Jamie Lee Curtis' 13 Best Halloween Moments, Ranked

Jamie Lee Curtis is synonymous with "Halloween." Across seven films, out of a whopping 13 in the franchise, Curtis has breathed life into Laurie Strode—the archetype for the Final Girl. She's intuitive, strong, and capable. In each encounter with The Boogeyman, she resolves to survive and seeks to put evil six feet under the ground. From her debut appearance in the 1978 original film to David Gordon Green's "Halloween Ends," Curtis commanded the screen with rich, depth-shattering performances. She plunged into the darkest recesses of the human condition to carve out a character that defines what it means to be strong and resilient amidst crisis. 

Along Laurie's journey, the audience has learned and grown too. Laurie has taught us how to muster up the courage to stand tall in our lives and do what must be done to defeat our own monsters. We are all Laurie. Through every single high and low in the franchise (and there have been some doozies), Laurie Strode's moral convictions and reckoning presence paved the way ahead. As David Gordon Green's reboot trilogy comes to a close, so does the chapter on Laurie Strode. It's a bittersweet ending but a well-earned one.

Below, /Film takes a gander at Curtis' best onscreen moments as Laurie Strode. There are some obvious picks, but a few might surprise you. Have a seat, and let's dive in!

13. The tunnel (Halloween Resurrection)

The first voice we hear in "Halloween Resurrection" is Laurie's. The camera pans through a sewer passage running underneath Grace Andersen Sanitarium. "You've heard of the tunnel... the one we all go through sooner or later," she says. The solemn scene then bleeds into another passage, a pristine and polished hallway leading to a single door with a circular window. "At the end, there's a door. And waiting for you on the other side of that door is either Heaven or Hell."

"This is that door," she adds. Laurie looks forlornly out her window as if waiting for something. The monologue is brief but carries a Dr. Loomis-like style and delivery. This opening scene encompasses Laurie's entire trajectory in the franchise at this point, from unexpected Final Girl to triumphant hero一and then sliding into the pit of hell. Despite what the rest of the film has to offer (and that's not a lot), this moment makes Laurie's tragic return almost bearable. Almost.

12. I saw the Shape (Halloween 2018)

In Green's "Halloween" (2018) reboot, we witness a very different Laurie Strode. She's become a recluse, living on the outskirts of Haddonfield and preparing for Michael Myers' (James Jude Courtney) eventual return for 40 long years. By all accounts, she seems to have things relatively under control — even when a pair of naive podcasters come knocking at her door to reopen old wounds. Instead, she keeps her cool and a level head. She's always vigilant and ready for a fight.

But during a later family dinner, the facade slips away. Laurie breaks down in front of her daughter Karen (Judy Greer), her husband Ray (Toby Huss), her granddaughter Allyson (Andi Matichak), and her boyfriend Cameron (Dylan Arnold). "I saw him...The Shape" Laurie says. She grimaces, holding back a sob. "I wanted to kill him...I didn't know what to do." Karen, who grew up never quite understanding her mother's intentions, replies, "You said you were gonna try to put the past behind you. Okay? Are you gonna try to do that? That's what you said you wanted to do."

Laurie makes no attempt to hold it together and lets all the pain and suffering spill out of her. She quickly leaves and heads out to a nearby highway to get some fresh air. It's within this nuanced and complex restaurant scene that you glimpse into Laurie Strode in her actual state. No pretense, no safeguards, no walls. Just unfiltered, raw emotion.

11. The more he transcends (Halloween Kills)

Regardless of being largely sidelined, Laurie delivers a series-best monologue in "Halloween Kills." Following a confrontation between Michael Myers and countless townspeople, Laurie tells a severely-injured Hawkins (Will Patton) that she "always thought Michael Myers was flesh and blood, just like you and me, but a mortal man could not have survived what he's lived through."

She goes on to use more verbose language, much like Loomis would have used, to describe the power and sheer strength Michael wields. "The more he kills, the more he transcends into something else impossible to defeat," she adds. It's within his ability to plant and spread fear that is the "true curse of Michael...it is the terror that grows stronger when we try to hide." Within this particular timeline, and certainly, in the film itself, we've seen the fear spread like wildfire from one person to the next. That fear fuels Michael just as much as the killing.

Laurie's monologue concludes with the idea that "you can't close your eyes and pretend he isn't there." Evil is everywhere and will come with you whether or not you're prepared. Curtis delivers her words with a tortured reverence and deep understanding of what Michael Myers is capable of. She should know: She's lived through two near-death encounters!

10. Clear the room (Halloween 2018)

Moments after Michael slams her head against the front door in 2018's "Halloween," Laurie decides it's now or never to end things. She grabs her rifle, proceeds to venture upstairs, and follows a mysterious trail of blood into the dark hallway. Cautiously ready, Laurie tip-toes in and out of each room, slamming down a gate once she inspects each room. It's a clever, genre-savvy moment that suggests Laurie has what it takes to stop evil in its tracks.

