Happy Death Day 2U
Happy Death Day 2U isn’t another slasher flick. In fact, it’s barely even a horror film.
Now that’s out of the way, readers who are still curious to know more about the most audacious sequel to hit our screens for some time can continue reading to decide whether it’s worth taking a trip to the cinemas on Valentine’s Day.
The movie, helmed again by Christopher Landon (also taking on sole writing duties), picks up from the end of Happy Death Day, where previously doomed college student Tree (Jessica Rothe) began her romance with classmate Carter (Israel Broussard), removed from the Groundhog Day scenario that saw her stalked by a killer with a baby mask. Now, Carter’s friend Ryan (Phi Vu) is stuck in the same time loop thanks to a science experiment gone wrong. A battle-hardened Tree uses her knowledge of Babyface’s modus operandi to help close the loop.
From there the film takes several strange turns, changing into something different every fifth of the way. Landon traverses across tones, genres and even universes for a narrative that entails Tree disentangling Ryan’s time-machine mess, spending quality time with her mother (alive in an alternate timeline), and again fighting for her life against Babyface. It shouldn’t work – the premise proposes to garnish the top of a Buzzfeed listicle about movies that suffer from an identity crisis – but the filmmaker webs the various strands into a thematic whole.
Landon’s primary requirement to enjoying this sequel – besides an open-minded audience who may make certain conjectures upon seeing the Blumhouse logo – is for his lead actor to masterfully perform the tricky balancing act. Rothe is nothing short of amazing. The actress undergoes a metamorphosis from scream queen to the new Bruce Campbell with her second rendition of Tree, effortlessly marrying the intuitions of a strong horror protagonist with the timing of a great comedy character, also lending gravitas when necessary just like Ash in Evil Dead.
In conclusion, Happy Death Day 2U isn’t another slasher flick: it’s a gut-busting comedy of errors, a Back to the Future 2-esque work of science fiction, an affecting family drama, and one hell of a mystery thriller. This sequel is a relentless frenzy of fun that reaches surprising depths of poignancy and humour – the latter best highlighted by a montage accompanied by the Paramore song Hard Times – and handily earns our recommendation for a Valentine’s Day date idea.
Happy Death Day 2U is released nationwide on 13th February 2019.
Watch the trailer for Happy Death Day 2U here: