Just like so many people I never expected much from Happy Death Day. However, thanks to a game cast led by breakout Jessica Rothe and a fun take on a classic sci-fi time loop concept, writer/director Christopher Landon’s “Groundhog Day meets Scream” comedy-horror ended up being one of the most enjoyable surprises of 2017. With the film bringing in $122.6 million worldwide off just a $4.8 million budget, it’s safe to say it made a killing. And as befits the story of his breakout film, Landon is back to kill again (and again and again) with Happy Death Day 2U.
The first film didn’t really deal with the why and how of Rothe’s sorority girl Theresa “Tree” Gelbman ending up stuck in a 24-hour time loop on her Valentines Day birthday which resets every time she gets killed by a masked assailant – it was all just about Tree figuring out who’s under that mask. But in this sequel, as Tree suddenly finds herself not just stuck in the time loop again, but one seemingly in an alternate timeline where the original killer is one of the victims, we finally get to peek behind the curtain to see exactly how this whole wibbly wobbly timey wimey mess came to be.
As Rothe told Collider earlier in the year, Landon’s pitch for a sequel didn’t just repeat what the first film did, but rather “elevates the movie from being a horror movie – and I wouldn’t even say it’s just a horror movie because it’s a horror, comedy, rom-com drama – into a Back to the Future type of genre film where the sequel joins us right from where we left off, it explains a lot of things in the first one that didn’t get explained, and it elevates everything. I was really pleased to know that we weren’t just gonna be pushing all the buttons that people loved the first time, over and over again, ‘cause I think that gets old.”
Well, this is definitely not looking old. In fact, it looks just as fun as the original film, balancing slasher chills and thrills with some tongue-in-cheek laughs as Rothe’s infectiously charming Tree leans into the absurdity of her situation.
Check it out below.
Happy Death Day 2U is scheduled for release on 14 February aka Valentines Day next year.
Last Updated: December 3, 2018