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The New Halloween Trailer Returns to Its Roots by Centering the Story on Laurie Strode

The O.G. Final Girl finally gets her due.

In preparation for the upcoming release of Halloween, I revisited the 1978 original and was struck by its simplicity. Made on a shoestring budget, John Carpenter’s iconic film is shockingly bare bones compared to the horror movies of today. Only five people get killed by Michael Myers, and Myers himself isn’t some impenetrable, supernatural monster. He’s a slight man in coveralls and a William Shatner mask.

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Like most horror franchises however, the Halloween series quickly spun out of control, losing what made the original so powerful. Halloween III: Season of the Witch ditched Michael Myers and Laurie Strode entirely, while the following sequels centered on cults, throwaway chracters, and multiple retcons to the story. Luckily, the latest installment in the franchise is a direct sequel to the original film, both in sequence and in spirit. The new trailer gives audiences what they’ve been waiting for: the ultimate showdown between Myers and Jamie Lee Curtis’s Laurie Strode. A woman versus her attacker.

The mundanity of Michael Myers in the first film is part of what makes him such an effective villain. He spends the first half stalking Laurie and her friends in broad daylight in a beige station wagon. He is obvious and not hiding; his gaze doesn’t waver. He’s not scared of being seen. He could be any home intruder, any stalker, any of the countless, faceless creepy men that make women walk faster to their cars, keys clutched like claws in their hands.

And Laurie Strode is just a teenage girl, armed with nothing but her wits and some household objects. While Laurie was revealed as Myer’s adopted little sister in Halloween II, the new film ignores that history, calling it a rumor. It’s a smart move, because there doesn’t need to be a familial connection. The randomness of Myer’s obsession with Laurie is part of the creepiness. The lack of mythology means that it could happen to anyone. Laurie isn’t special, she’s just spectacularly unlucky.

There’s a lot to enjoy in the new trailer, but what is perhaps most powerful is the hardened, survivalist Laurie Strode. Nearly 60, Jamie Lee Curtis is no longer a victim. She’s a survivor, armed to the teeth, waiting for the return of Michael Myers. In the trailer, she tells the local police chief (Will Patton) that she’s spent 40 years praying for Michael’s escape, just so she can kill him. It’s exciting that a film in a major horror franchise is finally focusing on women of a certain age. The new Halloween trailer begs the question, what happens to the Final Girl when she grows up? Apparently, she gets some very big guns.

(image: screengrab)

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Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.