After the first movie ended with the closed time loop and everything all worked out; I was wondering how exactly they were going to pull off doing a sequel. The answer is that they leaned hard into the goofier aspects of the first movie such that I’m not even sure this still qualifies as a horror film. It was great seeing Jessica Rothe back as Tree, though. She has some great comedic timing and is just fun to watch.
This movie picks up before the last movie even finished but from a different point of view. Now we see Carter’s roommate, Ryan, getting out of his car to go back to the dorms. Later, he gets killed and wakes right back up where he was and now we have a new loop with a different person. We also get an explanation for the time loop in the use of a Quantum Macguffin that he was working on. When he tries to fix the loop it instead shunts Tree back into the same day she was trapped in before but now it’s in an alternate dimension and things are all different. We still have a babyface killer on the loose but it’s not the same person. Also, her mom is alive in this reality so now she has to choose between trying to go back to her own dimension or stay in the one where she still has her mom.
The horror aspect of this gets sidelined hard in favor of a more wacky time loop story that deals with letting go and finding the place you belong. Even the whole whodunnit theme of the first film is dropped since Tree mostly doesn’t care since she’s just trying to get Ryan and his friends to fix the loop and usually resets things by just killing herself in increasing ridiculous ways instead of getting killed. It feels much more like the kind of goofball comedy you would see from the 80’s like Zapped or Weird Science. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing since the movie does have some genuinely fun and funny moments but if you go in expecting it to be a horror film in any way, you are going to be pretty let down.
Spoilers: The message in the movie seems a little off when you stop to think about it. Tree chooses to go back to a reality where her roommate tried to kill her, she killed her roommate instead, and her mother is dead. In the alternate reality, she gets along fine with her roommate, her mother is alive, and the only downside is her boyfriend that she has been with (as far as he knows) for one day is now dating someone else. She gives everything up because of a boy and that’s kinda stupid but I guess in genre. Also the plot point of her getting weaker every time she dies is still around but where she was on the verge of death before, now she dies another dozen or so times before she starts thinking maybe it’s been too much.
Score: 3.5 out of 5. While still a fun romp of a movie with some twists on callbacks to the first movie; the whole thing seems like a retread but with even less horror. Just like last one, a perfect movie to watch with someone that hates being scared.