She soon makes it to the final room, her bedroom, that's littered with mannequins. She discovers Ray's crumpled body in the closet and continues creeping through the room for any signs of Michael. In a flash, Michael emerges from the darkness and rams the barrel of the gun into her throat. Laurie draws a knife and attempts to stab the boogeyman, but she fails. Michael shoves the blade into her abdomen and throws her off the balcony. Laurie lands with a thud, seemingly unconscious.

Allyson arrives and calls out, "Grandmother!" Michael glances over his shoulder and then back to where Laurie lay一only she's no longer there. A spine-tingling musical cue pops into the soundtrack, accentuating the flip on the iconic ending of 1978's "Halloween." This moment shows Laurie is an intuitive, sharp-eyed hero worthy to be Michael's adversary.

9. Between the eyes (Halloween II)

"Halloween II" concludes with one of the most epic finales in franchise history. Once Laurie has made it inside Haddonfield Memorial Hospital, her and Dr. Loomis (Donald Pleasence) run for their lives through the hallways to safety. They eventually make their way into an operating room, where a slew of oxygen tanks are being stored.

Still severely injured, Laurie hunkers down in a corner. Loomis pleads with her to take his pistol. "No," she mumbles, shaking her head. He places the gun on the floor by her feet and takes his place near the door. Michael then rips the wooden door to shreds and barges inside. Loomis pulls the trigger of his pistol, but it's empty. Michael then stabs him in the stomach.

Laurie watches as Michael slowly and methodically marches toward her with a scalpel in hand. She grabs the pistol and pleads, "Michael stop!" She gives him a few seconds to comply and then fires two shots into his eyes. Blood trickles down like tears in one of the series' best shots. Laurie may have been initially reluctant, but she always comes through when it's down to the wire. Even in brief moments, Curtis has a way of commanding the screen and making you care deeply about what happens to Laurie.

8. Not a suicide (Halloween Ends)

In "Halloween Ends," Laurie tricks the audience into believing she's going to kill herself. She dials 911 to report a suicide, yanks off her necklace and removes a pistol from her safe. She raises the gun to her head and then under her chin. She paces in her office. Through the cracked door, a shadow dances across the hall, indicating she's not alone in the house.

Laurie fires a single shot, and pumpkin guts splatter against the nearby wall. Wearing Michael's mask, Corey (Rohan Campbell) slowly opens the door to reveal Laurie holding her pistol squarely at his chest. "Did you really think I was going to kill myself?" Laurie asks. It's a rhetorical question aimed at Corey and the audience. There's no way that would have been the end of Laurie's story. No way, no how! 

Curtis brings such complexity to the scene that you start to believe she might pull the trigger on herself. As it's happening, you question exactly which way this could possibly go. Fortunately, it was just a trap to lure in Corey, a true psychopath.

If you or anyone you know is having suicidal thoughts, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline​ by dialing 988 or by calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255)​.

7. Parking lot chase (Halloween II)

"Halloween II" is a slow burn. With Laurie laid up in the hospital, the action shifts from her to Loomis and a smorgasbord of hospital staff for Michael's body count. One-by-one, Michael kills them — from the horny ambulance driver to the staff of nearby nurses — leaving a sedated Laurie to fend for herself...again.

After being chased through the hospital, Laurie hides in one of the cars. Unfortunately, the car doesn't start, so she slides into the floorboards on the passenger's side. Jimmy climbs into the driver's seat and passes out. With Loomis and Nurse Marion driving into the lot, Laurie attempts to get out of the car but falls flat on her face. She digs her fingernails into the concrete and crawls a few inches toward the hospital. "Help me," she utters. They obviously can't hear her. Once they shut the front doors, she shouts her plea.

What comes next is one of the best chase scenes in the franchise. As Laurie hobbles toward the door, Michael pops around a distant corner. A red light casts an eerie glow on his mask. Laurie pounds on the glass door and lets out a blood-curdling scream. If she hadn't already proven it before, Curtis unleashes her showstopping primal scream for the entire world to hear.

6. On the street (Halloween H20)

"Halloween H20" may have suffered with its technical aspects, but the script is the leanest of the entire saga. From the high-octane opening scene to the third-act showdown, the film keeps you glued to what's happening with a tightly-written story and character-driven moments. One of the best scenes comes when Laurie confronts her son John (Josh Harnett) after he snuck away from school to grab an "off-campus lunch."

"What the f*** do you think you're doing?!?" Laurie screams. "What do you think you can do — just wander around town? I don't ask for very much, just give me this one day!" Later, she contends with him that she needs him to "be responsible, do you know what that means?!" Laurie eviscerates her son, but she's matched in energy with John's resentment toward his mother. "Mom, I'm not responsible for you!" He fires back. Laurie's trauma and paranoia inform their enmeshed dynamic. John's dealt with years of strict, overbearing, and helicopter-style parenting.

Curtis acts her face off. You almost feel as though she's yelling at you through the screen. It's one of those indisputable should-have-won-an-Oscar-type scenes.

