Blumhouse’s Happy Death Day 2 has been given its title and release date. It came as no surprise when the studio announced plans for a sequel considering how the first film made over $122 million worldwide on a budget of $4.8 million. It was announced that the sequel began filming in March of this year, but little was revealed about the project itself. The plot is being kept under wraps, though Blumhouse has made it official when the genre blending horror story is set to return.
Happy Death Day, directed by Christopher Landon, stars Jessica Rothe as Theresa “Tree” Gelbman, a college student who is brutally murdered on her birthday only to wake up and find herself living the day all over again. Along with the terror she feels stuck in a darker version of Groundhog Day, Tree begins suffering repercussions for each previous death she experiences, thereby urging her to find her killer quickly before death becomes permanent. While Tree does eventually track down her would-be killer, thus ending the time loop, no explanation was given for how she ended up in the loop in the first place. Landon has indicated that the answer will be in the sequel.
Deadline is reporting that the sequel is titled Happy Death Day 2U and that Universal has given the film a February 14, 2019 release date. The film has competition for the Valentine’s Day crowd, with other films including 20th Century Fox’s Dark Phoenix and Warner Bros’ Isn’t It Romantic also being released that week.
There is still not much known about the plot, although Deadline does state that “Tree will discover that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.” Rothe is set to reprise her role as Tree and Landon will once again direct. Israel Brossard, Ruby Modine, Rachel Matthews, and Charles Aitken will also be returning.
Horror sequels can be a hit or a miss, with Blumhouse’s record leaning towards the latter (think Insidious: Chapter 2 and Sinister 2). While critics and fans generally praised Rothe’s performance and, for the most part, enjoyed the film’s blend of comedy and horror tropes, they might not be so receptive the second time around. What once seemed like a fun spin on the horror genre won’t feel as fresh in a sequel. Things get even riskier when you consider Landon’s claim that the sequel will answer questions left over from the first film. Fans are willing to suspend their disbelief if the story is good enough. Trying to explain the mythology could weaken rather than enhance the story. Hopefully whatever Happy Death Day 2 has planned will grab audiences like its predecessor did.
Happy Death Day 2U hits theaters February 14, 2019.