Beware! There may be some mild spoilers for Happy Death Day 2U below!
There’s something about horror films that can spawn an overflowing tide of sequels with few (if any) ever capturing their predecessor’s originality. When it comes to Happy Death Day 2U, nothing new changes about this horror trope, which is a sad fact to say following the original film’s fun and fresh take on the genre.
Anyone who hasn’t seen Happy Death Day probably won’t be watching the film’s sequel. Those who have seen the first one will find little new or exciting in the sequel. Happy Death Day‘s best moments came from the film’s ability to keep the pace going, mixing with moments of tension and genuine thrills and frights. The sequel, on the other hand, eschews horror for the majority of the film, turning instead to the types of conventions you’d see in a sci-fi or comic book action adventure — time travel and multiverses.
Good old Tree finds herself back in a loop once more, but it’s sadly the same loop from the first film. The only twist? She’s in an alternate multiverse, adding for some slight deviations from what happened the first time around. When I say slight, I do mean it — what starts out as intriguing and interesting soon finds its way devoid of any originality and feels more like the original film replaying once again but without any life, emotion or high stakes.
There’s a wonderful balance that Happy Death Day manages to curate on its first time around. Scenes are full of heart-pounding moments, stakes are real, and even though Tree dies repeatedly, there is a plot unfolding and a real conclusion makes its way. Little of that can be found in 2U. When the alternate-dimension’s Babyface killer is eventually revealed it’s more of a “meh” moment than anything compelling or driving the story. Moments later, a twist is revealed of the killer having a companion in on it all, but that too feels tired and predictable.
With the credits stinger implying a potential third entry into the series, one can only hope more originality will find its way into the script. When it comes to Happy Death Day 2U, simply rehashing the film’s first plot and tossing in some minor ‘multiverse’ deviations is just not enough to recapture the magic of the original.