Happy Death Day (2017) sent the slasher film into a Groundhog Day time loop, whereas the sequel takes its cues from Back to the Future II.
Happy Death Day 2U could easily have delivered more of the same. Indeed, the set-up primes the audience for just that, as nerdy student Ryan (Phi Vu) finds himself suddenly stuck in the same situation that cursed Tree (Jessica Rothe) in the original – forced to die over and over again at the hands of a baby-masked killer. But instead, this return visit brings a few surprises to the party, delivering an inspired meta-remix of the original.
Ryan, of course, turns to Tree for advice, who is naturally exasperated that this is happening again (allowing Rothe to have an absolute blast with the role). With the source of the loop identified as Ryan’s science project in quantum mechanics, an attempt to reverse it catapults Tree back into that repetitive day of her birthday, creating the opportunity to mess with the events of the first film.
There are some major alterations to the timeline, however – we’re talking parallel realities and a multiverse here. But two things remain constant: Tree must constantly die to provide a solution, and the killer is still on the loose. But who is behind the mask this time?
Ramping up the ’80s flavour and playful tone that distinguished the original, Happy Death Day 2U is a smart and inventive sequel – a manic horror-comedy (with the emphasis on comedy and not a lot of horror) that’s tremendous fun and hard not to like. Revisit the first film beforehand for maximum enjoyment.
In cinemas: February 14, 2019
Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Rachel Matthews
Directed by: Christopher Landon