geek / horror / women

The Final Girl: Laurie Strode

Someone asked me what my opinion was on the final girl trope commonly seen in horror films.  Being a horror genre enthusiast and a big fan of slasher films (where the final girl originated) I love them.  That neither confirms nor denies that I agree with what they have to say about women, however.  And thus, I bring you the problems and awesome-ness of my personal favorite scream queen of all time:

Laurie Strode (The Jamie Lee Curtis version)

No doubt one of the best Scream Queens known to (wo)mankind is Jamie Lee Curtis, aka Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise.  She protects herself from the infamous Michael Myers countless times throughout the years, in numerous situations, having her friends and family killed off around her constantly, and even having entire plot lines in the series forgotton so she can come back.

The problematic:

  • Laurie is a woman continuously being terrorized by a man that can not seem to be stopped.
  • This goes on for probably 30 years, with only one other person who truly understands her terror (Dr. Loomis).
  • She survives based on luck, not intelligence. (okay, for the first movie at least… you can definitely vouch for her bad-ass-ery in later films)
  • She survives based on the fact that she is not promiscuous.
  • She uses a hanger as a weapon. (the epitome of domesticity)
  • Also a knitting needle to the eye. Points for resourcefulness though.
  • She gets put in a mental institution.
  • When she does finally get the last say in the last movie she appears in, she gives up and drops from a roof to her “death”. (not concluded definitely from the film though)
  • In the comic Halloween: 30 Years of Terror there’s a pretty cool sequence of events imagining Laurie’s life without Michael in it that leads to the conclusion that she can NOT even imagine a normal life without him killing it, so she has to keep waiting for Michael to come visit.  Deep, huh?

The awesome:

  • She uses a hanger as a weapon.  Hell yea.
  • She uses a knitting needle as a weapon.
  • She may be the only person to be specifically targeted by Michael for obvious reasons, but she is also the only person to survive.  Can we count that as a point for her? (ignore that fact that she’s constantly terrorized for this brief moment)
  • She dies in the series and is such a strong presence in the films she actually comes back for more films in an alternate timeline.
  • Fun fact:  Actress Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother was the actress in Psycho.  She was quite literally born to be a scream queen.
  • All of Halloween H20. All of it.
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