By Claire Stevens,
The cheesy horror-comedy Happy Death Day is back for round two with Happy Death Day 2U.
The sequel finds Tree (Jessica Rothe) trapped in another loop, reliving the same day over and over again as she tries to foil the killer who continues to kill her each night, causing the loop to restart.
Oh, but this time she is in a parallel universe.
While Happy Death Day already struggled to blend comedy and horror in a way that maintained the dread and suspense of a typical horror film, 2U reaches even further and falls even flatter.
2U tries to add sci-fi to the comedy-horror mix, attributing the time loop- parallel universe issue to a faulty science project by Tree’s boyfriend’s roommate (Phi Vu) and his nerdy friends (Suraj Sharma and Sarah Yarkin). The science is cheesy and nonsensical, serving as a lazy plot device that allows the writers to manufacture problems and solutions whenever convenient.
In addition, 2U also tries to tug on some heart strings, mostly with scenes of Tree and her deceased mother, with whom Tree is reunited in the parallel universe. In general, the attempts at drawing on emotion fall short due to the lack of character depth and their placement alongside the comedic scenes. It is hard to feel bad for Tree not being able to spend time with her mother when in an earlier montage she wasted a day in the parallel universe skydiving in a bikini without a parachute.
There is also the subplot of Tree and her boyfriend (Israel Broussard), who are unfortunately torn apart in the parallel universe. Except there is not enough time in the movie for their relationship to develop, so it is hard to care much about it.
It may be that the slapstick humor of Happy Death Day is simply not for everyone, but the attempts to add horror, sci-fi, romance and sentimentality to an otherwise goofy story ultimately cheapens all the attempted genres.
Still, the cheesy jokes and one-liners, the schools weird baby mascot, and Tree’s friend faking being blind and French to steal keys from the dean of the university help to make Happy Death Day 2U a so-bad-it’s-good type of movie.
While Happy Death Day 2U is not necessarily work the price of a movie ticket, it may just be the perfect movie to rent when you are in the mood to watch a horror flick, but you are also home alone and want to be able to sleep at night.