Happy Death Day 2U: 7 Clues You Missed That Might Predict The Sequel
By Kevin Wong on
All the clues are hiding in plain sight.
Happy Death Day 2U debuts in theaters February 13, 2019, the day before Valentine's Day. It is a sequel to Happy Death Day, the breakout slasher film inspired by Bill Murray and Harold Ramis's Groundhog Day.
In the first film, Tree (Jessica Rothe) finds herself stuck in a time loop on her birthday; a baby-masked murderer with a big knife kills her every evening, and the day resets itself. After repeating this cycle numerous times, she eventually figures out who the killer is. And like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, Tree learns to be a better person in the process.
The sequel, based on its trailers, is the right kind of Part 2. Rather than being a straight retread of the first film, it's an expansion and elaboration on its mythology. This time, more than one person is stuck in the time loop. And there seem to be science fiction elements in play; there's a spherical, glowing machine that explodes halfway through the trailer. Maybe in this movie, the characters will finally get to the bottom of what's causing the time loop in the first place.
The writer/director of Happy Death Day 2U, Christopher Landon (who also directed the first film), has long claimed that there are relevant Easter eggs hidden in the first movie: "I will also say that the whole idea for my sequel idea is actually already in this movie. It's hiding in plain sight, but I'm not going to say what," said Landon in an interview with Insider.
That sounds like a challenge to us. We've done a whole lot of frame-by-frame viewing and Reddit surfing. Here are are 7 things that we've found in the first movie and the sequel trailers that may give away the new movie's big twist. Spoilers ahead, especially if we're right.
1. The Bracelet
Most of the first Happy Death Day theories on Reddit concerned the time loop, and what caused it. Tree's bracelet attracted a lot of people's attention early on.
It's the direct link that Tree has to her mother, who died three years prior to the story. And each time she wakes up in the time loop, she accidentally leaves this bracelet in Carter's room. Metaphorically speaking, forgetting the bracelet might be symbolic of her forgetting her mother and her mother's values. The time loop could be the universe's way of reminding Tree of what she's lost, and the better type of person she used to be. Expect the bracelet to feature in the sequel as well; pay attention to when Tree wears it, and when she forgets it. It could foreshadow what's to come.
2. The Birthday Candle
Another oft-discussed object is the birthday candle. It's always on top of the (poison) cupcake that Lori gives to Tree. And we learn that Tree and her mother used to have a birthday tradition (they shared the same birthday), where they would light one candle on their shared cake and blow it out together.
This tradition feels relevant to the time loop, though it's not clear exactly how. But Tree always blows out the cupcake candle alone, which reminds her--and us--of what she's lost. And as with the bracelet, the universe could be orchestrating this time loop to create those reminders.
There's another interesting, candle-related moment in the first movie. During one of her many deaths, Tree is burned to death in her car by a masked person with a birthday candle. When the movie ends, most viewers assume it was Lori, who places a birthday candle on Tree's cupcake.
But the candles Lori uses are red. The candle the killer uses to burn the car are striped. So it begs the question: Is that Lori who burns the car? Or is it someone else?
It couldn't be Tombs, who doesn't know Tree from a hole in the wall. That means there could be a third killer in the first film, who went completely scot free, unbeknownst to Tree. And we think we might know who...
3. The Birthday Card
In the first film, we see that a birthday card was placed on Tree's desk. It is black and ominous looking, with double-edged language inside. We later find out that Danielle, the leader of Tree's sorority, was the one who gave Tree the card. Tree fights Danielle in the street after discovering this fact, and both girls are hit and killed by an oncoming bus.
After respawning, Tree crosses Danielle off her suspect list. But why, exactly? There is nothing shown or discovered that proved Danielle's innocence definitively. And since this crossout happens during a musical montage, the audience quickly forgets about it.
So is Danielle a third killer? A dedicated Reddit user, Exodiafinder687, actually found some other evidence to support this very theory.
4. A Pair of Shoes
Let's start with the shoes. Throughout the first film, we see that the masked killer has black shoes with white trim. There are three characters who have this particular style of shoes. First, there's John Tombs, the serial killer who Lori frees from the hospital. Then there's Lori, who poisons the cupcake and releases Tombs. And lastly, there's Danielle; you can see her shoes in her first appearance, when she catches Tree heading up the stairs of their sorority house. Coincidence? Or something more unsavory?
5. The End Credits
And then there's the end credits. When the filmmakers list the actors' names, something visually interesting happens. First, they show a graphic of the masked killer lying in a casket. Then, they reveal the name "Ruby Modine" (who played Lori) in the same casket. That makes sense, because Lori was revealed to be one of the masked killers.
But then, right afterwards, they show the name "Rachel Matthews" (who played Danielle) in the same casket. Could she be the missing third killer, who's actually the mastermind behind Lori? It's not concrete evidence. But symbolically, it fits.
6. Possible Anagrams
Here's something you might notice while watching the first trailer for Happy Death Day 2U. Whenever there's text on the screen, some of the letters are in blood red, while the majority of the letters are in white. The first text graphic says "OKAY, PAY ATTENTION." I decided to take that advice literally, and write down which letters appear in red. I ended up with:
I ran this through an anagram unscrambler, and I ended up with "PATIENT." That seemed promising. So I recorded all the red letters, and this is what I got.
When I tossed this into the anagram unscrambler, I got back 108,697 possible permutations. But you can also adjust the unscrambler to only show anagrams with two letters or more per word, or limit the number of words in the anagram. Anyone with some free time might want to look into this.
It's also worth noting that in the latest trailer, all of the letters are now red, instead of red and white. Why the change?
7. Double Trouble
And lastly, we got the most direct hint of what's to come right in the Happy Death Day 2U trailer. There's a blink-and-you'll-miss-it shot, where you see Ryan staring at a double of himself.
The implications here are tremendous. In the process of reliving the same day, has Tree been creating different, alternate universes?
Are their alternate universe selves trying to kill them? If so, for what reason? Maybe the time loop is causing unintended effects in other universes. By killing the original timeline that spawned the other universes, does anything happen to those universes?
These sorts of narrative juggling acts are difficult to do without creating massive plot holes. But if they pull it off, it'll be incredible to witness. Happy Death Day 2U debuts in theaters on February 13, 2019.