Movie Review: Happy Death Day 2 U (2019)

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Summary: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.
Check out my review for Happy Death Day. This will be a short review.
Pros:
  • Jessica Rothe as Tree Gelbman. So, Tree is back. The movie doesn’t even start off with her and I was a little shocked because she’s what made the first one so fun. However, we do get back to her as the main character after the first 20 minutes or so. She’s still great though. She got out of the loop in the first one but something going wrong with science makes her go back into it again and just her reaction to it repeating is the best thing. Also, the deaths she goes through are hilarious and I love her reactions to waking up and everything. Jessica Rothe is so fun to watch that as the movie is no longer a “horror/thriller” she just makes for great humor and reactionary acting. She also handles the emotional moments that Tree goes through, particularly when it comes to Carter and her parents, I think were strong.
  • Israel Broussard as Carter Davis. Carter is the boy-next-door and picking up where we left off, Tree and Carter are basically together. However, something happens that forces them apart and the Carter in most of the movie, is the Carter she first met, the one who doesn’t know her. He’s a sweet guy and even though they’re not together, he still is always willing to help her solve her problems. Israel Broussard does that kind, unassuming guy who is secretly brave quite well. He’s very likable too and you root for him and Tree as well.
Supporting Characters. We have some returning people and new people in the movie and everyone is funny, likable and fun to watch. Danielle is back and she’s over the top with some charm thrown in. We have two new characters who are friends with Ryan (Carter’s roommate) and Lori (Tree’s roommate) is back.
It’s funny. This movie is more of a comedy than it is a horror like the first film. It puts more emphasis on the science behind the time loops and allows Jessica Rothe to really kick it in high gear with how she reacts to what’s happening. One of my favorite parts is when she’s falling from high up and it slows down and what she’s doing made me crack up.
Interesting Premise. I am a sucker for time loop movies. I think they are usually so much fun and if it’s a serious drama, like Before I Fall, then it can be handled so well. Tree is forced back into the world of time loops when Ryan, Carter’s roommate seems to be stuck in one himself. Being that she is an expert, she tries to prepare him for what he might go through, but amid helping, she gets put back into a time loop herself. So now, it’s more than someone trying to kill her (as she thinks it’s the exact same story from before) but now more of what she wants to do with the rest of her life. Stay in the past that’s been granted to her or move on into the future. While it’s not as nuanced or interesting as the first one, it still manages to hold some weight.
Heartfelt. What’s interesting is that this movie puts Tree in a position where she must choose between her past and her future. I thought it was a nice choice to throw in there. It can be a little silly because her future is a boy and her past is her mother, but I think the lesson Tree learns to make her choice is a smart and mature one. I thought the movie handled that well and I give it it’s props for that. I didn’t tear up or anything, but it gave a nice and earned heartfelt moment.
Cons:
Necessary? It’s hard to ever say a stand-alone movie needs a sequel and this is one of those that doesn’t need one. So, this movie seems a bit… random? While it’s still a good and fun movie, I don’t think it was necessary for what we were given in the first one.
The Science. I thought it was a little weird that someone was able to create a machine that affected time and then it put Tree into a time loop. I don’t know if that was always the case for them, but it seems weird that it chose her to be affected by this science. I also wonder just how much her day repeated for her to be able to memorize all those scientific equations, so they can relearn it and try to help her each time. It’s mostly because of this reason that it doesn’t seem the movie was needed but I very much enjoyed it.
Overall, I really liked Happy Death Day 2U as it was a fun experience and I laughed more than I thought I would. I wasn’t sure what it would entail since it seemed like the story ended in the first film, but I was happy to see Tree again, to see how her life is going and her relationship with Carter that I did find myself getting invested in. I think the movie is very funny and has an interesting premise that it continued to build from throughout the film. It was also very heartfelt in how Tree must face things that’s happened in her life. She’s such an endearing and fun character that you root for her no matter what she chooses. Either way the choice is love, ya know? My only true critiques are if this movie was truly necessary because it doesn’t seem like it in the long run. Not to mention, the science was a weird addition. I get it from a science standpoint, not that I understand the science itself, but that’s why I didn’t find the movie necessary even though I really liked it.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Happy Death Day 2U? What did you think about it? This one is a comedy compared to the first one which is more horror. Which would you prefer?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below and be sure to check out more reviews!
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Movie Review: Happy Death Day (2017)

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Summary: A college student must relive the day of her murder over and over again, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer’s identity.
Pros:
Cast and Characters. Since Tree keeps living the day over and over again, we meet a lot of people but there are really only two constants that I’m going to talk about for the film.
