Happy Death Day 2U isn’t a sequel, not in the normal sense anyways. It has the same premise as Happy Death Day but the film takes place in an alternate universe on the 19th of September. Even from the opening, the Universal logo splits into two then four and then combines back together to hit the parallel universe theme home.
Not to stray from the Hollywood model, Tree, a college student, is played by Jessica Rothe, an actress 10 years older than the part. But there’s actually not much to complain about here, because Rothe flawlessly pulls off the careless turned sentimental student, making for a quite entertaining lead character. Her boyfriend Carter played by Israel Broussard (a familiar face from To All Boys I’ve Loved Before) reprises his role from the first film.
While the first Happy Death Day focuses on uncovering the babyface killer, Happy Death Day 2U leans into the romantic side, making us wondering if love will prevail. Will Tree stay in the new alternate universe or bet on her relationship and make it back?
The sequel answers many questions posed in the first movie: What causes the time loop? What is Carter searching for every morning when Tree wakes up? What caused the creepy blackouts in the first movie? If you haven’t seen the first movie, Tree gives a nice little expositional recap early on in the movie to catch you up to speed.
As the movie continues there’s new obstacles at every turn, but some are straight up unnecessary. Although these obstacles provide entertainment, the movie could’ve been well under the 1 hour 40 minute mark.
Have you ever discussed the multiverse theory, taken a Philosophy course or dipped into drugs? Are you a fan of films like: Back to the Future (1 & 2), Source Code or Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension? But want a lot more death? If you answered yes to any parts of that question, you’ll have a laugh-filled time.
This movie is light-hearted, witty, but not scary. At times it is genuinely sentimental, flipping the slasher Groundhogs Day subgenre on its head. Happy Death Day 2U is rarely anywhere near the realm of horror. Although the movie seems unclear of what genre it’s trying to fit into, the movie still succeeds at what it’s trying to do.
I definitely enjoyed all the little Easter eggs hiding throughout the movie, but they might go unnoticed by the average moviegoer. The crowd was definitely into it too, and huge applause followed the line, “That’s what scientists do. We solve problems.” There are some contradictions that don’t make sense, but it’s a Blumhouse film so the plot holes are easy to overlook and forgive.
Overall, though Happy Death Day 2U is worth watching on a lazy night in, especially if you’ve seen the first movie, but it’s not worth paying $10+ at the movie theater. Expect Blumhouse to keep making Happy Death Day movies, as this is a franchise that could grow indefinitely, and the end credit scene definitely sets up the next one. So if you’re interested in a funny and romantic Halloween style franchise, buckle up.