Happy Death Day 2U
Collegian Tree Gelbman wakes up in horror to learn that she’s stuck in a parallel universe. Her boyfriend Carter is now with someone else, and her friends and fellow students seem to be completely different versions of themselves. When Tree discovers that Carter’s roommate has been altering time, she finds herself once again the target of a masked killer. When the psychopath starts to go after her inner circle, Tree soon realizes that she must die over and over again to save everyone.
I have to say, when I first found out there was to be a sequel for Happy Death Day, I was a little perplexed on how they would actually be able to pull that off. I was amazed to discover that indeed, they figured out a way to do so, even if I wasn’t completely thrilled with the ‘how’ part that they came up with. In this sequel, we find Tree facing basically the same scenario but with new changes. Most of the main characters from the first installment are pretty much the same, yet entirely different, which actually kept things much more interesting. Which brings me to another point, I highly suggest watching the first movie if you’ve not already seen it, and if so, I’d recommend watching it again to recap and fully appreciate the ingenuity of the sequel.
One of the negative things I have about this installment is that it fully takes away the surprise and purpose of the first movie. It’s a slightly sad attempt to retell the original story with all familiar characters and subplots. It does have a few really funny parts, and a few touching and emotional moments, so I have to give them credit for that much. It’s just that the last 15-20 minutes of this one seemed to be written by another person. It seemed to me that the biggest downfall of U2 was that it lacked imagination.
HDD2U begins with college student, Ryan Phan (Phi Vu), waking up in his car on Tuesday, September 19. He returns to his dorm room, walking in on his roommate Carter Davis (Israel Broussard) and his same girlfriend, Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe). We then see him resuming his work on an experimental quantum reactor, together with fellow students Samar Ghosh (Suraj Sharma) and Dre Morgan (Sarah Yarkin). After which, the school’s dean, Mr. Bronson (Steve Zissis), closes down the project because it is causing several major power outages. Ryan is then murdered by someone dressed as Babyface (the original killer) and wakes up again on Tuesday the 19th. Tree then explains her experience with reliving Monday the 18th, and she and Carter decide to help Ryan. They soon learn that the reactor was actually responsible for creating the loop in the first movie. Tree, Carter, Ryan and his two science friends come together to try and come up with a way to put an end to the time loop once and for all, all while trying to escape the babyface killer who has returned to campus to target not only Tree but her friends as well.
You can definitely expect the same chills and thrills as in the first film, but you should also expect a bit more comedy with some science fiction thrown in, but I suppose that’s not necessarily a bad thing, as it kept me guessing and trying to find out who the killer was in the end. However, once the killer was revealed, things seemed to start going downhill. It was like the writer was ‘buying time’, and trying to extend the length of the film without really needing to do so. Even at that, the movie does keep moving at a steady pace, and it did manage to make use of its nearly 2-hour runtime because I was not completely bored at all. I also think they would have benefitted more if they had left science out of the story altogether. The movie also tends to get pretty silly towards the end, and it pretty much leaves the characters back where they were at the end of the first movie.
You can’t deny the fantastic development of the characters this round, as they were all very impressive in their roles, believable and likable. Tree’s development at being a better person was a surprise, unlike the original film. It added more dynamics to the storyline, not to mention her awesome facial expressions were far better this time so a big thumbs up to her. The few suspense scenes were excellent, so don’t let all the comedy aspects sour your opinion of the movie. As for scary? Nah, this movie was not scary whatsoever. Yes, there were a few minor jump-scares throughout but otherwise not the straight-up slasher horror film you might have expected. In closing, there wasn’t anything fresh or different in this sequel, no new characters are introduced, no new plot really, and the relationships were more of the same, but it did include a few new twists and gimmicks, which was sort of cool. I’m sure this review is all over the place, maybe even mixed feelings, but that’s most likely because I’m still on the fence with this one. Either way, I’d still recommend watching it at least once, just so you can say you did.
Title: Happy Death Day 2U
Release Date: February 13, 2019
Runtime: 1 hour, 40 minutes
Genre: Horror, Mystery, Comedy
Studio: Blumhouse Productions
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Suraj Sharma, Steve Zissis
MPAA Rated: PG-13
Director(s): Christopher Landon
Reviewed by: Sarah Hopkins
Our Rating: 3.6 /5
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