  • Jessica Rothe as Theresa “Tree” Gelbman. Our main character, she wakes up in a dorm room, not really sure what happened the night before. She goes through her day, it’s her birthday but she doesn’t particularly want to celebrate it. But on her way to a party, she gets killed and her day restarts. So, throughout the film, she basically keeps trying to prevent the death, but gets killed. She is not the nicest person at first and while I never really wanted her to die, you kind of get it. Plus, you start making lists of who might want to kill her considering how indifferent she is to people. But as the film continues, you begin to understand her and watch as she becomes more and more desperate. She gets smarter in how she handles things, kind of and she tries to do right by others because it could make a difference. It was really cool watching her try and solve the problem, while also becoming a bit badass in the end. I thought Jessica Rothe did a great job in basically having the film on her own. Between her comedic timing, her reactions to dying and everything else, I very much enjoyed watching her in this film.
  • Israel Broussard as Carter Davis. Nice guy, Tree wakes up to him every time since it’s his dorm room she wakes up in. He took her back to his place because she was wasted, and he didn’t want anything to happen to here. There are a few times where she tells him what happened to her and he tries to help, and each time he’s understanding. He’s a great guy. I liked him quite a bit. The actor is likable, and he has good chemistry with Jessica Rothe, and he quickly becomes a nice friend for her.
Thrilling. It’s not scary, I didn’t think it would be, but it’s very thrilling. You know that the killer is behind her, or in the bathroom or whatever, and it’s creepy but it’s very thrilling to watch. When she thinks she’s figured it out, or when she’s testing out the suspects on her list, it’s entertaining to watch. I mean, her dying isn’t but the whole process is. There were times where I was legit freaked out, especially in the beginning when she first gets killed, that whole thing with the music box, creeped out, plus the whole idea with the baby mask. I would never go to a college where the mascot was a Baby. No thanks.
The Deaths. I thought it was really cool to see her wake up feeling or reacting to whatever her death was the night before. When this kind of stuff happens, it’s usually just them waking up with a gasp and thinking about what happened, but Tree would wake up screaming, or spitting out whatever to whatever happened that caused them to die, or if she was angry at dying, she would angrily freak out. I quite liked how different that was compared to how other “time loop” movies handle the reset. It was also pretty unique how her body maintains her injuries even after she’s had a reset.
Humorous. It’s actually pretty funny. It’s kind of a slasher, horror film, but it’s also really funny and light-hearted in certain areas. Like when she starts trying to find out who’s killing her, or her interactions with other people when she walks back to her sorority house. It’s surprisingly funny. Jessica Rothe gets all that credit, well that and the writing but she’s great.
Cons:
Obvious Villain. I knew who it was from the beginning. Probably not supposed to be a secret but you totally know from the trailers and you definitely know. They do try to trip you up, but I was like “nah”. Plus, I thought the motivation was also really dumb, or at least really juvenile. Since I knew it was that person, I wondered what exactly the problem was, I knew it had something to do with Tree probably being mean, but still, lame motivation.
The Slasher Part. I think the movie is trying to wear a few different hats, but while the slasher part is in there, I don’t think it’s as important as some of the other things the movie wants to focus on. It’s definitely lacking considering how the first time through the day, it’s kind of scary but after that that particular tone is not the same anymore. So, it’s marketed as a horror film and while it starts out as one, it doesn’t maintain that tone.
Overall, I quite enjoyed Happy Death Day. I thought it was a fun, funny, thrilling movie with a great lead. Jessica Rothe was great to watch, she was energetic, charismatic and funny. I think the movie is surprisingly funny, I wasn’t really expecting to laugh the way I did. I don’t think the movie is a comedy by any means, but it does have a lot of humorous elements, like, I mean the killer wears a baby face mask, that’s funny (and creepy) and one of her deaths is with a bong hahaha. That’s funny.  I also enjoyed how the deaths were handled. While, Tree got a reset each day, it wasn’t like there was no repercussions for her, because she felt all of them and I thought that was very realistic compared to the “slate wiped clean” kind of thing. I do think the villain was obvious, not to mention the motivation for this whole thing was also really stupid. Also, why did she have a time loop anyway? I wish these time loop movies would allow for some kind of explanation other than the fact that it’s just happening. But I also think the slasher bit, or the horror bit of the film is lacking compared to how the movie made it out to be. The first time we meet the killer it’s intense and kind of horror like, but after that, it turns into a different kind of movie. But whatever, I had fun.
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen Happy Death Day? What did you think about it? Do you think it’s more of a “Dark comedy” or a “Horror Comedy”? Let me know your thoughts down below!
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