Happy Death Day was a surprise hit that came out back in 2017. A simple Slasher film meets Groundhog Day. The movie played out with some moments of surprising comedy that was littered through out the horror of it, that it reminded me more of Scream 4, where it ditches the hints and makes it extremely obvious of the film being self aware. Even one of the characters at the end of the film says her story reminds him of Groundhog Day. Like any good Groundhog Day movie it makes use of its constant time loop for entertaining moments. Edge of Tomorrow made use of it as well. With Blumhouse producing this film I had some hope and after watching the film, I noticed that the leading character, Jessica Rothe really kept me tuned into the movie. She had multiple layers in character unlike most slasher films. I came out of the movie liking it and with making over a 100 million at the worldwide box office under a five million budget it comes as no surprise a sequel was coming. So here we go……..
It is very rare that sequels surpass the original, however this is one of those few cases.
I believe all horror movies fall into a three category system.
- Scare Factor
- Popcorn Flick
Returning Director Christopher Landon decided to take the elements of what made this first one good and went crazy with it in the sequel. The movie begins with recycling the plot in the first act, something most horror sequels do, which hurts the quality and originality. Then the movie turns it upside down and goes a whole new direction. Less horror and more syfy with the multiverse theory, which has become popular in cinema over recent years. Then we focus back onto Tree (Rothe) where she is balancing the multiverse, problems with friends, family, and constant dying and repeating all at once. There is a slasher killer in a baby mask but it takes a seat on the back burner and focuses on the multiverse plot. Tree who is still dealing with the loss of her mother dives into that plot deeper with the multiverse. In return, the movie gains something the first one was lacking which was a strong element of heart. You can feel her pain and pleasure in these moments and the hard decisions she has to make down the line. Her dealing with grief has been a subplot in these two films and it really adds color and depths with her character. The comedy is back and the montage steals the show with it. Some of the jokes miss at times but it adds entertainment to the film. The killer in the baby mask was a bit obvious this time around, but with a twist on the reveal. The twist was shocking but a bit rushed and came with no forewarning of it. I recall it as the weakest parts of the film, but it does make up for it with fun chase scenes between Tree and the killer. The movie dances the plot around different types of film, between scfi, horror, and even a heist moment, all wrapped in comedy.
- Quality: Obviously this film is no Oscar winner, but mostly convincing actors, especially Rothe, an original plot ,and the factor of self aware adds to a franchise that most people probably didn’t have faith in it the first time around. The movie toys the script in different directions but it is well paced and I could almost feel the director being really passionate about making a solid sequel.
- Scare Factor: There wasn’t much of a scare factor at all. A few cheap jump scares with a couple fun chase scenes. The movie focuses more on comedy and drops away from cheap slasher scares that were more often in the first film.
- Popcorn Flick: Oh yeah! This movie had me entertained from the beginning to the end. The target audience and even the common moviegoer should find it hard not to be at least a little entertained by the film. Even with the science stuff they dumb down for a common audience and avoids going too in depth, which saves it from the many plot holes science fiction films can have.
My final word is a solid 3 star movie. Better than the original, but if you are looking for a scary movie you will be disappointed, but if you are looking for a good turn your brain off flick, then this one is for you!