Poor Tree Gelbman (Jessica Rothe), the girl just can’t seem to catch a break. Now in Happy Death Day 2U, she’s once again back in the time loop with another killer on the loose in a film that goes left, right, left, right and then left again and makes for a slashing good horror watch that is a real treat this Valentines Day.
The riveting tale of death, repeating twists and comic turns arrives once more in Happy Death Day 2U. This time, our hero Tree (Rothe) discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.
The original Happy Death Day blew me away with its solid original concept and theatrical execution, and the hotly anticipated sequel, Happy Death Day 2U takes the crazy one step further. Returning director Christopher Landon raises the stakes here and he really plays with audiences expectations and his film’s super original time-warp slasher premise. Landon works to expand the premise of the film’s universe here and he really takes his audience for a trip this time into a plethora of exotic dimensions, and they all spell murder for Tree. While the film is firmly a horror film, Landon really expands on its science fiction premise and this results in a crazy genre mash-up that constantly spins you around with thrills that you can never see coming.
Like its predecessor, Happy Death Day 2U is once again a great combination of both horror and comedy, and there’s plenty of it on offer here. While there are moments of shocking horror here, the film’s emphasis really lends itself more to comedy this time around and with an expanded canvas we also get to see a lot more of the supporting characters come into play here. Phi Vu’s stoned-out science major Ryan Phan and Rachel Matthews’ all-bitch sorority leader Danielle Bouseman come to the forefront and both have great comedic timing, especially Matthews who really goes for it with her kooky, crazy and totally bitchy performance as Danielle.
And then there’s also Tree. Ahhh poor Tree. This girl just can’t catch a break and once again Jessica Rothe really shines in the role. After she finds herself in another time loop, with plenty of interesting new developments, she’s confronted by some very hard choices and a desperate need to get out. I enjoyed Rothe in the first movie and her character development here is really absorbing as she faces an impossible choice and this leads to plenty of growth within her character.
But while Tree might have the chance to relive the past and develop moral character she also has to die over and over and over again. Yep, it wouldn’t be Happy Death Day 2U without plenty of gnarly death scenes and once more Tree finds both the horror and the hilarity as she faces a ticking clock and plenty of death. And she really gets creative this time around with things such as drain cleaner, wood chippers and sky diving to name a few. But while death is always around the corner for Tree, it begins to have real consequences for her and Landon masterfully handles it here as we brace ourselves for whether Tree will actually make it out alive….or not.
With an equal shot of horror and comedy, Happy Death Day 2U makes for a great cocktail of a movie and is an even more perfect watch this Valentines Day. Ready yourself for a multitude of twists and turns because Happy Death Day 2U is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat!
Image: Universal Pictures