Director: Christopher Landon
Cast: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Rachel Matthews, Phi Vu
Have I Seen it Before: Brother, I haven’t even seen the original Happy Death Day (2017).
Did I Like It: God help me… Bring it in guys. Let’s keep this secret, but… I did.
No sane person could reasonably claim that Happy Death Day 2U is a great film, but damned if it didn’t win me over despite its flaws. It’s often funny, it’s got enough time-travel whiz-bang about it to keep interest, and it’s only barely a slasher movie, despite what this films advertising and the original film might have you believe.
As mentioned earlier, I had not seen the original film from which this sequel spawned, and I’m thinking that this plays better in that context. The quick recap of the original film becomes extraordinarily helpful, where it might have been clunky and needlessly expositional in any other context. It’s nearly suggested an idea to me that I should write a horror movie that is a sequel to a much better film that never actually existed. Maybe one day I will actually write that movie.
I don’t know if I can fully recommend the film, though, unless you happen to be living insider my own brain. There are just too many groaners in the plot. Did we ever figure out what was going in with Fake Ryan (Vu)? Is Danielle (Matthews) just a bitch, or is she actually their friend because she helps them distract the Dean in the climax*? If she is their friend, why is she their first pick for the DARPA relaunch of the reactor project that got them all into this in the first place**?
Is it possible I’m over-thinking a movie with a title like Happy Death Day 2U? Probably. I would say go see the film if you haven’t seen the first one (and please report back to me your findings so I can see if I’ve truly gone off the deep end). If you have seen the original, you might be more inclined to like a film like the original, so this might not be the one for you.
*With just a moderate re-write, this film’s screenplay could have served as the basis for the fabled movie based on “Community.”
**Typing all of that out now, it dawns on me that the movie might be more bananas than it seems at first blush. Good for it.