At first, it looks like the movie might just take a page from the slate and pass the baton to a different protagonist. Ryan (Phi Vu) who finds himself stuccoed in time's amber, is killed and instantly reborn just one day after his college roommate, Carter (Israel Broussard), helped Tree escape her own respawn purgatory. Vu's stoner-doofus routines makes Rothe's comic agony. It's not the most promising game plan, just how much of the first movie it is.
Thing is, more of the same. The happy surprise of Happy Death Day 2U does does find ways to tweak the formula of its predecessor, to break the cycle of franchise redundancy. As it turns out, Ryan's the one responsible for these chronological record skips, for his own predicament and tree's. The culprit: a very 1980s weird science project, a machine called the Quantum Cooling Reactor. It seems safe to say that no one wishes to gimmick this series to explain the mechanics of its magical. But in Happy Death Day 2U returning writer-director Christopher Landon uses goofy time-mumbo jumbo not just to get his heroine back into cosmic limbo, but to the rules of her ordeal: The movie's twist is that while the day is the same, the world itself is … different . Her relationships have changed. So, too, the identity of the baby-masked killer has stalking her and her friends.