‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Trailer Adds ‘Back to the Future 2’ To The ‘Groundhog’s Day’ Formula

2017’s Happy Death Day combined the campus slasher with the time loopiness of Edge of Tomorrow or Groundhog Day. The high concept combo pitted Tree (Jessica Rothe) against a baby-masked killer, forcing her to relive the same day again and again until she successfully unmasks and thwarts the monster. The new trailer for the upcoming sequel, Happy Death Day 2U, reveals just how closely the new movie hews to the original, not just retreading the same rules, but playing with the original narrative. With something this twisty and strange, could we be looking at the slasher version of Back to the Future 2?

It’s rare for a sequel to be quite so directly tied to the original as this (you can check out the new Happy Death Day 2U trailer above). It was easy to imagine any Happy Death Day sequel going the standard horror franchise route, starting over with new characters facing similar threats, like in Paranormal Activity, Saw and the major 80s franchises, like Friday the 13th. But the trailer instead begins with a twisty re-take on the original time-loop, with Tree trapped in the original day, but this time joined by her new boyfriend Carter (Israel Broussard) and his roommate Ryan (Phi Vu).

Something major has changed in the loop, as Tree discovers the original killer was killed. There’s a new baby-faced murderer loose in the loop.

Happy Death Day 2U is written and directed by Christopher B. Landon (Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones, Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse), who also directed the original.

“Chris has done this incredible thing where the sequel, the way he described it to me, elevates the movie from being a horror movie—and I wouldn’t even say it’s just a horror movie because it’s a horror, comedy, rom-com drama—into a Back to the Future type of genre film where the sequel joins us right from where we left off,” Rothe told Collider in January. “It explains a lot of things in the first one that didn’t get explained, and it elevates everything.”

The trailer looks like a dash of sci-fi will be added to the Happy Death Day mix, complete with some weird science gadgets and double-looped time doppelgangers. 2U looks like it will substantially deepen the weirdness of the original. We’ll get to see whether or not it pulls it off, when Happy Death Day 2U comes out in theaters Feb. 14, 2019.

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