In today’s episode of What Did I Just Watch, I give you Happy Death Day 2U, a second installment from a series that has apparently decided it was time to give itself a makeover. If you have seen the first film, you know the basic premise is that our heroine, Tree, played by Jessica Rothe, gets killed every day until she finally finds her own murderer and breaks the loop. It’s basically Groundhog Day, with murder. The second film brings back the dying over and over and adds in trying to explain the why behind all the dying. The trailer to the film, in my opinion, misleads as to what the actual plot of the film is. Tree is actually not dying over and over to save her friends’ lives, as the trailer promises. She has been sent to another dimension this time, reliving the same day over and over until the person who accidentally sent her can figure out what happened.
The plot was all over the place. I felt as if I started out watching one film, then a second movie emerged; the questions I had from the beginning, never being answered. One of those questions being, where did the original people in the dimension end up? We know these characters are displaced, as we meet one of the character’s alternate selves, but it’s never followed up on. The entire film felt as if writer-director Christopher Landon got drunk with a couple of friends and they all just started spit-balling ideas. The most unusual part of this film was the fact that about 30 minutes into the movie, there was a complete genre shift from horror to science fiction.
At times, I felt as if I was watching a bad episode of Rick and Morty. It isn’t that the film isn’t entertaining for the most part, it’s just that this film can’t compete with films like Back to the Future, which it references, and the multiverse part of the film ends up being the least entertaining part of the movie. If someone goes to what they think is a horror film and they end up seeing a movie about multiple dimensions that also tries to be a horror movie, and a comedy, and a sentimental romance… there is a decent chance that film is going to fail making most general audiences happy.
All of the multiverse aside, the film isn’t terrible. The characters are funny, there are plenty of oneliners and if you are into funny death scenes, you will be pretty happy with the film. You get to catch up with all of the characters from the first film and their alternate selves. However, due to this film rehashing old jokes and building on old characters, those who have not seen the first film will be at a disadvantage and may not enjoy the movie. I guess Happy Death Day 2U can still be technically considered a horror film, but the movie seemed to want to reinvent what it was about. I imagine if we get a third installment, the series very well might go in a completely new direction, yet again. Happy Death Day 2U is a strong three out of five star movie, even if the plot has more holes than Swiss cheese. Happy Death Day opens on Valentine’s Day, so if you are looking for a romantic comedy with gory death scenes, then this might just be the pick for you.