Happy Death Day 2U picks up right where Happy Death Day leaves off… Finally Day 2! If you have not seen the first Happy Death Day, it is a slasher movie that is caught in a time-loop (think Groundhog Day but with a murderer). A baby-masked killer murders college student Tree Gelbman, and she continually wakes up at the beginning of the day she died. Over and over she is killed and starts the same day again until she can unmask the killer and survive the day. Fantastic concept for a horror movie; poor execution. The sequel had the chance to take this concept into so many different directions and learn from the mistakes of it’s predecessor. Unfortunately, Happy Death Day 2U makes all new mistakes and seemingly kills the franchise going forward.
Happy Death Day franchise completely dropped the ball here. They were the first-to-market in the “Horror-Time-Loop” space and they switch genres into a goofy, run-of-the-mill, sci-fi cluster. It focuses more on why there is a time-loop than enjoying being in a time-loop. The audience doesn’t care why there is a time-loop, we just accept that they are in one. Sequels often fall into this trap of over explaining things that we don’t need to know. In the movie series Final Destination, Death is hunting a group of teenagers because they escaped a tragedy. We don’t know or care why they escaped the first time or how Death is chasing them, it just is. And it is fun. Happy Death Day 2U could have had a different person in a time-loop or have Tree stuck in a different time-loop. No explanation needed. As soon as you try to bring in the physics involved in how this could be possible, you lose the focus and interest of why we came. We came for a fun new twist on a horror/slasher genre. We left disappointed.
I am excited for the reboot of this franchise when they get to wipe the slate clean and start from scratch.