Happy Death Day 2 U Review: An excellent sequel that delivers things fans didn’t even know they wanted
Blumhouse shook up the horror genre with countless hits that may be made on a shoe-string budget but has more than made up for it with intriguing concepts and a unique set of filmmakers. Back in 2017, Blumhouse put out the horror/comedy hit Happy Death Day that took the concept of the Bill Murray classic Groundhog Day and put a horror spin on it. Now, with both the entire cast and director Christopher Landon back on board, Happy Death Day 2 U brings out the comedic side of their concept and delivers some excellent emotional pay offs that I didn’t even know I wanted.
Taking place directly after the original, the sequel once again follows Tree (Jessica Rothe) as she now must help Carter’s (Israel Broussard) roommate Ryan (Phi Vu) as he now suffers from the same death loop that had plagued Tree. However, they find the time loop to be seemingly created by a device made by Ryan and his friends that can create multiverses. Upon the device firing again, Tree is sucked backed into a similar alternate time loop and must now stop a new killer before her friends die and she is unable to return to her own timeline.
The film does take on much more of a comedic tone, even more than the original already did, but it works for the story they are trying to tell. I even forgot at one point that the killer was even a relevant part of the movie, but the character growth seen in Rothe’s Tree is so good that it more than makes up for it. Frankly, I didn’t even realize that I wanted Tree to have so much personal growth. However, seeing her still deal with issues with her mom’s death and fully realizing her feelings for Carter, a relationship I cared about from the original, was really great and it’s done in an excellent way thanks to all of the awesome performances.
Rothe is once again stellar and is absolutely exceptional at delivering both funny and comical lines as well as endearing and emotional moments. She’s definitely the big thing to talk about and this sequel really shows why she is someone to watch out for. The rest of the returning cast, as well as a few newcomers, also find ways to shine through some funny moments and fit into the film’s more comedic tone smoothly.
When thinking about the film’s more comedic tone, it doesn’t really bug me much considering the fact that the original had a horror concept, but wasn’t all that scary. Where Landon is at his best is placing hilarious musical cues to create funny moments and going all-in on the repeating death cycle that Tree must go through. There’s so much fun to be had and film pretty much goes all-in on delivering a crazy good time and succeeds in just about every goal it sets to accomplish.
Now, there’s a point that Tree makes when she seems a little disappointed that the seemingly fateful event that has kept her in a death loop has actually been an act of science. Frankly, I share in her disappointment as the new sci-fi aspects, while thankfully are never overexplained, aren’t really ever that interesting. It’s not the worst thing in the world, but it seems like these sci-fi elements are going to stay, as shown by a post-credit scene, and I don’t really know if I care to see the series go in that direction.
Regardless, Happy Death Day 2 U is a great sequel that brings some of the magic that the original had and gives new insights for the characters the original made me love. While I may not be super fond of the new sci-fi direction for the series, the great character arcs, superb leading performance from Rothe, and the overall happy feeling that the film gives just makes me crave for more.