5. Over the banister (Halloween)

1978's "Halloween" saves (most) of its best moments for its final act. In the last 20 minutes, Laurie heads over to the Wallace house to see if Annie (Nancy Keyes), Lynda (P.J. Soles), and Bob (John Michael Graham) are safe. She sees the lights flicker on and off. Believing it to be a prank, she calls their bluff. "Alright, you meatheads, the joke's over!" Laurie yells.

She climbs the stairs to the bedrooms and discovers the bodies of her dead friends. Laurie flees to the hallway. In her shock, she stops in a doorway and sobs. As she heads toward the stairs, Michael emerges from the darkness and tries to stab her — only grazing her left arm. Laurie reacts quickly and tumbles over the railing to the bottom of the stairs.

She scrambles to her feet and leaves. Screaming every step of the way, she tries to get a neighbor to open their door to no avail. She darts across the street to the Doyle house and hollers for Tommy (Brian Andrews) to open the door. In a handful of minutes, Laurie demonstrates why she's a bonafide scream queen. Her screams here are enough to chill you to the bone.

4. Off with his head (Halloween H20)

Laurie and Michael's then-final confrontation ends with Laurie chopping off his head. When Laurie suspects something is amiss, she grabs an ax and a gun from a cop's holster and hijacks the coroner's van. She hightails it out of the school and ventures up the mountain, where she runs the van over the side of a cliff.

Once the van pins Michael against a fallen tree, a severely-injured and bloody Laurie retrieves the ax and approaches her boogeyman. With an outstretched hand, Michael attempts to manipulate Laurie to show him mercy. She extends her hand in response but only for a moment. She smirks and takes a big swing. His head rolls into the grass, cementing this moment as a legendary, genre-savvy conclusion from the greatest Final Girl to ever live.

Of course, "Halloween Resurrection" completely undoes all that with an uninspired reason he survived such a brutal attack. Turn out that it wasn't Michael behind the mask: It was an innocent paramedic. Despite how ludicrous this all is, the finale in "Halloween H20" is still powerful. The catharsis the audience and Laurie experience feel genuinely real.

3. Laurie's masterpiece (Halloween Ends)

Laurie goes toe-to-toe with evil again in 2022's "Halloween Ends." In a raw and grounded hand-to-hand combat sequence, Laurie fights Michael. Throughout "Halloween Ends," Michael takes a backseat to the story centered around Corey, a bullied pariah driven to kill by the town. But Michael shows up in the final few minutes to finish what he started.

Laurie takes quite a few licks, from getting her head smashed to nearly losing her hand. But she quickly recovers. First, she nails Michael's hands to the kitchen island (think: twisted crucifixion) and topples the refrigerator onto his left leg, effectively pinning him. She whips out a knife and slits his throat and right wrist — draining his body of blood.

Once the police arrive on the scene, Michael's body goes to the nearby junkyard with a giant shredder. Disheveled but determined, Laurie rolls his lifeless form into the machine, so he's ground to bloody bits. Talk about an ending to end all endings! Laurie's kill is a masterpiece.

2. The closet (Halloween)

The tension within the original "Halloween" builds and builds. In the last 20 minutes, things get dicey for Laurie. Following the discovery of her friends' bodies, Laurie stabs Michael with a knitting needle. She believes she killed him, but she's dead wrong.

She demands the kids hide in a closet while she takes refuge in a slatted bedroom closet. She opens the balcony doors as a way to convince Michael she's jumped out of the house. She then hunkers down in the corner of a closet. 

But he knows where she is and beelines for Laurie. He rattles the doors and smashes his hands through the thin wood slats. Laurie screams and reaches high above her head for a metal clothes hanger, which she fashions into a weapon. Michael pops his head in, and she stabs him in the eye, making him drop the knife. Laurie intuitively grabs it and takes a stab at his stomach. He falls onto the floor. Right from the start, Laurie proved she had what it took to face evil and win. She may have needed a little help in the end, but she more than survived on her own terms.

1. Stop running (Halloween H20)

Kicking off the full-throttle third act of "Halloween H20," Laurie has had enough. She's decided today is the day for a long-overdue reckoning. After sending Molly (Michelle Williams) and John down the road to call for the police, she marches to the glass-cased emergency ax. Laurie breaks it open with a hearty kick and swipes the killing device.

With an inspired glean in her eye, Laurie screams, "Michael!" John Carpenter's iconic "Halloween" theme kicks in here, adding to the moment's sheer power. She proceeds to scream his name a few more times. As he has done to her many time, Laurie stalks the hallways for Michael. But he pounces on her from the rafters above them. She swings the ax and punctures his shoulder — jumpstarting their brawl.

In the final act, Laurie does everything she can think of to take down her monster — from stabbing him with a flag pole to hurling a drawer of knives. Nothing seems to work. In a last-ditch effort, Laurie hides behind a curtain and waits for the perfect opportunity to give him the slip. She stabs and stabs until Michael topples over a banister and lands with an audible thud on a table below them. 

Despite all the various "Halloween" timelines, Laurie will never go down without a fight. After all, she is the ultimate Final Girl. We see her determination and strength play out most memorably in the underrated "Halloween H20."