Even with the shaky way her trauma is handled at certain points, the latest Halloween film is a story about Laurie Strode’s trauma and the way it affected her entire family. With Michael somehow surviving being incinerated and returning for two more films, Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends, we’ll be diving deep into more of Laurie’s story, as well as the story of others who survived Michael both in 1978 and in 2018.
While speaking with Collider, star Jamie Lee Curtis said of the film that “The ass-kicking part is the fan-favorite part, but from my standpoint, I didn’t go into it because I got to kick Michael’s bottom. I was particularly drawn because it was a movie about trauma. The trauma that occurs for these characters for forty years, I felt was very important that David understood that and was really giving Laurie great honor to acknowledge that her experience of her life was very challenged.”
She also talked about how the second film would dive into the other characters whose lives were impacted by Michael all those years ago. New additions to the cast are Anthony Michael Hall as Tommy Doyle, Kyle Richards as Lindsey Wallace, and Robert Longstreet as Lonnie Elam. Tommy and Lindsey were two children who Laurie and her friends were babysitting during the events of the film, and Lonnie was a childhood bully. His son, Cameron, was Allyson’s cheating boyfriend in the first film.
While Michael murdered several people that night in 1978, the impact on the survivors outside of Laurie hasn’t really been seen. We know Lonnie, from a passing conversation in the 2018 film, has had trouble with the law, and of course we see what happens to Laurie. But we don’t know what happens to Tommy and Lindsey, who also saw Michael. What does their trauma look like?
The slasher genre tends to be about trauma. We see a great deal of stories about final girls who are continuously faced with their very much literal demons. By centering the story on Laurie and what her trauma looks like, the new Halloween films not only present a case for why they should exist but take an adult look at what a world that has been frightened by Michael would look like, especially now with the inclusion of familiar faces from the original.
The question becomes then how they will resolve the story satisfactorily. Will Laurie get catharsis? Is it possible to get catharsis and move on after all of this? With Michael’s return, will she lose even more to him? I worry that the story will end in Laurie’s death, which would be a fairly grim note to go out on. Laurie deserves to move on somehow, with the help of her family.
By centering the story on the realities of what surviving such an event would do to a person, the creatives behind the film have grounded the film in reality and given them some serious emotional stakes. Hopefully, the coming films will continue to keep the human element and not just focus on spectacle for spectacle’s sake. Sure, the kills have to get grander in a sequel, but we can’t forget the human characters that keep us coming back for more.
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