Universal's big CinemaCon presentation just wrapped, and what a spectacle it was - we saw the trailer for Damien Chazelle's First Man, M. Night Shyamalan showed up with the very first trailer for Glass (I'll have a separate report on that in a bit), The Rock delivered a video greeting from a weight room before showing us Skyscraper footage, Cher popped out of what looked like a giant venus flytrap to sing an ABBA song ("Fernando", if you're wondering), and - last but certainly not least - we saw the first trailer for David Gordon Green and Danny McBride's Halloween.
Jamie Lee Curtis came out onstage to introduce the footage herself, explaining that she hopped onboard the project the moment she heard Green and McBride's pitch (she did not elaborate). She went on to promise everyone in attendance that the film would "scare the shit out of" them, and lemme tell ya: if the trailer we saw today is any indication, Jamie Lee Curtis did not lie - this shit was intense.
The trailer opens with a pair of researchers (?) entering an open-air courtyard in a mental institution. We quickly realize that they're there to see Michael Myers, who's positioned at the center of the courtyard. One of the two retrieves the famous Michael Myers mask from his bag and holds it out to the looming killer: "I've got something I think you'd like to see." The score intensifies over quick shots of the drooling, gibbering patients surrounding Myers and a barking guard dog, and then - boom, we're hearing that old familiar John Carpenter score.
Curtis' Laurie Strode is front and center in this footage. This is an older, meaner, wearier Laurie Strode than we've ever seen. Now living in a house out in the middle of nowhere (complete with a mannequin for target practice set up out back), Laurie seems to have spent the past four decades preparing for her next encounter with Michael Myers...and boy, does she look ready for it.
It's impossible to recall the trailer beat for beat, but some of the highlights included: a scene wherein Myers tracks a woman to a bathroom stall, reaches one bloody hand over the door, and drops a handful of teeth on the ground; a quick dialogue exchange that casually reconfigures Halloween franchise mythology (you'll know it when it happens); shots of Myers stalking a neighborhood on Halloween, slashing his way through a number of houses, while Laurie screams at crowds of trick-r-treaters to get to safety.
One particularly great moment was an exchange between Curtis and Will Patton's sheriff. Laurie tells the cop, "I've prayed every night that he'd escape." Sheriff: "Why on earth would you do that?" Laurie: "So I could kill him."
I confess to you that I may have cheered.
I cannot overstate how excellent this trailer was. Of course we're going to have to wait and see how the final film turns out, and of course your mileage may vary on the footage I saw today, but the crowd I saw this trailer with went absolutely bananas, and I think there's a good chance you will, too. I've got a good feeling about this one.
Stay tuned for more on Halloween and CinemaCon 2018.