Happy Death Day 2 U arrives this week as a bit of a surprise, the result of the first movie from 2017 being a bigger than expected hit with its story of a young woman named Tree (Jessica Rothe who has to figure out why she keeps dying and coming back to relive the same day.
After defeating the antagonist who initially caused her repeated deaths, Tree thinks things have gone back to normal. When she finds herself catapulted back to that exact same day, though, she realizes the stakes have been raised, Not only is she being targeted but so are the people around her. So she has to not only save herself but everyone else, too, all before she dies for good.
There’s just one poster for the movie, sporting an image of a gloved hand holding a cupcake with a “2” candle on top. That’s a nice way to reference the design of the first movie’s one-sheet, which had the title spelled out in icing on a a not-birthday cake to play off the title. “Death makes a killer comeback” is the copy that supports mentions of how this comes from a producer of both The Purge and Get Out.
The movie’s first trailer, released late last year, starts off a bit oddly, as Tree seems to be helping Ryan deal with the fact that he’s having the same experience she did, dying and then coming back to the exact same day. But she’s now living a better version of her life, at least until she dies and is reset, realizing her mission this time out is much greater than it first was. There are some hints that time loops are about to get even funkier and more messed up, but basically what this is selling is an expanded version of the first movie.
The second trailer presents a truncated version of the first spot, cutting things down to the basic premise and focusing more on Tree than Ryan or the others that she has to help.
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A version of the trailer was used as a promoted Tweet shortly after it was released.
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The movie is actually being released today instead of it’s original 2/14 date, a change that was made when those connected to last year’s tragic shooting in Parkland, FL took issue with a movie focused on death coming out on the anniversary of that incident.
Tree’s first encounter with the masked killer was the subject of a clip released last week.
Rothe and director Christopher Landon spoke about how to create a memorable series of on-screen deaths as well as the physical demands of all that falling, running and other stunt work. Landon also revealed he has an idea for a third installment that’s teased at the end of this movie.
The actor also made a few other press appearances on various talk shows and other outlets.
It’s a fun campaign, though it’s a bit limited in scope. That’s not super surprising since Universal is hoping to get the maximum return while spending as little as possible. It effectively shows what audiences can expect, though, and uses Rothe’s charm and enthusiasm for the role to its maximum benefit. Basically the studio is hoping to capture lightning in a bottle again.