Ladies of Horror May-hem: Kirsty Cotton


I waffled a bit about adding Kirsty Cotton to the pot. After all, she’s sort of an accidental final girl, stumbling upon the whole sordid ordeal between her stepmother and her Uncle Frank and defeating the Cenobites with the Lemarchand’s box more by sheer luck than anything else.

It’s her second appearance in the Hellraiser franchise, Hellbound: Hellraiser II, that ultimately convinced me that she deserved a place in the running, for proving that sometimes an “accidental” final girl can become a right and proper bad-ass final girl when presented a redo.

Actress Ashley Laurence proved to be an interesting choice to bring to life the character of Kirsty. I honestly found her quite forgettable in the first movie (note: this is the second Clive Barker movie to appear this month; he and Stephen King apparently rock my socks when it comes to horrific ladies). It’s not that she was bad in the first movie; she simply wasn’t quite as interesting as the incredibly disturbing things taking place around her. I think this actually played well in her favor, making Kirsty’s survival and return both surprising and a bit exciting. So often, characters fail to make it from one movie to the next when a movie goes franchise, either because they inevitably die or the next movie’s handlers decide to go in a different direction (which is exactly what happens with the third installment of this series).

However, by bringing back Kirsty, the keepers of Pinhead and his Cenobite cronies not only create a logical bridge between the movies (rather than skewing off into a completely bizarre direction like, say, the second Nightmare on Elm Street or the third Halloween), but they also allow this formerly bland character a better chance to shine.

And do things with skin that could have gotten her cast in Silence of the Lambs. Eek.

I know that Laurence returns as Kirsty once more in the franchise. However, I’ve yet to see that movie. I haven’t made it past the third sequel…although once you see Jadzia Dax face off against a Cenobite with a video camera shoved into his head and another that pukes fire…well, there’s not really any reason to keep going. Still, I’d like to see what Pinhead has in store for our intrepid survivor. It must puzzle him to no end that she keeps escaping his attempts to box her in.

Oh, go ahead. Groan. Even I admit that was quite the tortured pun. It’s suffering was legendary, though, even in hell.

All right. I’ll stop now. No more teasing. It’s time to play. Right, Kirsty?