Halloween’s protagonist Laurie Strode has died three times throughout the film series, including the remakes. John Carpenter’s slasher classic Halloween was released in 1978 and introduced a new masked villain: Michael Myers, and his target, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis). The film followed this serial killer, who was committed to a sanitarium when he was six years old for murdering his sister, as he escapes and returns to Haddonfield to stalk and kill Laurie and her friends.
Halloween became a sprawling horror franchise, with novels and comic books following Michael’s killing sprees, but it’s best known for the film series, which has a total of 11 titles, including Rob Zombie’s remakes and David Gordon Green’s reboot. All movies (except Halloween III: Season of the Witch) have Michael Myers as the villain, but Laurie Strode wasn’t his target in all of them – because she died a couple of times.
Laurie Strode was the protagonist of Halloween and Halloween II, but Jamie Lee Curtis decided to not go back to Haddonfield for Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, and so Laurie died in a car accident prior to the events in that film. This made her daughter, Jamie Lloyd, Michael’s new target until Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers, where she died early on in the story. Jamie Lee Curtis came back in Halloween H20: 20 Years Later, a direct sequel to Halloween II that dismissed the rest of the films (including Jamie Lloyd). It was explained that Laurie faked her death to escape from Michael, changed her name to Keri Tate, and years later moved to California with her son, John. She appeared in the sequel, Halloween: Resurrection, where she died after Michael stabbed her and threw her off the roof.
In Rob Zombie’s versions, Laurie was played by Scout Taylor-Compton, and her fate depends on which Halloween II version you watch. In the theatrical cut, Laurie is taken to a psychiatric hospital after stabbing Michael to death. Sitting in isolation, she has a vision of her mother and the white horse. In the director’s cut, she has a very different ending: Michael stabs Loomis and is later shot by the police. Laurie exits the cabin, picks up Michael’s knife, and walks over to an unconscious Dr. Loomis, but the police shoot her and she dies (although she’s later seen in the same psychiatric ward from the theatrical cut in what could be one last vision before she dies, so it’s open for interpretation).
Laurie Strode is one of the strongest (and most famous) “final girls” in the horror genre and continues with her legacy in the Halloween reboot. Laurie (once again played by Jamie Lee Curtis) is set to come back in Halloween Kills and Halloween Ends. Whatever the future holds for her, Laurie will live on as a prime example of a “final girl”, and Jamie Lee Curtis will continue to be a legend in the horror genre.
- Halloween Kills (2020) release date: Oct 16, 2020
- Halloween Ends (2021) release date: Oct 15, 2021