The time loop killer is back, and this time... it's probably personal (again).
With those big baby blues and that sinister one-toothed smile, the mysterious masked slasher from 2017's hit horror-comedy Happy Death Day has returned. The mysterious figure is back to terrorise our hero, Jessica Rothe's sorority girl Theresa "Tree" Gelbman, over, and over, and over again in this month's Happy Death Day 2U.
If you're not yet excited for this sequel, here's why you need to mark your calendar...
The first film was a smash hit
Happy Death Day arrived in 2017 without too much fanfare. A Groundhog Day-style slasher film with a masked villain and a pretty, blonde girl running away, Happy Death Day looked to be a rather standard horror affair.
Instead, the film applied a witty time-travel twist and turned out to be a wonderful send-up of slasher tropes, full of humour, horror and great performances, as Tree is caught in a time loop and forced to repeatedly relieve her own murder in order to solve the mystery. The film made a killing with a total gross of over $125 million dollars against a budget of just under $5 million.
It garnered acclaim from both audiences and critics alike and cemented itself as one of the best examples of modern horror from the Blumhouse stable, responsible for the Oscar-winning Get Out. With such a great financial and critical response, a sequel was surely inevitable.
The second looks bigger, better and bloodier
Sequel Happy Death Day 2U picks up with Tree two years after the repetitive, murder-filled events of the first film. Her life is now the best it can possibly be, including the perfect relationship with all-round nice guy Carter, until suddenly Tree finds herself once again in the mysterious time loop – only this time her friends are dying too.
After discovering that the killer from the first film has been murdered, thus undoing Tree's hard work, she is as determined as ever to find out who is sporting the baby mask this time around and just what kind of science fiction madness is going on, in order to escape the loop once and for all.
Although the trailer doesn't tell us too much, it's sure to be even more inventively grisly than its predecessor, as Tree and her friends die left and right in increasingly creative ways, including jumping from a plane without a parachute no less.
It fuses sci-fi with horror
Happy Death Day 2U brings back all of the original players from the first film, including director Christopher Landon who has said that the film will focus more on why Tree ended up inside the time loop in the first place.
Speaking of Tree, breakout star Jessica Rothe is ready to once again take on the creepy baby-mask killer, and has stated to Collider that the film will move away from being an ordinary slasher movie and in fact lean into the sci-fi elements a little more. She says it creates a "Back to the Future type of genre film where the sequel joins us right from where we left off, it explains a lot of things in the first one that didn't get explained, and it elevates everything".
We also have the return of some other scene-stealers: Israel Broussard as the ludicrously supportive boyfriend Carter, and Phi Vu as spaced out college roommate Ryan, who this time ends up neck deep in the murdering, timey-wimey shenanigans.
It's got the perfect release date
In order to mark a big 'X' in your calendar for Happy Death Day 2U, you of course need to know when it is released, and the timing could not be better.
Set to hit screens on February 14th, it's the perfect Valentine's Day alternative – who doesn't want to watch a mysterious killer run riot, while our heroes try to make sense of the unexplained time travel?
Be sure to let your date know they need to brush up on their theoretical physics and slasher movie survival before you watch, however.
Jon Fuge is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.