Writer and director Christopher Landon debuted “Happy Death Day” 18 months ago.
The movie centered on a college student, Tree (Jessica Rothe), who must relive the day of her murder, which also happens to be her birthday, in a loop that will end only when she discovers her killer's identity.
The wildly popular film grossed over $125 million from a $4.8 million budget and had fans begging for a sequel.
It’s here. “Happy Death Day 2U” debuted Feb. 13.
Unlike the first film, the sequel begins with Carter's roommate Ryan (Phi Vu) waking up in his car on Tuesday, Sept. 19. He later is found working on an experimental quantum reactor with his fellow science classmates. They are interrupted by their school dean after he experiment causes several power outages. Ryan is then murdered by someone dressed as their school's mascot and wakes up the next morning and sees it's still Tuesday the 19th.
Ryan explains his situation to Tree and she tells him about her experience being stuck reliving Monday the 18th. After Ryan and his classmates’ science experiment goes bad, Tree wakes up the next morning and she's once again caught in a time loop. She realizes that the experiment leaves Tree stuck in another dimension where her deceased mother (Missy Yager) is still alive, but her boyfriend Carter (Israel Broussard) is now with her arch nemesis Danielle (Rachel Matthews) and the serial killer John Tombs (Rob Mello) is on the loose once again.
The film ends up being less about murder and more about Tree's decision to choose between staying in her current dimension, where her mother is alive, or return home to her original dimension where she can be with the love of her life.
Towards the end of the film, Ryan finds the equation needed to fix the experiment and asks Tree which dimension would she like to live in, Tree chooses the dimension with her mother because she says she cannot live without her. Carter informs Tree that she has the opportunity to do what most people can’t, which is to say goodbye to her mother for good.
Later that night Tree's family checks into a hotel for the night. Tree's mom starts bringing up memories that they shared together, but Tree does not remember them because that's not the life that she is supposed to live. She asks her mother if she had to choose between a person she loves dearly and her father, who would she choose. Her mom says she would choose her father because without her father she would not have Tree.
Tree turns on the news and sees that her serial killer has murdered Carter. Tree rushes to Ryan to tell him that she wants to live in her original dimension because she did not want to lose Carter. Ryan launches his experiment and when they wake up Tree asks Carter, "Do you know Danielle?" Carter responds, "Who?" confirming that she is in her original dimension.
The writer did an amazing job with “Happy Death Day 2U” because it operates in the space between life and death. It allowed Tree to reflect on grief and pain while still finding the humor in someone being murdered hundreds of times.
During the ending credits, Tree, Carter, Ryan and their two classmates are forced to pick up garbage across campus as a punishment for launching the experiment against the dean's will. While doing so, a man arrives to escort the five students to a DARPA laboratory, where the reactor has been moved for further experimentation. The man tells them that they are looking for someone as a test subject to trap into a new loop. Tree says she knows the perfect candidate to use as a test dummy and volunteers her arch nemesis, Danielle. As a result, Danielle wakes up screaming in horror which means that Christopher Landon sets up the film to possibly have a third installment.