halloween box office

Three Generations of Survivor

As Laurie, Karen, and Allyson huddle atop Laurie’s basement trap’s staircase, glaring down at a broiling Michael Myers, three generations of Strode finally see justice brought to the man who stole their lives. This isn’t just a fulfilling reconciliation of the Laurie Strode character arc. Michael’s crispy-fried “demise” (let’s be real, he’s not visible in final inferno cinematography) sees three women glaring into the eyes of an evil that so many claimed to be no longer a threat. Years and years of Laurie being pushed towards therapy and shunned and chastised. No one believed ghost stories, but more importantly, no one believed her.

There’s more to Strode’s (momentary) vindication than fan-servicing a showdown between embattled Laurie and aged-but-still-invincible Michael Myers. More behind all three female Strodes stabbing, shooting, and capturing Michael. Importance in Karen fawning her inability to plant a bullet in Michael Myers (“Gotcha”). Justification to all the men of Halloween failing the women around them (and dying). Halloween contorts horror’s “final girl” definition to read with guards still raised for an entire gender as Allyson is seen clutching her bloody kitchen knife defense weapon in Green’s final shot. It’s an encapsulation of feelings shared by those who understand that winning one battle does not vanquish an entire scourge, which would have been a tremendous message to be landed by a female director. Green succeeds, but imagine a different set of chromosomes directing tone.

Laurie Strode’s desire to kill Michael Myers could spawn from so many reasons. Survivor’s guilt. Mental breakdown. Doomsday paranoia. But most of all? I read Laurie’s desire to stake Michael in the heart as an assurance that someone will. Aaron and Dana want to monetize him. Dr. Sartain (Haluk Bilginer) wishes to “study” Michael. Others fail to respect the Myers legend. Laurie becomes a hollow shell of herself because no one will listen and she’s left to face the unspeakable herself. Curtis’ isolated fortress and trembling hand a product of society’s treatment over the years. These seem like horror movie tropes in moments of monster vs. man standoffs, but under a social context, hit upon a very “now” sense of fear bordering the existential and unbelieved. Everyone challenges Laurie about how bad things can get and they receive an answer no one is prepared for.

Embrace and Learn From Fear, Don’t Hide From It

Horror cinema doesn’t have a necessary responsibility to preach or incite riots or even want to extrapolate on horrors of today. Movies can be an escape and that’s fine. But when scary stories can become scary relevant, or refocus uncertain anxieties some might ignore out of blissful disregard, you get a movie like Halloween. An exemplification of how dead and buried formats from our past – slasher cinema, in this case – can be reanimated with truth serums slurped from the vein of current paranoias. What once worked doesn’t have to again. Adapt, evolve, and tap into themes that resonate with today’s moviegoer. This is how Halloween rejuvenates Michael Myers, an icon reincarnated on the forefront of concerns experienced by everyday people in a time where “Five Dead By Stabbing” would barely register on cable news stations.

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