If there's one thing that the makers of horror franchises have in common with their characters, it's that they never know when to leave well enough alone.
The latest exhibit for the prosecution is Happy Death Day 2U; a fourth-rate follow-up to the 2017 slasher-comedy that made a breakout star of Jessica Rothe and took over $125 million on an estimated $4.8 million budget. Rothe is back for this Groundhog Slay sequel; you've no need to join her.
The original saw snarky student Tree Gelbman (Rothe) dying the same day over and over in a time loop while trying to catch her cherub-masked killer. Waking up the morning after, Tree now discovers she's not done yet, thanks to a fellow student messing with proton lasers and slowing down the centre of time on a molecular level. Or something.
They should issue earplugs at the door because the 40-foot artic marked 'Exposition' reverse bleeps into the cinema 40 times as a popcorn movie develops notions and tries to be all clever. Science gets in the way of suspense and the slapstick sees one character pretending they're blind - this after a 'joke' about confusing Anne Frank with Helen Keller. Classy.
Throughout Rothe gives it a right go, despite being stuck in a movie that is never certain of what it's trying to be, or when it's going to end. The coat is buttoned on a number of occasions, only to realise that they're not done yet and, worse still, they're lining up a third one.
"This kind of reminds me of Back to the Future 2," muses a character at one point. Marty and Doc should be livid.