During her four-decade reign as Scream Queen, Jamie Lee Curtis encountered every kind of cinematic horror imaginable. There are the scythe-wielding pirate ghosts of The Nebula; the revenge-seeking psychopath of Terror Zuch; the serial killer kills her Blo Stol. She was almost decapitated by her brother Prom night, chased in by the Australian outback Road Games, and confronts the ultimate terror (teenage girls!) and Freaky Friday.
Michael Myers, however, was a different story.
Of all the boogeyms that Curtis avoided, none made a bigger impression on the audience than the masked killer with a procedure for cutting babysitters. Made on a shoestring budget by a group of film-school dropouts led by John Carpenter, Halloween redefined horror when it opened in the fall of 1978. To play the playwright Laurie Strode — her first film role — Curtis went on to become such a genre fixture that she basically created her own archetype. Comedy like Trading places in the A fish called Wanda showed that she was capable of looking much more than big eyes and scared, but Curtis never disappeared too far from the character that drove her to the star.
“Halloween was never meant to be a franchise until it became one. “Nobody involved knew there was going to be something valuable going on,” the actor said Vogue about a recent zoom call. “And here I am, 43 years later, still playing Laurie Strode.”
Curtis brought Strode back to life for David Gordon Green’s franchise reboot in 2018. Instead of relying on the sketchy mythology that has been laid out in decades of mediocre sequels – including a far-fetched decision to make Michael and Laurie siblings – 2018’s Halloween ignores them all, acting as a direct continuation of the 1978 original. And while Laurie Strode may have been a book-loving virgin to run her life, by 2018 she was ready to fight back. When Myers made a bloody return to his hometown of Haddonfield, she captured and burned him alive in a climactic moment that ended his reign of terror forever.
But as anyone who has literally seen a slasher movie knows, you can not hold a killer for long. Set moments after the events of the 2018 film, Halloween kills (both arriving in theaters and streams at Peacock this Friday) sees the residents of the Haddonfield Band come together to take down Myers. Even though Curtis has been sidelined for most of the action – having suffered massive injuries from the last film – she remains the beating heart of the franchise. With a third and final payment, Halloween Enn, to kick off the trilogy next year, Curtis is preparing to put Laurie Strode in the rest as he prepares for the next one.