Slasher Sequel Might be a Fairy Tale in Disguise
By Nigel Parkin
Many things about David Gordon Green’s new ‘telling’ of HALLOWEEN made me want to cheer but perhaps the most powerful of these was the way it highlights and resolves the potent elements of fairy tale that have been breathing deeply in the shadows of this narrative from the very beginning.
No one can have missed the significance of Laurie’s new status as the Grandmother who lives in the woods. But it’s possible many people acknowledged this simply as a neat way of turning an ancient archetype onto her head and bringing her literally kicking and screaming into 2018. The truth is much deeper and darker than that. Let’s consider the version of the ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ story as collected by the Brothers Grimm and introduced to readers in English two hundred years ago. In that version a hunter enters the Grandmother’s house to find the wolf sleeping heavily, its belly hugely distended with the hungrily consumed bodies of Little Red Riding Hood and her grandmother. The hunter cuts open the wolf’s belly and draws out both figures, symbolically performing a cesarean section and allowing them to be ‘reborn’, in the girl’s case into a world of adult awareness…and fury. The girl’s immediate action is to collect heavy stones which the three then work together to stuff into the wolf’s belly before sewing it back up so that when it wakes and tries to leap at them afresh in instinctive response to new hunger it will tear itself apart.