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‘Happy Death Day 2U’: The Horror News Network Review

Sequels are tough to pull off in any genre, but pulling off a sequel in the horror genre is an even more difficult feat.  Most horror films were not originally intended to be franchises even though they often spiral into them (Halloween, Friday the 13th, Texas Chainsaw Massacre), and the law of diminishing returns rears its ugly head in the vast majority of these cases.

Finding a more competent sequel than the original proves even harder to locate, but in the case of Happy Death Day 2U, director and co-writer Christopher Landon has accomplished this rare achievement, albeit one that is much less heavy on slasher tropes, instead venturing into the world of science fiction and comedy.  Landon’s follow up to his surprise hit Happy Death Day is a superior film for these reasons, but it may not appeal to horror fans in the same ways that the first one did. read more

‘The Prodigy’ Turns Out To Be Just Average at Weekend Box Office

Prodigy is a term usually reserved for a young phenom that “can’t miss” in whatever field their talents take them, such as playing the piano, throwing the football, or even film making.  Unfortunately, for Orion pictures, this week’s “Prodigy” couldn’t cut the mustard at the box office, as the new film finished in sixth place with only an estimated $6 million dollar return.

The Prodigy (not to be confused with the techno-rock kings from the UK, who happen to be launching their first tour in ten years if you can believe it) entered a weak field for horror films (with Escape Room making one of its last appearance in the top 12 this week), but it could still not connect with fans or critics.  The Prodigy’s Rotten Tomatoes score currently clocks in at 45% (which is actually pretty good for a low budget, February horror film, although the sample size of 42 reviews was rather small as Orion did not screen the film early for critics).  Rotten Tomatoes’ user reviews were a little more kind, with a score of 53%.  Cinemascores’ polling has not been revealed as of yet, but a similar low audience rating will most likely be reported based on The Prodigy’s anemic showing at the box office. read more

‘Escape Room’ Exceeds Expectations with Second Place Finish at Weekend Box Office

Escape Room entered a crowded marketplace this weekend, but Sony’s PG-13 “Saw-lite” film managed to finish second with an estimated $18 million at the box office.

Heading into the weekend, most analysts predicted that the film would be lucky to finish fifth, behind Aquaman, Mary Poppins Returns, Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, and Bumblebee.  The fact that Escape Room defeated all but Aquaman (and played on 1,300 less screens than it’s closest competitor, Mary Poppins), is certainly impressive and proved that the timing was right for some jump scares and a younger, photogenic cast. read more

Horror News Network’s Winter 2019 Movie Preview

Winter can be an unpredictable season.  Some days defy expectations and reach 60 degrees or better (in the parts of the country that actually have a traditional winter, not the fans lucky enough to live in California, Florida, or other more favorable environments) and then some days live up to their reputation, bringing sleet, snow, and the inevitable school closings and delays.

This winter’s horror film line-up is shaping up to be equally unpredictable and tumultuous.  Many projects that were scheduled for the months of January, February, and March have since disappeared (The Turning), have questionable release dates (Jacob’s Ladder on February 1st with no official trailer in site), or have been bought up by Netflix for home viewing (Eli).  Despite these inconsistencies, there are some firm release dates for horror fans this season, as well as a wide-variety of films to choose from, covering all of the sub-genres of  horror, ranging from thrillers to the ever-popular tales of possessed kids. read more

‘Happy Death Day 2U’ Trailer Released

Universal Pictures has just released the first full-length trailer for Christopher Landon’s sequel to the highly successful Happy Death Day, Happy Death Day 2U, which will be released on Valentine’s Day, Thursday, February 14.

The trailer features Tree Gelbman (played by Jessica Rothe) again waking up in Carter Davis’ (Israel Broussard) dorm room, with another case of the Groundhog Day blues.  As expected, Tree is right back in the unbreakable loop, menaced once again by that big baby boy with a knife. read more

Release Date Announced for ‘Happy Death Day 2U’

Valentine’s Day will be very bloody in 2019 thanks to Universal and Blumhouse as Deadline is reporting that Happy Death Day 2U is set to premiere on February 14, 2019.

Back in May we reported that actors Jessica Rothe and Israel Broussard would reprise their roles in the horror sequel with Christopher Landon returning to the director’s chair.

Happy Death Day was released on October 13, 2017 with a budget of just $4.6 million. The film received generally positive reviews and became known as the horror version of Groundhog Day. Happy Death Day was the ultimate “cherry on top” of 2017 for Blumhouse as it raked in $122.6 million at the box office. Previous hits in 2017 for Blumhouse included the award-winning Get Out and Split. read more