Halloween Kills is a firm reminder that Laurie Strode deserves better.
All my life I’ve loved Halloween style movies. They’ve been my bread and butter. And the OG Halloween movie has been part of that. A large part of that was due to Laurie Strode, played by Jamie Lee Curtis. She was unapologetically herself, shy, funny, brave, and most importantly a fighter. She was a whole mix of things and her portrayal stuck with me throughout my formative years.
Michael Myers, in comparison, was boring. He was just another serial killer with no purpose who killed his sister for “reasons.” When the revelation that Michael and Laurie were siblings was introduced in the 1981 movie Halloween II, it made sense. She was remnant of his past life. A part of his sister that was still alive. So, in his twisted mind he had to go after her and finish what he started.
That made Halloween different for me. Yes, I didn’t like that Michael went after all the people who had sex because that was some stupid sexist bullshit where the young woman was continuously punished for having sex or fooling around like that’s somehow wrong. But I chalked it up to him going after everyone that Laurie loved before he could get to her and end what he started with his sister all those years ago.
As the years passed, and the Halloween franchise became more convoluted and ridiculous, the whole sibling thing stuck with me. It was a bond that Laurie and Michael had that was different from all the other slasher bullshit out there. And even when they kept retconning and changing the Halloween mythos, I held onto that one bit of it all. Surely no one would change that one bit that made sense? I was wrong.
The 2018 version of Halloween completely erased every single movie past the OG Halloween from 1978, effectively retconning the sibling bond between Laurie and Michael. All of a sudden it was a myth, something that people made up to explain why Michael came after Laurie so hard all those years ago. But if Michael wasn’t coming after Laurie because she was his sister, why was he coming after her so hard?
There are two reasons why and they are both absolute bullshit. For one, she was the innocent virginal character who wasn’t “like other girls” he’d ever met in Haddonfield. She wasn’t “sexy” or fooling around with boys and once he laid eyes on her, when she approached the Myers house, he was obsessed with her and how she was the polar opposite of Judith Myers.
The second reason why Michael came after Laurie so hard is that she was the “final girl.” It wasn’t enough that she was virginal character. Oh, no, she actually fought back and surprised him, intensifying his need to end her and those who stood in the way of him getting to her. And it’s sexist bullshit grounded in it not being ok for a woman to fight back when a man has a purpose and a fixed notion on how things are “supposed” to be.
Retconning the sibling bond between Laurie Strode and Michael Myers is basic, unoriginal, and makes it just like any other slasher films with no purpose. And in the long line of stupid things that the Halloween franchise has done, this is at the top that makes me not want to continue watching any horror movie that follows in its footsteps or the sequels that are surely to follow.
And make no mistake, despite everything, Laurie Strode is a BAMF and will continue to be one despite the shitty writing and retconning that her character has had to go through. She is the survivor, she is the star, and Michael is ultimately just a boring old man with nothing in his life that will constantly be overshadowed by Laurie’s bravery, grit, and determination. I said, what I said.
Halloween Kills is available now.