Written and Directed by Christopher Landon
Once again Teresa “Tree” Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) gets stuck in a time loop and must figure out who the NEW killer is or be moving through the multiverse on the same day forever.
Not a bad sequel but it does not add too much to the Happy Death Day Universe. Is there a Happy Death Day universe? I do not know. Maybe since I named it there is one now.
I personally would have found Happy Death Day 2U more entertaining if it had kept with what they started with in the beginning of this film rather than switching back to Teresa as the looper. The film started out with Ryan (Phi Vu), the guy that always asked about “the fine ass vagina” at the beginning of each loop in the first film, being the one stuck in the loop this time. There is only so much you can do with this concept as they set it up. The smartest move is to add a different perspective and that is what looked like they were going for but instead Tree got stuck in a time loop in different realities. Yes, she was stuck in the loop all over again.
The idea went from being a slasher film with a different spin on it to being a knock off of Live Die Repeat. And it went from being a weird supernatural event that never gets an explanation as to why it happened to being a college science experiment by Ryan and some new cast members that got way out of hand. Kind of brings it down a little bit in my opinion. Audiences cannot handle mystery these days and I guess the producers caved there.
Once again Tree gets sick of doing the loop, so she just lives a little as well as offing herself in comedic ways. I really need to ask “Why?” when it comes to that. She knows she retains residual damage and it does have a cumulative effect. It seems like a regression in the character’s knowledge.
The scenes involving her mother (Missy Yager) who is a few years dead in the previous film do not have the same emotional impact as the scene from the first film where she made amends with her father at the birthday meal. They just are not nearly as heartfelt. It is almost as if Teresa is learning the same lessons all over again but this time from her mother. In the context of the movie she only learned them a few hours before. Once again, the character regressed in their development.
Being in a parallel universe there are some differences and some similarities. The differences in this movie put Teresa in a better light as a human being. The way she initially treated others is reframed as almost justified or not so bad. In fact it puts rehabs the killer from the last movie. They are much nicer and not even a killer.
The movie goes for a much more comedic tone than the first one did. While Happy Death Day did contain dark humor, it was still at its core a slasher film. This one is much more about the laughs with the addition of two goofy scientific supporting characters and the addition of the college dean. Sequels out of necessity invariably have to expand the cast. Personally I think they should have drawn from already existing individuals that only played passing rolls before and avoided turning this into a science experiment gone awry.
Happy Death Day 2U is not a bad film but it is just a rehash of what came before. The minor change in the mythology feels a little clunky. It is entertaining and you will get a few dark chuckles. You will not leave totally disappointed, but I think you can skip this one even if you enjoyed the first.