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Happy Death Day 2U

Movie review by
Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media
Happy Death Day 2U Movie Poster Image
Slasher sequel held together by strong characters, themes.
  • PG-13
  • 2019
  • 100 minutes

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 2 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive Messages

Promotes the value of learning kindness and selflessness and of doing the right thing over being selfish.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Tree is still a troubled character who's quite fallible in many ways, but she eventually learns lessons about kindness and selflessness and tries to set things right/do the right thing (though in the very end, she attempts something wicked once again).

Violence

Serial-killer related violence, with stabbings, shootings, and blood (minor dribbling, spraying, etc.). Character repeatedly dies via suicide (though nothing is at stake, since she's always resurrected): She crashes a car into a power plant, jumps out of a plane, drops a hair dryer into a bathtub, falls from a building, dives into a wood-chipper, etc. Chasing, stalking, screaming. Shouting and struggling.

Sex

College students kiss passionately and think about sex. Female characters in cleavage-revealing outfit/skimpy underwear. Woman caught with naked man (wearing a towel) in her room; spoken line about a "three way." Dialogue about a married man having an affair.

Language

A couple uses of "f--k," plus several uses of "s--t," "ass," a--hole," "d--k," "bitch," "douchebag," "boner," "damn," "hell," "oh my God." Middle-finger gestures.

Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

References carried over from the first film about Tree being "so wasted" and hung over the morning of her birthday, but nothing is shown.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Happy Death Day 2U is the horror-comedy sequel to Happy Death Day, about a serial killer and a time loop. Slasher movie-style violence includes killings, stabbing, shooting, and some blood (dribbles and spurts). The main character dies via suicide several times with no consequences, as she's always resurrected. Characters are chased and stalked, and there's screaming and struggling. Women wear cleavage-revealing outfits and skimpy underwear, and college students kiss passionately. A naked man wearing a towel is caught in a woman's dorm room (he has a line about a three way). Language includes a couple uses of "f--k," plus "s--t," "bitch," "ass," and more. There's a reference to a college girl being "wasted" and hung over, but nothing is shown. The storytelling is rather scattered, but it's still emotionally centered and quite entertaining for teens and up.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byChris T. February 13, 2019

OMG

The violence was ok.you don’t have to see the first one though. But the language involves one f*** but I think Responsible kids know not say that.the sex is sor... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byGhoulGirl13 February 14, 2019

Very Funny, Great Plot

It was a great movie. Had a great plot and had very funny parts throughout the whole movie while having tons of suspense and thrill to it. I personally liked it... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAislynDiane February 17, 2019

Horror comedy great for younger teens

This movie was HILARIOUS, though it isn't good for people looking for a terrifying horror movie. Don't get me wrong, it has plenty of scary moments, t... Continue reading

What's the story?

In HAPPY DEATH DAY 2U, Tree (Jessica Rothe) has recently broken out of the time-loop from Happy Death Day and is enjoying her new present. She's together with Carter (Israel Broussard) but still missing her mom. And unfortunately, Carter's roommate, Ryan (Phi Vu), seems to have entered his own time loop. The reason soon becomes clear: It's connected to Ryan's science experiment, a powerful quantum reactor, which also caused Tree's original loop. Desperate, Ryan fires up the machine again, and Tree finds herself back on her birthday. Only this time, things aren't exactly the same, and even the Babyface killer is different; this time loop appears to be in a different dimension. Tree must decide where her true heart lies and figure out how to stop the killer once again, all while helping Ryan find the right algorithm to get her back home.

Is it any good?

This sequel has fewer slasher-movie elements that the original and wanders all over the place, even into bad slapstick. But Rothe's extremely strong performance and the movie's vivid emotional center carry it through. Christopher Landon directs again and takes over the screenwriting this time, too; he seems to adopt the "what happens next?" method of storytelling, throwing Tree into one tough spot after another, with little regard to science or logic. It sometimes gets to be a little much, especially during an "algorithm memorizing" montage and a weird slapstick sequence in which Tree's sorority sister (Rachel Matthews) poses as a blind French woman to distract the dean (Steve Zissis) and steal his keys.

But, happily, Rothe tends to hold things together. She's more Meryl Streep than scream queen, amazingly aware of her range of emotions and possessing the skill to pull them off, especially in the uncharted territory of a time loop. Her scenes with her newly resurrected mother (remember, it's another dimension) are particularly moving. Happy Death Day 2U (great title) is no longer a real horror film, though it contains a few well-done stalker-y scenes; now it's more about relationships and humor than it is about being scared of a masked killer. And it's far from a cheap sequel; it deepens the themes of the first film. Its ultimate messages are about kindness, being unselfish, and about taking a leap of faith into the future, rather than hanging onto the past.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about Happy Death Day 2U's violence. Is it designed to thrill or shock? What's the difference? Do the movie's comic tone and relative lack of on-screen blood lessen the impact of the violent moments?

  • How is sex depicted? Is sex equated with love? What values are imparted?

  • Does it make sense that Tree learns kindness from her ordeal? How does this happen? When is she tempted toward selfishness?

  • Does the movie glamorize suicide in any way or make it look cool? Does the fact that it has no consequences here lessen its impact?

  • How does this movie compare to the original? Does it seem like an honest extension of the story?

Movie details

For kids who love scary movies

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