How do you prepare for the inevitable? For some, it’s stockpiling weapons, and for others, it’s trying to find the bottom of a bottle. The trailers that just dropped for Tyrel and Halloween are here just in time for scary movie season, ready to remind us all of that inescapable, inalienable truth: Hell is other people. Whether the threat comes from a murderous lunatic with a grudge to fulfill or a pack of alienating strangers, whether the aggressions are on the micro or the macro level, both movies, in a way, seem to posit that indifference and ignorance are as much of a danger as anything else. Let’s take a deep breath and dive in:
Tyrel is the latest from Sebastián Silva, a master of darkly sardonic social commentary who proved in 2015 with Nasty Baby that he knows how to turn the screws like only a few others can (among them, the great Michael Haneke). While comparisons to Get Out already abound, and rightfully so, it’s important to note that Tyrel is just as much about masculinity as it is about race. In that way, it draws a stronger comparison to something like The Plumber. And with its cringe-inducing causality, it also calls to mind Mike White and Miguel Arteta’s Beatriz at Dinner.
Oh look, Michael Cera is back for his first role since last year’s Molly’s Game! If anyone can ride the nervous-laugh-inducing line of aggressive, awkwardly lacking self-awareness, it’s that dude, and we’re (kind of?) looking forward to seeing him play off of leading man Jason Mitchell (Detroit, Mudbound, Straight Outta Compton). If Get Out was a floodlight that illuminated the not-so-latent horror of complicit whiteness, then Tyrel seems more like a laser pointer: Narrower, more targeted, and discomforting rather than blinding… but we’ll just have to wait until the movie’s December release to explore that further.
At the end of the day, though, inviting comparisons between cultural touchstones and their anticipated spiritual successors isn’t always productive, and surely not always welcomed. At least when you make a sequel, you already know those comparisons are coming! Look, it’s no secret that we expend a fair amount of snark on the dubious merits of various franchise machinations, particularly remakes and reboots. Are we admitting a double standard when it comes to the new Halloween? Oh, big time. Updated to reflect a growing cultural obsession with true crime, and featuring Jamie Lee Curtis as the most exciting woman warrior (in the non-superhero division) since Sarah Connor, this sh*t is the reason for the season, right here. Get ready to see what happens when a “final girl” grows up!
Director David Gordon Green is nothing if not a wild card, so an homage to John Carpenter’s classic slasher is as expected the next move as any. The trailer makes clear that, in tackling a story that picks up forty years after the legend of Michael Myers was born, there will be some meta-narrative about the nature of cultural memory. To say nothing of the merits of respecting one’s elders! It seems the original Myers, Nick Castle, will return to reprise his role in at least one scene with Curtis, which speaks well of this project’s potential to harness if only briefly, the magic of the original. Regardless, it’s safe to say that this latest installment of the Halloween saga will certainly not be the worst. It opens in theaters beginning October 19, so you have ample time to marathon at least some of the rest before you see it.