The Gaucho Gazette

Review: “Happy Death Day 2U” Is Too Cheesy to be Horrific

Violet Wang, Reporter

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A Valentine’s Day horror movie, “Happy Death Day 2U” is the sequel to the 2017 film “Happy Death Day” and continues the plot with the same characters. “Happy Death Day” mixed teen slasher flick with a horror twist on “Groundhog Day” and a sharp sense of humor. Tree Gelbman, a college student, lived through the day of her murder in the hands of a creepy baby-masked killer again and again until she became a more caring human being and a vengeful strategic thinker.

While the 2017 original film was fresh and gripping, the sequel tired out the redone plot. Tree wakes up again in horror to learn that she’s stuck in a parallel universe. Her boyfriend Carter is now with someone else, and her friends and fellow students seem to be completely different versions of themselves. When Tree discovers that Carter’s roommate has been altering time, she finds herself once again the target of a masked killer. When the psychopath starts to go after her inner circle, Tree soon realizes that she must die over and over again to save everyone.

More of a geeky high school film than horror, “Happy Death Day 2U” puzzlingly gives up on all the strengths that made its predecessor an appealing watch. It focuses on self-reflection for Tree as she considers her relationship with her mother and Carter – not exactly scary. A science component emerges, but seemed stereotypical and exaggerated. The roommate from the first film Ryan, however, becomes much more prominent. He and his team of stereotypically nerdy friends had invented a machine that created the time loops and sent Tree off to a one-way survival adventure. Stuck in different dimensions, each with different good and bad aspects, Tree tries to resurrect the familial and romantic order in her own universe while repeatedly escaping a mad killer through semi-comical methods. In the end, order is restored and Tree gains a new perspective on her relationships with those closest to her – more heartfelt than horror.

Everything’s different this time. Now the killer is coming after all of us. That means I’m going to have to die over and over and over again to save all of you.”

— Tree Gelbman

If you can fend off the recurring bores of “Happy Death Day 2U,” there are some funny bits throughout the movie. A sleekly edited montage of Tree’s increasingly creative suicides (why get murdered when you can just kill yourself?) alleviates the dullness, while an intriguing array of new side characters – nerds and teachers – keeps things interesting. Still, the uninventive “Happy Death Day 2U” can neither sustain nor recreate the charms of the first film by recycling its ideas. In a way, the sequel gets stuck in its own alternate dimension – reducing the plot into a mediocre “Scary” Movie.

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Review: “Happy Death Day 2U” Is Too Cheesy to be Horrific