The sequel to the 2017 surprise hit doubles down on humor and sci-fi
Coming off the success of the 2017 original Happy Death Day, the original cast and new additions are back for Happy Death Day 2U. Taking place where we left off in the original, we follow Tree (Jessica Rothe) and Carter (Israel Broussard) on the day after Tree’s birthday. Carter’s roommate Ryan (Phi Vu) discovers that he is now being stalked by the baby-masked killer, discovering he is now in a never-ending loop to stop this killer. What’s different? SCIENCE! Ryan has created a machine that can alter reality and we soon realize that Tree is in a different part of the Multiverse where the rules have changed. How does the sequel compare?
—> Doubling-down on the humor and sci-fi elements: Happy Death Day 2U has steered away from the horror/thriller elements of the original to more of a sci-fi film with the inclusion of the time-loop and the idea of multiple dimensions. The humorous moments come in spades and are laugh-out loud, with the death montage (similar to the one in the original) being way more out there.
—> Not forgetting its roots: Even though I, as well as writer-director Christopher Landon have described this film as more of a sci-fi, there are still enough horror/thriller elements to make it a successful sequel that doesn’t skew away too far from the original. There is still plenty of bloodshed and cool deaths to go around, and refreshingly, doesn’t fall back to unnecessary jump scares.
What Doesn’t Work
Pacing and plot holes abound—> Having the first ten to fifteen minutes focused on secondary character Ryan causes the film to take awhile to get where it needs to go. The introduction of the central cast and the idea of the multiverse could have been explained in half the time and could have created a more exciting start to the film. As for plot holes, the idea of the multiverse creates a moral and ethical conundrum for Tree as a character introduced in the first film re-appears in the new universe where Tree has to decide on whether to stay in the new universe and lose out on her relationship with Carter, or stay in the version where he is with her sorority sister and frenemy Danielle. Why can’t Tree have both? Because reasons, that’s why!
Happy Death Day 2U offers enough new ideas to keep it fresh while not seeming like a re-hash of the original. Plot holes and pacing issues aside, this is a solid second story of what *potentially* could be a trilogy given the conclusion of the film (and please make sure to stay for the mid-credits bumper). If you were a fan of the first Happy Death Day, you will like this one as well. Overall Grade: B
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