13 February 2019 18:31
That was the premise of Happy Death Day, a modest little horror hit in 2017. In that movie, Tree kept waking up on her birthday anew, reliving its experiences Groundhog Day-style, each day capped by another unfortunate encounter with the Grim Reaper. In this frightfully fun, cheekily self-aware sequel, when one of her campus mates, Ryan (Phi Vu), has a freak-out deja-vu "death" experience, Tree (Jessica Rothe, reprising her role) knows exactly what's happening—her birthday curse has somehow returned. "Do I look like I know what a multi-dimension is?!" asks an exasperated Tree, when one of the science students attempts to enlighten her. Eventually Tree gets stuck in the loop again, too, and has to work with Ryan to find a way to stop the killer, close the loop and end the die-wake-repeat cycle—and tie up a couple of other loose ends with her family, her boyfriend (Israel Broussard) and her sorority pal (Ruby Modine).
As Happy Death Day 2U impishly reminds us, life is rich and rewarding, but death comes to us all—and if you're Tree Gelbman, it just keeps coming, in a big, goofy baby mask, with a big, shiny knife, again and again and again. The first Happy Death Day was a slasher-tinged riff on Groundhog Day, the 1993 classic in which Bill Murray lives the same day over and over until he learns to be less of a dick. Like that movie, Happy Death Day never explained what caused the time loop in which Tree (Jessica Rothe) woke up every morning hungover in a stranger's dorm room and was murdered every night by a killer in a baby mask. As in the movie to which Happy Death Day owes its existence, the cause of the anomaly was less important than the journey, and the lessons learned along the way. Happy Death Day 2U throws that out the window and explains everything.
Tap To Unmute Happy Death Day 2U - Official Trailer #2 Want us to remember this setting for all your devices? Ryan--the douchebag roommate who started every morning of Tree's original loop by referring to her as "fine vagine"--turns out to be an intriguing protagonist in his own right, before the focus shifts entirely back to Tree. The other standout this time around is Rachel Matthews' alpha boss sorority sister Danielle, who winds up playing a fairly different version of the character in Tree's alternate universe. Ultimately, Happy Death Day 2U works despite the incongruity of its various parts. And the sci-fi elements lead to an intriguing--while still hilarious--conclusion that I genuinely hope gets picked up in another Happy Death Day sequel.