Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

happy death day 2u poster 2019 movie
7.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 7/10
Visuals: 7/10

Still some fun moments, clever

Not as fun as the first

Movie Info

Movie Name: Happy Death Day 2U

Studio: Blumhouse Productions

Genre(s): Horror/Comedy/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Mystery/Suspense

Release Date(s): February 13, 2019

MPAA Rating: PG-13

happy death day 2u jessica rothe

Every time I think I’m out, they pull me back in!!!

Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) thought she was out.  When Ryan Phan (Phi Vu) discovers himself caught in a loop, Tree learns Phan’s project with Samar Ghosh (Suraj Sharma) and Dre Morgan (Sarah Yarkin) might be the cause of her misery.  When Tree is accidentally sent back into the loop, she discovers the loop might not be the loop she expected…but there is still a killer loose and getting back means fixing Phan’s project.  Even if Tree can repair her damaged timeline, she might soon discover that staying “in the loop” might be the better choice.

Written and directed by Christopher Landon, Happy Death Day 2U is a sci-fi horror-comedy thriller.  A sequel to Happy Death Day from 2017, the film received mostly positive reviews.

Happy Death Day was a surprise.  It was derivative of other genre movies like Groundhog’s Day (it admitted it) and this one takes a similar but slightly different approach.  While Happy Death Day was mostly a horror-comedy movie, the horror seems to take a back seat to science fiction in this entry…which has its positives and its drawbacks.

happy death day 2u baby face killer tree jessica rothe

Man…I have to deal with my dead mother, the loss of a boyfriend, learning physics…and oh yeah a killer

The film is to be admired for continuing to play with the format that it introduced in the first movie.  While the first movie relied heavily on the repetition of the day and how the break the loop, this film deals with the ramifications of deciding if the loop should be broken.  The idea that Tree is in a parallel dimension says to me that there is another Tree in a dimension she doesn’t belong in as well and she doesn’t deserve what she’s getting.  With a stronger focus on the science-fiction morality of being a life that doesn’t belong to you, the horror feels incidental and almost shoehorned in to movie (and it is pretty obvious who the killer is).

The cast is not bad, but they don’t have the weight of a more experienced cast.  Jessica Rothe has some range as Tree which is what the movie needs for her character, but many of the other actors in the film feel a bit like TV actors in a CW show.  This isn’t necessarily bad, but it ramps up the teen comedy “ha-ha” nature and negates opportunities for smarter humor that could be intrinsic to the movie (and felt a bit more present in the first film).

happy death day 2u tree skydiving suicide middle fingers jessica rothe

Making suicide…fun?

The special effects are rather slim, but there are some clever moments involving the deaths and time resets.  This also however goes along with the “that doesn’t make much sense” aspect of the movie.  In the first film Tree discovers that her deaths create lasting injuries.  In this film, she decides to kill herself daily to prevent the killer from getting her.  With the danger of continued injuries, it doesn’t make sense that Tree would jump from planes and jump into a wood chipper.  There are much less painful (and less damaging) ways to end a life if that was the purpose of her killing herself (plus, making suicide “fun and funny” is a slippery slope).

Happy Death 2U is fun but not as fun as the original.  There is still room to explore a franchise (but I didn’t like the post-credit scene as a possible option), and I hope that the next plans for the characters might be a little more crafted and balanced in storytelling and tone.  Soon, the actors who are mostly in their late 20s or 30s are really going have a hard time playing college students on repeat…so the “Death Day” might have to change up the timeline.

Related Links:

Happy Death Day (2017)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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