Movies should be fun, and Happy Death Day 2U may know that better than any movie released this year. It’s a time-bending, convoluted mess, a movie that shouldn’t work at all and dares you to dislike it. Picking up where the first movie left off, the sequel follows college girl Tree as she gets transported to a parallel universe where her reality has morphed. Happy Death Day 2U is a sequel in the truest sense, building on the Groundhog Day antics of the first movie to build something much stranger.
The script is a whizz-bang pile of jokes and time-travel mumbo jumbo. It’s not really a horror movie at all, and that’s what makes it such an effective to its more traditionally horrific predecessor. Anchoring it all, and making it surprisingly emotional, is a performance from Jessica Rothe that’s specific, jagged, and hilarious. Rothe is an A-list actress in the making, and she’s the perfect fit for the exasperating circumstances at the center of these movies. Happy Death Day 2U is a confusing, passionately made, and frequently hilarious movie about making choices in your life. It’s also a hoot! Actually, it’s mostly a hoot, and thank heavens for that.