Happy Death Day 2U

Death makes a killer comeback.

Jessica Rothe and writer-director Christopher Landon return for the sequel to the 2018 Blumhouse slasher, set two years after the events of the first film.

Tree Gelbman (Rothe) re-enters the time loop to determine why she was entered into it in the first place. She must also face a revenge-seeking Lori (Ruby Modine, who returns), who has been resurrected by the power of the time loop.

Trailers

Directed by

  • Christopher Landon('Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones', 'Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse', 'Happy Death Day')

Horror

100mins

Rating: M Violence, offensive language & content that may disturb

USA

First, a confession: I totally underrated Happy Death Day. In the cesspool of tepid PG13 horror it was refreshingly self-aware, and more importantly, genuinely funny. It knew it was a comedy first and foremost, and honestly, I may have missed that. Anyway, let’s retroactively bump up my review a star.

This second instalment leans even further into the silliness, for better and worse. There are some scares sprinkled in for sure, but they take a firm backseat to time-loop antics and the additional wrinkle of multiple dimensions to deal with. Happy Death Day 2U comes out of the gate swinging, throwing out all sorts of complications, and initially it seems like this sequel may even have a different lead to its predecessor.

Soon enough though, Jessica Rothe takes centre stage again, and once more she totally owns it. As every other critic has noted, Rothe totally rules. She’s fearless, and it’s hard to imagine she won’t be a huge star someday soon. Even more than the first one, this Day takes a very carefree approach to its multiple, slapstick-y death scenes, and Rothe gleefully rises to the challenge.

At times, things do get a bit too goofy, mostly when certain supporting characters get involved. The emotional elements are also cranked up, and while Rothe’s arc is quite poignant, certain syrupy moments of melodrama might be ladled on too thickly.

While the first one shamelessly referenced Groundhog Day, the sequel nods (multiple times) to Back To The Future Part 2, an ambitious thing to aim for in terms of time travel shenanigans. Happy Death Day 2U does bite off slightly more than it can chew, and ends up leaving several plot threads dangling, but it has so much fun along the way that any niggles are easily forgotten.

TimeOut (New York)

press

Taking over screenwriting duties from the original's Scott Lobdell and straining the silliness past breaking, director Christopher Landon mounts a sequel that forgets to be scary.

Los Angeles Times

press

"Happy Death Day 2U" can't quite replicate the feelings of joy and discovery of the original, but Landon deserves credit for varying the tune, while still playing the hits that will please the fans of its predecessor.

Sydney Morning Herald

press

Fantasies, no matter how far-fetched, can work as long as they conform to fiction's laws of internal logic, but this script makes no effort to deal with the fault lines which show up at various stages during its convolutions.

Collider

press

There are still some fun moments to be had and Rothe remains a charismatic force, but 2U definitely comes off as a rushed cash-in rather than a fresh idea.

The Guardian

press

Happy Death Day 2U is the worst kind of sequel, the staggeringly unnecessary kind that even the most hardcore Happy Death Day fans should avoid at all costs.

Variety (USA)

press

"Happy Death Day 2U" is more complicated than the first "Happy Death Day," but in this case more complicated means less fun.

Hollywood Reporter

press

2U throws enough wrinkles into the first film's action - if you don't remember it well, rewatch it before seeing this - to engage us.

Stuff.co.nz (Graeme Tuckett)

press

If you loved Happy Death Day, then I reckon you will be pretty happy with this sequel. Enjoy.