Editor’s Note: The following contains spoilers for the film Halloween ends. Proceed at your own risk.
2017 when that was announced Halloween was started with none other than rebooted David Gordon Green Director, best known then for Pineapple ExpressHer fans were shocked. Even more shocking was the news that he had convinced our favorite final girl and ultimate scream queen Jamie Lee Curtisto come back to the franchise that made her a household name. It would be Curtis’ first return to the role of Laurie Strode since 2002 Halloween: Resurrectionin which Strode was killed in the first act of the lackluster film.
Laurie Strode’s story
Strode’s exit from the Halloween Movies left a bitter taste in the mouths of fans and probably Curtis as well. Whether Laurie Strode should live or die was a valid argument, but letting her die in the most humiliating way wasn’t what such an iconic character deserved. 2018 Halloween Reset everything by deleting everything that came before it except the original 1978 film. Laurie never fell to her death in 2002. She never died in a car accident before the events of 1988 Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers either. And most importantly, Michael Myers was no longer her brother, as became known in 1981 halloween 2. Instead, he was simply the Boogeyman, a force that struck without a motive on a Halloween night, who was then captured and locked away.
What did 2018 do Halloween work was that it was both a character study and a slasher film. We had to see what 40 years of trauma looked like. Laurie Strode was now a woman in secret, her relationship with her daughter almost broken. She had turned her home into a fortress, waiting for the day when The Shape would return to try and kill her. Of course, Michael returned for her (although the evil Dr. Sartain had to lead him to her) and Laurie valiantly fought back. She was wounded but survived while Michael Myers was left to burn in the trap she had made of her home.
That would have been a nice ending, but the film’s critical and commercial success convinced everyone back, and two more films that would form a trilogy were soon announced, Halloween kills and Halloween ends. Now the question arose: would Michael Myers or Laurie Strode die? A badly wounded Laurie does little Halloween kills but lying in bed. However, the final chapter promised a resolution. Laurie Strode and Michael Myers would face each other one last time and only one would survive.
What is Laurie’s real ending?
For many, the only right ending to this timeline Halloween franchise was for Laurie to kill Michael but then die with him. It would be a heroic death, a death in which she would win by sacrificing herself. We now know Michael Myers is dying (there’s no turning back from being hacked to pieces), but Laurie Strode survived. It was the right decision and the only way her story could have ended.
The new Halloween The trilogy is all about trauma. Jamie Lee Curtis has brought up the subject so many times in interviews over the past four years that it’s become a meme. Nevertheless it is true. 1998 Halloween: H20 was like that too, and showed us a woman who had faked her death and gotten as far away from Haddonfield as possible. 1998’s Laurie Strode went by a different name and hid in alcohol. When her brother, as he was in this version, came to her, Laurie wasn’t ready. She was scared and wanted to run away, but realized that she couldn’t run away anymore and fought back. In the end she defeated her attacker and that was it. It might have been a fitting conclusion if the producers hadn’t already found a ridiculous out to bring Michael Myers back and cheapen everything that happened in it H20.
Halloween 2018 gives us a similar version of Laurie Strode. No, she didn’t fake her death and moved away. Instead she stayed. But she’s still a broken person, so obsessed with the past that she pushed her family away. Dying might have been a more appropriate path if Laurie Strode hadn’t already died twice. Many fans expected her to die all over again to give the series that definitive sense of completion, but what was there to gain when Laurie Strode died for the third time? This time it was more shocking to have her alive. And if these films are only about a reaction to trauma, life was the only option.
Laurie Strode and #MeToo
In 2017, America was rocked by the #MeToo movement, which saw so many abused women, fed up with their own trauma, come forward and speak out about the evils men had done to them. While Halloween had already been written when this happened, it still spoke to the movement. There’s no horror movie character that speaks to #MeToo more than Laurie Strode. The new films were about an abused woman who now defends herself against her male attacker. Laurie dying would have disabled this topic. It would have said that a woman can eventually fight back against her male attacker, but she will still lose.
While that statement is sadly true for so many in reality, it doesn’t fit a simple slasher movie. Here the traumatized must win and the aggressor must be destroyed. Laurie Strode could have died. Her character was ready and not afraid of it. However, there was so much more to gain by letting her live. For 44 years Laurie Strode had lived in fear, her life shattered by a horrible night when she was 17. In both timelines, she had no peace with the past. She spent every waking moment reliving a night, haunted by the ghost of a memory, always looking over her shoulder.
Laurie Strode deserved to be happy in the final decades of her life. Halloween ends give us that. The film is about the ending of a story, the ending of Michael Myers, but also the ending of trauma and the peace and rebirth that follows. The film ends with Laurie beginning a new chapter in her life, one as alien and frightening as being attacked by a white masked man, but one that was necessary.
In the closing moments, we see her relationship with her granddaughter Allyson being repaired. Laurie wrote a book about her very own boogeyman and how she overcame him. She is open to the possibility of love with Frank Hawkins (Will Patton). The last image shows Michael’s worn and burned mask lying on her coffee table, a totem to overcome. So many women in real life have to overcome their own personal boogeyman. The ultimate last girl winning her fight spreads the message that winning and peace are possible and that hope is not lost.
https://collider.com/laurie-strode-halloween-ends-only-way-her-story-could-have-ended/ The Only Way Laurie’s Story Could Have Ended