Most sequels don’t actually rely too heavily on the assumption that the audience saw (and remembered) the last movie. Even when they’re the next chapter in the story, they don’t turn on small details and plot points from the original.
Happy Death Day 2U 100% assumes you have seen the original and uses that confidence to hit the ground running. It is one of the sequeliest sequels ever made, which stands out in a world where so many sequels are functional remakes.
The basic conceit involves explaining what happened in the previous movie, but I’m okay with it because the movie doesn’t waste time trying to explain it to the audience, the explanation is only there for the characters themselves. It just amounts to “Science” and we get to bring in multiverse theory and alternate dimensions and frankly we’re now set up for sequels beyond this one.
It’s a very different movie from the original, which was a heavily structured horror movie. It has a strong spine. Happy Death Day 2U is fucking ridiculous and kind of revels in having no central spine at all. The only thing holding this movie together is the previous movie. Really what it is is just a series of riffs on the events of the first movie.
What if that one note character was the main character? What if the killer were actually a good person? What if the climax revolved around a character pretending to be a blind french woman? What if one character had to pee for a little too long?
What was I talking about?
I really appreciate how fucking weird this movie is. How ridiculous it is. How reliant it is on the events of the previous movie it is and yet how different it is. How much shit happens.
The movie compares itself to Back to the Future 2 explicitly but it also reminds me of the Saw Franchise in terms of how obsessed with its own lore it gets and The Raid 2 for being such a big and messy sequel to a structurally tight first movie. But really it doesn’t feel like any other movie.
I can see some people who liked the original being turned off by the movie, because it is so different and because it’s so much messier. This isn’t just Happy Death Day again, despite the fact that we literally relive the events of the previous movie.
But I thought this was a lot of fun, and I’m really glad to see a sequel that uses its previous entry as a way to hit the ground running, to really push forward and tell stories that couldn’t work at all except that you already have the foundation from that previous movie.
What a fun silly movie.
Thank You For Your Time.