Here we are with the sequel to the surprise horror hit of 2017, this time offering up a new sandbox for the characters to play in.
Our hero “Tree” is back after successfully figuring out who her masked killer was and breaking the time loop. Now it appears that another student (Carter’s roommate Ryan) may have fallen into a similar time loop where someone is trying to kill him. Luckily Tree has some experience in this and begins to help Ryan figure it out, but in doing so, she launches herself back into her old time loop again, this time with a few subtle differences from the first film.
One of the things I really enjoyed about this movie is the fact that they’re taking different genres and mixing them up together. One of the things that makes the original Happy Death Day successful, is that nice blend of horror and comedy. Here they add a few more into the mix, including upping the drama and incorporating “Sci-Fi”. This causes the “Horror” aspects to take a back seat which may disappoint fans wanting a straight sequel to the original.
Personally, I loved the new elements introduced, especially since its so evident what Sci-Fi movie they’re inspired by, from the subtle easter eggs to the musical queues.
I do feel that some of the comedy doesn’t always land, some of the one-liners aren’t that funny and the slapstick seems a bit forced, but I appreciate that they’re trying to make this an all around entertaining film instead of just a suitable slasher film.
The performances by the leads are great, probably better than the first. Jessica Rothe does another good job carrying her character through so many different emotional beats. The ways that we’re able to revisit the first movie gives some of the minor characters a lot more to do this time around. I also REALLY enjoy the continuity between the two movies. Original director Christopher Landon returned for the follow up and was also responsible for writing this one, so it’s evident he was playing really close attention to the groundwork that was laid down before.
This movie does have the masked killer plotline, and some pretty obvious horror movie cliches that I had to force myself to ignore from the first movie, but that isn’t the focus here. The story has been remixed into something original and equally entertaining, like a good sequel should. Bring on the franchise.
4 out of 5 Stars