Ladies of Horror May-hem: Laurie Strode


If ever there was a case for hazard pay for babysitters, then Laurie Strode would be the star witness. She’d also make a great case for why working on holidays warrants at least time and a half.

[Loba Tangent: Do not even remotely think about mentioning any remake to me in this instance. I have written all I need to about that cinematic abortion.]

As I already mentioned, even though Jess Bradford started the slasher movie “final girl” trope, Laurie Strode, as portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis in director John Carpenter’s Halloween, became the standard by starring in the more popular slasher movie…thus confirming the home truth that it’s not about being qualified…it’s about being the most liked.

Life Lesson #345,634,905 From Horror.

That’s not to say that Laurie isn’t qualified as a Lady of Horror May-hem. Quite the opposite. She proves herself repeatedly as a survivor by virtue of many things…including, well, her virtue. Although John Carpenter has repeatedly denied that his intention was ever to present a puritanical notion that only the “good” girls survive while the naughty girls become slasher bait, the fact remains that by becoming the example against whom all following slasher movie heroines would be compared, our virginal, nebbishy Laurie cast a mold from which final girls didn’t break free for almost 20 years.

[Loba Tangent: Oh, but I hope I draw that name before this month is over…]

Focusing on Laurie’s sexual activity (or lack, thereof), regardless of the reasons, always seemed misogynistic to me. What does it matter what uglies she and her friends are bumping? It’s as ridiculous as the 70s/80s horror movie “rule” that demanded at least one gratuitous boob shot. Because titillation.

Thankfully, horror has become a little more sophisticated in some ways (although it has a long way to go to really be more inclusive). Our final girls don’t have to be pure as the driven snow anymore. They just have to be smart under pressure.

That all being said, Laurie definitely does keep her wits through one of the most helacious Halloween nights ever. Even better? Her weapon of choice at one point? Knitting needless. Hard-core, betches. Hard. Core.