Regrettably, the woke left doesn’t have a monopoly on scrutinizing pop culture productions for convenient political messages. Kyle Smith and James Pinkerton recently cheered the new Halloween slasher movie for its supposed “conservative” message. It’s a shame, not just because politics rots hearts and minds and the last thing we need is every corner and crevice of everyday life becoming politicized for ephemeral gain, but because the broader theme of the movie is far more interesting.

I decided on a whim to take a couple hours off today and go see the movie. As I said recently, I hadn’t been to a theater in probably eleven years or so. But I love autumn, and I love Halloween, and it just wouldn’t be the same watching the movie on TV sometime after New Year’s, so off I went to partake of some seasonal spirit.

Fate hangs over the whole film like a funereal shroud. From the temporal significance (set forty years to the day after the events of the first film) to the personal (Michael Myers and Laurie Strode, both essentially frozen in time, waiting for nothing else but to meet again and resume their battle), the question that makes the film more interesting than just another scary slasher flick is that of fate: Who questions it? Who rebels against it? Who accepts it? And what are the results? Both the podcasters and the psychiatrist are obsessed with getting Myers, who hasn’t uttered a sound in forty years of confinement, to speak, to explain himself. Fate, or evil, if you prefer (sometimes hard to tell the difference), of course remains silent, and goes methodically about its grim business. Whether we approach the inhuman, incomprehensible mystery of fate from a touchy-feely desire to master it and render it harmless, or whether we seek to ingratiate ourselves to it by becoming cold and remorseless ourselves, we inevitably fail. In this particular tragic tale, both types come to a gruesome end. Only those who accept fate and meet it on its own terms stand a chance.

Dark thoughts for a dark time of year. Happy Halloween.