Happy Death Day 2U (2019)

Although it took me more than a year to check it out, I loved Happy Death Day, which is the reason why I was really looking forward to catching up its sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, even though sequels usually end up being huge disappointments. 

The story opens with Ryan (Phi Vu) as he wakes up in his car, goes about his day and gets killed by someone wearing a creepy baby mask only to wake up in his car again and relive the same day. Turns out he's the one who created the loop that trapped Tree (Jessica Rothe) on the day of her birthday and when it tries to fix it, he screws up Tree's life again as she is yet again stuck on April 18, only this time around she finds herself in an alternate dimension, where Carter is dating her friend, Danielle (Rachel Matthews), her mother is still alive, and the killer, who is now after Tree's roommate, Lori (Ruby Modine), is someone else.

While its predecessor followed the Groundhog Day formula as Tree kept reliving the same day over and over again until she became a better person, Happy Death Day 2U pays homage to Back to the Future as it ventures in multiple timelines. Unfortunately, the filmmakers focused too much on making a clever film — the science stuff makes very little sense though — and completely forgot to write a plot that isn’t filled with holes and conveniences, that completely forgets about the killer and that doesn’t know when to end — the ending was quite satisfying, but then they decided to add another ending which kind of ruins the film. The subplot about Tree’s relationship with her mother is a very nice touch though as it adds an emotional side.

Thankfully, more thought was put into the characters and while the supporting characters are still a bit one-dimensional and stereotyped, Tree is developed further as she continues to grow while facing the same and yet different scenario of the first film. In addition, the characters are very fun and likeable, and it was really nice seeing minor characters from the previous movie make an appearance here.

Universal Pictures
The performances are still pretty good — Jessica Rothe gives a compelling and believable performance as Tree and brings plenty of humour to the film; the rest of the cast provides her solid support.

Another flaw of Happy Death Day 2U is that there isn’t a good balance of horror and comedy as there’s plenty of comedy and very little, nearly no horror. While the humour works most of the time, the few jump scares and scary scenarios throughout the film are not satisfying, even though the latter are always effective.

Ultimately, Happy Death Day 2U is not a bad film as it’s entertaining and funny, and has likeable characters and actors, but I sure was expecting more from the people who made Happy Death Day.

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