Forget the calendar, it’s September and for horror fans that makes it unofficially fall. With just over a month before the new Halloween is set to hit theatres, Universal Studios and Blumhouse Productions have seriously ramped up the marketing efforts. Earlier this week, a new poster with the tag ‘Face Your Fate’ was released. Yesterday a second trailer was finally dropped. If you’re like me you’ve probably already watched it several times, so let’s dive in and see what major takeaways emerge from the new trailer.
A Cheeky Callback to Halloween II
Much of the second trailer is taken up by a single extended scene that accomplishes two things. First, it confirms that director David Gordon Green seems to have a handle on tone and style. The scene feels like John Carpenter’s Halloween, emphasizing atmosphere and quiet dread. This is re-assuring as many of the Halloween sequels felt like they were cribbing off of derivative slasher films rather than following up on an innovator in the subgenre. Second, it’s a scene that feels like a bit like a cheeky callback to the original Halloween II and Michael’s visit to Mrs. Elrod’s kitchen. It’s a fun wink to the sequel considering this movie ignores every Halloween sequel.
Across the remainder of the trailer, we get a few more callbacks to iconic visual moments from the original Halloween. While it’s welcoming to see that Green clearly has a fondness for Carpenter’s masterpiece, one has to hope that the sequel offers its own unique moments rather than just playing out like a ‘greatest hits’ compilation. Even if Halloween resorted to being nothing more than a piece of well-made nostalgia, there’s a core fanbase that would likely be satisfied.
Laurie Strode Goes Full Sarah Connor
Not much new is revealed about specific plot elements from the first trailer released in June. This isn’t entirely surprising given the generally simplistic narrative structure of slasher films. The second half of the trailer focuses on the inevitable showdown between Laurie and Michael with an emphasis on Laurie’s toughened character. We get some recycled footage from the first trailer in a different order and few more glimpses of the various preparations Laurie has taken. Clearly, this part of the trailer emphasizes the conflict between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers that will define this sequel. Arguably, Laurie’s character development, and the opportunity it will give Jamie Lee Curtis to shine, is one of the biggest selling points of the sequel.
Trailer Re-Affirms That The Sequel is Rated-R
No, this is not a red band trailer, but even from quick glimpses and hints at the carnage, the second trailer re-affirms that this Halloween is most definitely Rated-R. We’ve already seen Michael dropping a handful of teeth into a bathroom stall in the first trailer, but the most disturbing image in this second trailer has to be the image of a decapitated head lit up like a jack-o-lantern. That image will be seared onto my brain between now and October 19. If David Gordon Green can strike the delicate balance between chilling atmosphere and grim violence, Halloween could prove to be the sequel the franchise has long deserved.