Happy Death Day 2U is an American science fiction slasher film which was just released on February 13, 2019 by Universal Pictures. This film was written and directed by Christopher Landon and it stars Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Phi Vu, Rachel Matthews, Suraj Sharma, and Ruby Modine. Happy Death Day 2U is a sequel to 2017’s Happy Death Day.
In 2017’s Happy Death Day, university student Tree Gelbman (Rothe) wakes up on her birthday in the dorm room of her classmate Carter Davis at the beginning of the film. She goes through the day normally until that night, on her way to a party, Tree is lured into a tunnel and murdered by a figure wearing a mask of the school mascot. What is inconceivable is that Tree immediately wakes up in the same way she had previously – in Carter’s bed. After being killed three times, Tree realizes that she is in a time loop and needs to identify and kill her killer to end the terrible cycle, or else she will be trapped in this infinite loop.
Happy Death Day 2U again follows the time loop. At the start, college student Ryan experiences the same infinite cycle as Tree did before, so Tree and Carter agree to help him and learn from Samar and Dre that the reactor was responsible for creating the new loop. However, an accident releases a powerful energy pulse which causes Tree to accidentally transport to another dimension, where she is once again reliving this same horrific day repeatedly while a new killer is on the loose.
In this dimension, whenever Tree gets killed, she continues to wake up in the same new dimension, but unlike in 2017’s Happy Death Day, Tree uses science to escape the cycle. She asks Ryan and his team to help her. They try dozens of different algorithms until they find the right one. Tree volunteers to serve as the group’s recorder, which means she has to memorize different formulas and variables every day so they will know what they are testing so they can eventually get her back to the right dimension. As time goes on, she begins to kill herself at the end of each day so they can start again instead of being chased and killed by the killer. However, this causes Tree to become weaker and weaker. The group finally discovers the correct algorithm, but Tree is faced with a choice of which reality she wants to stay in. In the end, Tree decides to go back to her original dimension.
Although this is a horror film, the actress’ funny and exaggerated acting makes this film more like a time-killing, relaxing, and decompressing film. The villain is not so powerful as to be disheartening, and Tree’s teammates are not so encumbered that she is in tears. Everything is easy and the plot is simple.
Although the film continues to play with the concept of “infinite reincarnation,” it is more thorough, crazy and unexpected, and places the concepts of parallel universes, butterfly effect, grandfather paradox, and destiny paradox in the time paradox, breaking and reorganizing the linear rules of time.
Another unique thing about this film is that in this endless cycle, you are able to calm down and think about your life. Going through the same day over and over again makes you wonder if your own bad behaviors cause this if you need to change something, what you really need, what your purpose is in life, what your value is, and so on.
Happy Death Day 2U is not only a science fiction slasher film, but it is also a film that inspires people’s lives.
Media by Shubin Ma.