Happy Death Day 2 U extends the horror reboot storyline of the original, adds a twist of multiple dimensions and a heavy dose of humor to inject a bit of life in peril levity to the historically uninspiring February slate. Fans of the original may want for more horrific chills and thrills, but can still revel in Jessica Rothe, who returns as Tree.

Rothe is a bonafide star who keeps the lean 100-minute affair light, hilarious and surprisingly emotional at turns. She gives a Blake Lively-esque presence with some serious range. Note to the casting directors of the world — get this woman at a bargain rate while you can, if she’s not already booking roles left and right, she should be.

Happy Death Day 2 U doesn’t amount to much more than a fun-for-the-moment trifle and it tries too hard to justify its existence, but it’s an awful lot more delightful than an also-ran drama that got pushed from a late year release to a quarter one thud. Indeed, the absurdity of a baby-masked killer and the chops of Rothe suggest that this series might have always soared as a horror comedy.

Whether it was the right move or the wrong one remains to be seen, but at least it wasn’t boring. From the reset montage, to the alternate reality hijinks, Happy Death Day 2 U has the audacity to have fun — and it invites us along for the ride, which is more than a lot of pictures can say.

For now, let’s enjoy the gift of playful horror that dares to defy conventions — even its own — in the name of pushing the format.

Happy Death Day 2 U
Director: Christopher Landon
Writer: Christopher Landon, Scott Lobdell (characters)
Runtime: 1h 40m
Rating: R
Release Date: February 13, 2019

About Brooke Wylie

Co-Scribbler-in-Chief. Ravenclaw. Cinephile. Bookworm. Trivia Enthusiast. Voiceover apologist. Prone to lapsing into a poor English accent.