Review: ‘Happy Death Day 2U’ destined to become cult classic


Loyola students were given the opportunity to see "Happy Death Day 2U" early. Photo credit: Hannah Renton

Hannah Renton

Hate watching has become a trend among the younger generations and the sequel to a b-rated college-themed thriller is the perfect film for this. After the success of horror film “Happy Death Day,” the sequel, “Happy Death Day 2U,” was once again filmed primarily on Loyola’s main campus.

A week prior to its theatrical release, Blumhouse allowed an exclusive showing of the movie for Loyola students at the Prytania Theatre.

Going into the the film, my expectations were low. The original film took the classic “Groundhog Day” approach and added a fun horror twist to it. Though it doesn’t have the most natural acting or highest quality special effects, there is a charm to the film that causes the audience to cringe, but keep laughing through the scenes. And as a Loyola student, watching the film has practically become a campus wide requirement.

The sequel takes the same repeating day plot and tries to add more meaning by adding twists to the character’s lives and actions. Though, at times, it feels like you are back in 2017, watching the original, the overall theme of the sequel was more enjoyable than the original.

“Happy Death Day 2U” starts with the morning of supporting character Ryan Phan, from when he wakes up to the end of his day. Through his day, the audience is reintroduced to previous main characters Tree and Carter, along with a few new characters.

Throughout the film’s run time, the audience and characters get more insight as to why and how the death time loop was created in the previous film. After 45 minutes of quantum-physics equations and bizarre deaths, the film comes to a wrapped up conclusion with a surprising emphasis on family relationships and sacrifice.

But a happy ending is not why you come to a movie like this. The film’s real appeal and best moments come from the camped-up meta humor. The writers and director decided to go for a very self-aware approach to the comedic sides of the film. This addition is exactly what the original was missing, and why it falls short compared to “Happy Death Day 2U.”

Being over dramatic with gag deaths and the calling out of typical horror movie tropes almost puts this film into a parody category. This thematic shift appeals to younger audiences and their love of “hate watching.”

The whole theater erupted in laughter multiple times throughout the movie because of the cheesy, delightful comedic moments. It’s an easy, light-hearted watch that’s great for a scary movie night in, but not really worth a $10 movie ticket.

I would not be surprised if this movie becomes another financial success and ends up in the world of cult-classic horror films alongside “Sharknado” and “Zombeavers.” It’s truly trash in its finest form.