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Yellowjackets season two review – this wonderfully imaginative sequel is even better than last time

Juliette Lewis is sublime, Christina Ricci finds her perfect co-star and you’re constantly kept on your toes with parallel timelines and tons of creepy thrills. What a follow-up! After the 2021 press tour for the slasher movie Halloween Kills, a video of Jamie Lee Curtis went viral, highlighting just how many times she uttered the word “trauma”. She was speaking about one of the most common problems with “elevated horror” – genuine suspense and terror being sidelined to give room to heavy-handed metaphors for trauma. What truly elevates Yellowjackets above most contemporary horror is that it provides space for the psychological impact of spending 19 months starving while your friends die around you, without forgoing nauseating gore, gruelling tension and acerbic wit. There was so much to recommend the first season of Yellowjackets, a word-of-mouth hit that switched between the past and the present with two sets of cast members – one playing the younger characters, the other playing their more mature incarnations. It followed the 1996 plane crash of a high school football team, who ended up stranded in the wilderness and doomed to come of age battling the elements (and one another) before rescue. In the present, the survivors face blackmail, addiction, murder and PTSD. Supernatural elements continue to keep things ambiguous; it’s never entirely clear what was created by paranormal forces and what was the result of hallucinatory mushrooms or fractured psyches. Continue reading...

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