Time: 100 Minutes
Age Rating: 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.
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.