Final Girl Friday: Laurie Strode, Rob Zombie’s Halloween I & II

Lots of horror fans refuse to acknowledge Rob Zombie‘s place in Halloween history. Lots of people are torn about the man himself and honestly, I really get it. Personally, I’m a fan and have loved most of his movies. While Halloween & Halloween II don’t really work the way John Carpenter‘s original did*, they do at least try to explore the story from a fresh angle and I appreciate that.

This week I thought I’d pay tribute to the second most famous Laurie Strode in cinematic history, played by Scout Taylor-Compton, an actress with a couple of cool roles under her belt.

*Spoilers – beware!*

The Girl

Laurie, Halloween (2007), Halloween II (2009)

The Situation

This one probably doesn’t need much of an introduction. The character of Laurie Strode is probably one of, if not THE most famous final girl of all time. But just in case, Laurie is the adopted daughter of The Strodes. She is also the baby sister of serial killer Michael Myers who killed their elder sister Judith when he was six years old.

In this version, we meet a young Michael Myers who on the night he kills his sister, also kills her boyfriend and his mum’s horrible boyfriend. This isn’t really in keeping with the original story but never mind. He’s also ten when he commits these atrocities. Anyway, Laurie is really Angel Myers but she doesn’t know it (yet). |Her secret history is just dying to creep out and slap her around the face, thus changing her life forever. How will she handle it?

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In less stabby times

The Final Girl

This Laurie is cool because she takes on all the characteristics of the original character but she also has to deal with the aftermath of the loss of her adoptive parents, after Michael slaughters them. She’s super young and has dealt with so much, having lost most of her friends, the only parents she’s ever known and now, some of her marbles.

Halloween does what is says on the tin (with a little embellishment here and there, including more focus on Deborah Myers (Sheri Moon Zombie), mother of Michael), but Halloween II examines Laurie’s PTSD in more detail. Following the events of that first night, Laurie now lives with Sheriff Brackett (Brad Dourif) and his daughter Annie, who is Laurie’s BFF. The two girls have barely made it out alive but here they are and their relationship is shaky at best. Laurie finds it hard to look at her friend’s badly scarred face without recounting that night and that is driving a wedge between them.

Laurie seeks out faster friends, alcohol and drugs like any normal teen would. But she’s a fighter still and although she’s haunted by the truth once it’s outed, she comes out kicking. Michael’s MO is to find Angel and rejoin his mother in the afterlife, a fucked-up family for all eternity. But you didn’t think it would be that easy did you, Mikey?

The ending of HII suggests that Laurie has completely lost it (and perhaps compelled to take on Michael’s role) as she ends up in an institution but I feel as though there is more to her story. I don’t think of her as the same girl played by Jamie Lee. She’s a contemporary anti-victim and a pretty good FG too. A terrible screamer though.

Final Girl Rating

3/5. I like everything but the scream. 

*For the record I think these movies are too gory (I know, right?) and they take away the things that made the first so iconic. We’re not supposed to know anything about MM, that’s the point. He’s evil personified and we don’t really know what’s going on in his head. But they are kind of fun too.
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A Horror Movie Questionnaire

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“You’ve got red on you.”

I’ve stolen today’s cue from Vinnieh, who popped up on my blog yesterday and commented on some of my horror posts. On nosing around his website, I found this questionnaire and thought it would be fun. And it is Halloween month, after all…

Thanks for the inspiration, Vinneh. I needed it.

  1. What is the first scary movie you recall watching?
    I suppose Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)? I can’t remember the exact film but I remember becoming aware of characters like Freddy at quite a young age (8 onwards). I don’t think I was that frightened on first sight, because Elm Street had the comedy element down and I must have taken that away with me but now it makes me wince.

    I’ve grown to fear these characters far more, and with Elm Street it’s the comfort and necessity of going to sleep that is taken away from Nancy and her friends, giving them no escape from the torment of the razor fingered one. One film that scared and still scares the living shit out of me is Candyman (1992) (which I’ll talk about again below), the whole invoking of a vengeful entity freaks me right out.

    On review though, I think it’s the ‘real life’ threats that get me, like the thugs impersonating Candyman to rule the Cabrini Green housing projects. Also, when Helen wakes up on the kitchen floor of one of the apartments in a puddle of blood having killed a dog, I die every time. She has no control over her consciousness – and that’s terrifying.

    I loved Wes Craven‘s The People Under the Stairs (1991), I also loved Hitchcock, Carpenter, Stephen King growing up. They coloured all the best childhoods I think.

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    Knife fingers are never not useful, except during balloon animal classes

    2. What for you is the scariest movie you have ever seen?
    Burlesque (2010).

    Seriously though, I’m going to say that The Blair Witch Project (1999) scarred me for life, and I’ll fist fight anyone who pulls me up on it. It’s a masterpiece, was truly terrifying and shows you nothing at all. It’s your imagination that does all the work. So many films would have been better if they’d reigned it in the way BW did. That ending though.

    3. Which sub-genre of horror is your favourite? (Psychological/slasher/comedy horror are just some to choose from)
    Good question! I do love dark comedy horror, like the Evil Dead movies (II onwards). I recently saw The Greasy Strangler (2016) which was something else altogether.

    I’m going to say psychological horror as it tends to be stronger and more satisfying, but I won’t avoid a slasher. I’m crazy about ghost stories to be honest, I like the feeling of being chilled to the bone and tripping over my own imagination.

    (I think I just love all sub genres, don’t make me choose!)

    4. What does a horror movie need for you to enjoy it?
    It needs to not patronise me or trick me with cheap frights. I can get scared easily, you don’t have to have Noel Fielding dressed as a nun jumping out of mirrors every eight minutes to get me going, you know? (The Conjuring 2).

    Hint, drop clues, get my imagination working overtime and I’m yours. Good examples are It Follows (2014), The Babadook (2014) and The Blair Witch Project (1999). The Descent (2005) is  maybe a little less subtle but it doesn’t give the game away too soon and I love it for that.

    5. Are there any horror movies you really detest?
    I’m not a fan of the Hostel movies or torture porn in general. For obvious reasons I’m not crazy about rape/revenge tales either (Last House on the Left, The Hills Have Eyes).

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    Bumble Bae

    6. What is the sexiest scene you have witnessed in a horror movie?
    I find this really hard to answer because I’m never thinking that way when I settle down to a good horror but I think the Candyman’s backstory (before he’s tortured and killed by angry villagers) is pretty hot. As is he to be fair. Worse ways to go than in his arms, I would think.

    7. Who is your favourite antagonist in a horror movie?
    I definitely have a soft spot for Norman Bates, Pinhead and the Firefly family.

    8. Is there any director that for you symbolises the best in horror cinema?
    George A. Romero, John Carpenter and Rob Zombie all different reasons. George for his sheer audacity with gore, John Carpenter for genuinely inventive films which have stuck with me all my life and Rob Zombie, who doesn’t always get it right but does always pay respectful tribute to the horror genre and you can tell he just loves the films he makes.

    9. Blood and gore or creepy atmosphere?
    There’s a place for both but the latter if pushed.

    10. And finally, what do you think so far of my horror coverage this month?
    I’m a new reader but so far I’m really enjoying the read!

If you fancy getting on board this horror questionnaire, feel free. I’d love to read your answers, Horror Hounds ❤