In 2017, Universal Pictures released the Blumhouse film Happy Death Day about college student Tree (Jessica Rothe) who relives the same day over and over, getting murdered each time until she’s able to solve the mystery of who keeps killing her and breaks the cycle. The slasher black comedy was produced by Jason Blum and directed by Christopher Landon, and was so successful that it resulted in a sequel, Happy Death Day 2U. 

Following success of 2017 horror/comedy Happy Death Day, Universal Pictures presents sequel, picking up where first installment leaves off. Bigger action and thrills abound as newest tale expands into territory that includes science fiction and heist activities alongside familiar ingredients that made the initial tale so much fun. Christopher Landon writes, directs. Jason Blum again produces. Back for more thrills are stars Jessica Rote, Israel Broussard. Also back is prolific composer Bear McCreary, expanding upon numerous ideas from his first score while ushering in new ideas to meet expanding storylines. Each movie’s success stems from vigorous meld of slasher genre tropes with refreshing elements of humor and déjà vu. McCreary positions himself with an emphasis towards the thrills, in this new score adding sci-fi elements to up the ante. His expanded orchestral material gets plenty of front-and-center attention in the film. Low brass receive particularly bright spotlights! Other strong ideas include glissandi, pizzicato effects and harmonics in the violins. McCreary opens with buoyant ostinato with brief wisps of lydian harmony amongst the liveliness. Two minutes later the suspense and bolder brass elements make an appearance.

McCreary generates increased density to this cool opening sequence (“Two Tuesdays”), adds striking tri-tone motif for sci-fi color and gallops to a forceful finish. And all this in just his first five minute opener! The subsequent “Stalker at the Gym” launches the thrills with aggressive full orchestral activity and a rich chordal sequence in the major towards the climax. In just under eight minutes, McCreary has established a wide array of new musical devices while remaining cohesive with his first score. Not an easy feat!

Other highlights: Deliberate rhythmic ostinato of “Monday the 18th Again”, with its striking forays into the tri-tone harmonic vernacular amidst the pounding thrills and slashing excitement of “Back to the Hospital”, combining lively rhythm with dynamic intensity in equal doses. Respite from action does poke through with unusually dramatic, emotional “Birthday Candles”, which progresses from sparse, tender-sad solo piano to powerful, weighted emotional melody in full orchestra. Rich cue! Still, thrills remain keynote with strongest spotlight shining on lengthy “The Final Confrontation”, with incredible bursts of ferocious trombone and French horn activity punching through chaotic string writing. Array of changing rhythms and intense, unrelenting forward motion leading to vivid climax is an arresting musical tour-de-force! “DARPA” winds score proper with one final, fierce coda. “End Credits” plays as knock-out summary of primary action material with beautiful foray into haunting “Tree” theme before bravura finish. Exhilarating score! Recorded in Vienna, Austria. Orchestrations by Sean Barrett, Benjamin Hoff, Jamie Thierman. Bear McCreary composes, Johannes Vogel conducts Synchron Stage Orchestra.

Returning for this sequel is Bear McCreary, one of the most dramatically prolific and talented composers working today. In 2019 alone he has composed the scores for The Professor and the Madman, Rim of the World, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, and the upcoming Child’s Play.  Building on his score for the first film, Happy Death Day 2U expands beyond the slasher focus of the first film and emphasizes the sci-fi aspect, with large, dramatic orchestral scoring, like a cousin to his music for films like The Cloverfield Paradox. With many lengthy cues, the album is a dramatic and entertaining listening experience and is Intrada’s first McCreary album.

This Intrada release on CD is courtesy of Back lot Music, who released the soundtrack digitally.


Label: Intrada INT 7153
Film Date: 2019
Album Date: 2019
Time: 65:00
Tracks: 17

01. Two Tuesdays (5:16)
02. Stalker At The Gym (2:56)
03. The Science Project (2:54)
04. Monday The 18th Again (4:18)
05. Danielle (2:24)
06. A Reason To Stay (1:52)
07. Back To The Hospital (3:18)
08. Trail Of Blood (4:48)
09. Can’t Save Everyone (2:25)
10. Solving Equations (3:39)
11. Electrical Substation (2:57)
12. Living In The Past (2:03)
13. Birthday Candles (6:20)
14. The Heist (4:17)
15. The Final Confrontation (8:49)
16. DARPA (1:49)
17. Happy Death Day 2U End Credits (4:50)
Total Time: 65:00