By ARIA SALESSI
Get up. Live your day. Get killed again and again and again. On February 13, 2019, death made a killer comeback with the release of Happy Death Day 2U, which is the sequel to the 2017 hit, Happy Death Day. A slasher/comedy directed by Christopher Landon, the film stars Jessica Rothe as Tree and Israel Broussard as Carter.
College student Tree Gelbman realizes that she is stuck in a parallel universe in which her boyfriend Carter and the rest of her friends are completely different people in. When Tree discovers that Carter’s roommate has been accidentally causing the time loop, she discovers that she is once again going to have to die over and over again to save her friends from the masked killer.
When I first was going to the theater to watch Happy Death Day, I thought it was going to be a joke just by looking at its name, but the film took many interesting turns and completely stood out from any film in its genre. I believe Happy Death Day 2U also managed to be a great film just like its predecessor, for a number of reasons.
The film took the one thing everyone was curious about in the first film and expanded on it. That was what exactly was causing the time loop which was making Tree wake up every time she was murdered. The film managed to make the reason for the time loop quite ridiculous and comical: it was because of Carter’s roommate, Ryan’s science experiment. As Tree gets caught between different dimensions, the killer becomes a different person each time. At one point, the killer attacks Ryan, but Tree manages to knock him out. She unmasks him and discovers that another version of Ryan is beneath the mask. This had me dumbfounded and kept the audience interested in how it was going to be explained throughout the film.
Another reason Happy Death Day 2U is great is because of its talented actors, specifically Rothe. In the first film, she perfectly managed to capture Tree’s fear as she is being hunted down by the masked psychopath, but in this film, her acting is at its finest when she starts losing her mind that all this is happening again. An iconic scene in this film where she starts going insane is when she is walking throughout her school’s campus. During this walk, the things that happened in the first film happened in this one, like when a student asks Tree if she wants to sign a petition for global warming. Fortunately, this film had a much more comedic element to it, so Tree grabbed the clipboard and threw it. She then says, “This isn’t happening,” and screams, which I thought was quite hilarious.
Although the film’s predecessor had its funny moments, Happy Death Day 2U managed to boost its comedic element by scattering many amusing scenes and lines throughout. One particularly hilarious scene was when Tree’s friend, Danielle (Rachel Matthews) had to act like a blind French student in order to distract the school’s dean. Besides Danielle being the main comedic relief, Tree would even manage to make her own deaths funny, like when she skydived out of a plane in a bikini without a parachute and flipped off the camera. These funny moments throughout the film made it much more enjoyable.
One last thing I loved about the film was how creative Tree’s various deaths were. There was a montage of Tree dying, similar to the first film, but instead, she had to keep killing herself instead of letting the killer murder her. Whether it was from dropping a hairdryer in her bathtub, to drinking bleach in a supermarket, or jumping into a woodchipper, Tree’s unconventional deaths made the film even more interesting and enjoyable.
Happy Death Day 2U has made $25 million so far on a $9 million budget. Although it didn’t make nearly as much as its predecessor, this is still a great box office for a film with such a low budget. It also has a 66% on Rotten Tomatoes which is not far from its predecessors’ 71%. Sandy Schaefer from Screen Rant said, “Happy Death Day 2U adds a genre twist to the series’ formula, delivering a sequel that’s funnier, sillier, and more entertaining than the first movie.”
Happy Death Day 2U will leave you dumbfounded and dying of laughter, a fitting sequel to its predecessor.