Happy Death Day 2U

05/23/2019 06:54

Film: Happy Death Day 2U

Year: 2019

Director: Christopher Landon

Writer: Christopher Landon

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard and Phi Vu



This was a film that I wasn’t necessarily stoked to check out. I thought the first one had an interesting concept that intertwined with the slasher genre. I heard this one lowered the horror elements more, but I needed a new horror film to keep up my pace and decided to check it out. The synopsis is Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe) discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.

We start this film off with Ryan Phan (Phi Vu) waking up in his vehicle. The film gives us the same type of set up that was made popular in the original film. He goes to his dorm where he is scolded by his roommate, Carter Davis (Israel Broussard). He is now dating Tree and they’ve been using the guy’s room.

Ryan goes about his day when he is told by the dean Roger Bronson (Steve Zissis) to not turn the machine on again that is crux of his thesis. Ryan then gets a weird text of someone looking at him. He follows to where it is taken from until he is murdered by someone in the school’s baby mascot mask. He wakes up just like Tree had been and when he tells her the second morning, she believes him.

They go about to trying to figure out who the killer is and once again stopping it. We learn though that the experiment Ryan as well as Andrea Morgan (Sarah Yarkin) and Samar Ghosh (Suraj Sharma) caused the time loop Tree was in. When they realize who is killing Ryan, their experiment is done again. This time it flings Tree into an alternative universe, one where not everything is the same.

She has to keep dying again to end this new loop, but she has an even more difficult decision to make. Stay in this new dimension or go back to hers.

Now I did go a little bit lighter on the recap for this one as I didn’t want to spoil anything that I didn’t have to. The previous film I did have fun with, but I didn’t love it. One of my gripes was that as a slasher film, I really want it to go R where it went PG-13. This is something this sequel falls into as well. Much like others had said as well, this one also does removes a lot of the horror elements for more sci-fi and comedy feel.

I don’t want to say that is not necessarily a bad thing, it just is for horror fans. Horror is my favorite genre, but I am truly a cinephile as well. I did find some things to be funny and the sci-fi aspects are interesting as well. My issue with the comedy is that is geared more for teens. With the sci-fi elements, I don’t mind explaining how the events of the previous film happened, but I will admit, I think it does lessen the emotional impact of what Tree dealt with. This is interesting though, as it is something she actually brings up in this film.

Something I do have to admit, I did like the alternative dimension aspect of the film. I do think that actually brings some tension and quite a bit of stress actually. Tree really has to make some important decisions. I don’t think it goes far enough to be really emotional, but it is there. It also revisits the issue that if Tree keeps dying, it has physiological effects on her. My issue here is that I feel like it is a tad inconsistent. It becomes a focal for one morning, but not one that happens after. I get you don’t want to become too repetitive, but that is a struggle with this concept.

I will say that I do feel the film is paced well. I don’t think it really ramps up the tension through horror. We get that in the set up and then we come back to it again near the end of the film. I did like the alternative killer for the new dimension though. It did play on something from the original film. In the second act it focuses more on the sci-fi and comedy elements, so I don’t feel like it made me worry as much as it wanted. I did like the ending, but could have done without the mid-credits scene.

Acting for the film I thought was fine as well. No one really impressed me, but a lot of that comes from the performances are geared more toward a younger audience. Rothe is much better in this film and she is again faced with a moral dilemma. She is also very attractive and we do get some scenes that really showcase that. I like Broussard and the different way he gets to play the character this time around. Vu is funny as are Sharma and Yarkin. Rachel Matthews is back as Danielle Bouseman and much like Carter, I like the alternative version of her character she gets to play. The rest of the cast does round out the film for what is needed.

To the effects of the film, which I think are fine. My biggest issue is that this film does showcase the deaths enough. I do give credit, this one moves away from murders so we do get a bit more. Much like the original though, it cuts away to not be as violent. There is some CGI that I didn’t love. Overall I’d say they were fine. The film was also shot pretty well in my opinion.

Now with that said this film I didn’t like or have as much fun as the original. That is not to say I hated it. I have a love/hate relationship with this sequel in that I think it lessens the emotional impact of the first film, but I think exploring what caused it was fine. This film does do some interesting things with the alternative universe. I do think the pacing was off a bit by going more comedy/sci-fi. The acting was fine and the effects I did want more from. I do think that soundtrack is fine for what was needed, but it isn’t one that really stood out. I think this is slightly above average and would recommend for younger fans. Diehards of the genre probably are going to like this even less than the original, which is where I fell as well.


My Rating: 6 out of 10