselves. When Tree discovers that Carter’s roommate (Phi Vu) has been altering time, she finds herself once again the target of a masked killer. When the psychopath starts to go after her inner circle, Tree soon realizes that she must die over and over again to save everyone.

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I was surprised at how much I liked the first Happy Death Day, it didn’t seem like it would be anything special, but it was entertaining, creative, and had a great lead in Jessica Rothe. With that being said, I wasn’t really sure that we needed a sequel, it seemed to work well enough on its own. Nonetheless, I heard some pretty good things about it, so I checked it out. This movie is again rather surprising how well it works, and it’s at the very least on the level of the first movie.


One reason I wasn’t so hyped for a Happy Death Day sequel is because I knew that there would have to be some sort of explanation for the time loops that Tree (Jessica Rothe) had gone through, and with Happy Death Day 2U, that turned out to be the case. The first Happy Death Day was a slasher movie with some unexplained sci-fi element. This leans in more with the science fiction and lessens the slasher aspect quite a bit, I’m pretty sure the latter only consisted of at most 5 scenes or so. Without getting too into it, the whole plot of this movie isn’t trying to find out who keeps killing her, it’s her trying to get back to her own universe. As for the explanation about the time loops, given how this is now a completely different type of movie, I was fine with how it was handled in the story. It is similar in some ways to the previous movie, thankfully it does a lot of things to be different, with a lot of the setup being rather different, for example like I said earlier, it’s not a slasher film anymore. With that said, some areas it covers are very much the same. The self awareness however does at least benefit it greatly. For those who are interested, there is a surprising mid credits scene that you might want to stick around for.


Jessica Rothe once again kills it in the role of Tree Gelbman, she’s definitely up there among the modern scream queens of recent horror movies. She delivers excellently on the comedic side and there’s even some drama here that she effectively conveys. She’s a big part of why both movies really work, she carries them effectively. The returning supporting cast with the likes of Israel Broussard, Phi Vu and others do well enough, and I think they fare even better, especially with the fact that this is the second time we are seeing them, even if they act similarly to how they were in the first movie.


Christopher Landon returns to direct the sequel, and 2U was even better directed than the first movie, you really feel that there’s a lot more confidence in the type of movie it is. It’s even less focused on horror than the previous movie, it’s leaning more towards being a comedic movie, and it does that very well. Yes, there’s another death montage, that somehow tops the deaths from the last movie.


If you liked the first Happy Death Day, then you should check it out Happy Death Day 2U at the very least. I can see why some people wouldn’t like it but there’s still a lot to like with it. It’s entertaining, well directed, creative, and the acting is generally good, with Jessica Rothe once again delivering as expected. If you disliked the first movie however, I’m not sure you’d get a lot out of this one. As for a Happy Death Day 3, I’m again a little sceptical with the idea, but not necessarily opposed to it.


Happy Death Day (2017) Review

Time: 96 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Horror themes, violence, sexual references and coarse language
Jessica Rothe as Theresa “Tree” Gelbman
Israel Broussard as Carter Davis
Ruby Modine as Lori Spengler
Director: Christopher Landon

Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) is a blissfully self-centered collegian who wakes up on her birthday in the bed of a student named Carter (Israel Broussard). As the morning goes on, Tree gets the eerie feeling that she’s experienced the events of this day before. When a masked killer suddenly takes her life in a brutal attack, she once again magically wakes up in Carter’s dorm room unharmed. Now, the frightened young woman must relive the same day over and over until she figures out who murdered her.

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Happy Death Day was a movie I heard about for a while, I saw that it involved a masked killer and some time looping premise. However I just had no interest in it, so I never checked it out, or even looked into the reactions until recently. It turns out it was quite the surprise hit, and even successful enough to get a sequel released this year. So I decided to check out the first movie to see what all the fuss was about and I was surprised at how much I liked it.

Happy Death Day may have a familiar premise with the likes of Groundhog Day and Edge of Tomorrow being about the main character reliving the same day again and again, but I’ve never actually seen it given to a horror movie (I could be wrong). The movie at least seems pretty self aware about how familiar the premise is, and it certainly helps that the movie is partially a comedy on top of it being a horror. Once the first loop happens, that’s when the movie really picks up and becomes quite entertaining, especially when our lead character tries to figure out who keeps killing her in every loop. The movie has some effective comedy throughout, especially when it comes to the time loops. Some of the twists are a little predictable, although mostly manages to stay away from being completely obvious so you are still on board with the story. One of the major twists towards the end however is something you can figure out pretty early on. The runtime is just over an hour and a half and that was a pretty good length, as I said after the first loop, that’s when it really picks up.

Part of what makes this movie so well was Jessica Rothe as the lead character, she played her part very well. She does well at conveying the horror that her character feels, but was also very effective at pulling off the comedy, really showing off quite a large range of emotions. There’s nothing to really say about the rest of the cast, they’re fine but generally they’re at the level of acting in most slasher/horror movies.

I’ve not watched any of Christopher Landon’s movies prior to this but his work here is pretty good. The movie never felt scary, horror movies in general don’t scare me and I know this movie is a bit of a comedy as well, but if it at any point was intending to be genuinely scary, I wasn’t creeped out at all. Most of the horror seems to come from the killer, and while that mask I guess looks a little creepy, it doesn’t really produce any real effective scares (however it’s a pretty simple yet memorable mask). Still, the killer was effective enough, and the kills were good for PG-13 standards, without feeling edited down heavily to fit the rating to get more people to see it in the cinema.

Happy Death Day was a lot better than I thought it would be. It’s not one of the best horror movies to come out in recent years or anything like that, but it’s an entertaining horror flick nonetheless, and I was pleasantly surprised at what we got. With the sequel Happy Death Day 2U released, I might need to get around to watching that as well, even though I’m not sure the sequel is really needed.