Film Review: Happy Death Day 2U

It would be difficult to accuse Happy Death Day 2U of being simply a rehash of its predecessor. The film is inventive and a lot of fun.

After breaking the loop, Tree thinks her nightmare is over. However, things are about to get a lot more complicated…

Written and directed by Christopher Landon, Happy Death Day 2U is a sequel to 2017’s Happy Death Day. Rather than follow the formula of the original film, Landon creates a different and expansive plot. The opening gambit works well to suggest more of the same, before turning the narrative on its head. 

Whereas the 2017 film fitted into the horror genre, albeit with a healthy dose of comedy, Happy Death Day 2U flips genres. The film has horror overtones to begin with, before turning into a sci-fi interspersed with comedy. Landon offers a rational explanation to the repeating cycle, and further explores the idea of multiple outcomes. The overt reference to the Back To The Future films underscores the franchise influence in both narrative and genre flipping. 

The film is inventive enough to secure the audience’s attention. Moreover the comedy works well for the most part. In adding a more emotional layer to the narrative, the film loses some of its spark. Although the sense of consequence is necessary, at times this is laid on a little thick. Most of the characters reprise their roles from the first film, with a few new additions. It is a shame that these new characters are not fleshed out, but the emphasis remains on the protagonist. Jessica Rothe delivers a wonderful performance as Tree, showing great range. Israel Broussard offers good support as Carter. Happy Death Day 2U insinuates gore without the need to show the most violent deaths. 

Happy Death Day 2U is smart enough to explore and expand the original film’s premise. The film is an entertaining and imaginative sequel.