Posted in Women Who Wow Wednesday

Laurie Strode

For those unfamiliar with the Halloween franchise, one cannot say the name Laurie Strode without saying Michael Myers in the same breath. One, the protagonist. The other, über-antagonist. Women Who Wow Wednesday continues with horror’s scream queen Laurie Strode.

Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode
Jamie Lee Curtis as Laurie Strode

When Jamie Lee Curtis accepted the role of Laurie Strode in the 1978 horror classic Halloween, who would have thought she’d become the success she is today. Daughter of Hollywood parents Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Curtis’ debut in the film solidified her place in the annals of horror. As a no-nonsense actress with weathered chops to take on any role, she played Laurie Strode straight (just as her mother did playing a victim in the 1960 movie Psycho). The genre had seen too many bad movies with bad actresses who trivialized their roles as victims. Not Curtis. She made sure of that.

Michael Myers was only a young boy when he walked into his parents’ house, grabbed a butcher knife, climbed the stairs to his sister’s room, and slaughtered her in a demonic bloodbath. When he made his way back through the front door that Halloween night, his parents greeted the boy as he still held the knife, his sister’s blood dripping from the blade to the sidewalk.

The authorities committed him to Smith’s Grove Warren County Sanitarium never to see the light of day again.

Michael Myers
Michael Myers

Fifteen years later, Michael Myers escapes the asylum and returns to his hometown of Haddonfield, Illinois. This time, he dawns a mask and a pair of coveralls with the intent to carry out another bloody rampage during the dark festival of Halloween.

Enter Laurie Strode, the teenage babysitter who Michael stalks. That entire day she thinks she sees someone, but doesn’t. He’s there, but isn’t. In her literature class, he appears staring at her from across the street. Then he’s gone. Walking home, he shows up again from behind a hedge. He disappears. From behind a clothesline in the neighbor’s backyard. Vanished.

That evening, while Laurie babysits Tommy Doyle, her friend Annie pops over with her own charge, Lindsey Wallace. She wants Laurie to look after Lindsey so she could go out with her boyfriend. Laurie agrees. After some time, Annie still hadn’t shown up to pick up Lindsey. Laurie heads over to the Wallace’s to see what’s keeping her. What she finds shakes her to the core. Annie’s dead lying under Michael’s sister Judith’s tombstone. So are her other friends Lynda and Bob. Michael killed them and placed the bodies in various areas of the house for Laurie to find. Out of the darkness Michael appears, slices Laurie’s arm causing her to fall down the stairs, snapping her ankle.

This is the part where Laurie Strode the fighter emerges. She limps back to the Doyle house with one thing on her mind: protect the children. Michael follows, crashing through a window prompting Laurie to slip a knitting needle through his neck. Doesn’t faze him. He still comes after her. With the children in tow, they run and hide in a closet upstairs. He hunts them. She unravels a coat hanger and sits silently, hoping he doesn’t find them. He does, and attacks them with a knife. She pokes him in the eye with the hanger. He drops the knife. She grabs the knife and stabs him in the stomach. He collapses.

Believing he’s dead, she instructs the children to leave the house. She does well. He rises and tries to strangle her. Dr. Loomis, Michael’s psychiatrist, bursts into the scene saving Laurie by unloading his weapon into Michael.

Although critics may consider Laurie Strode a victim in this movie, she is nothing but. If anything, she was brave for risking her life for the welfare of the children. She wasn’t afraid to stand up to evil. And that’s what a hero is. Selfless, always thinking about those who can’t defend themselves, and a true believer in good.

Ever see Halloween? What do you think of Laurie Strode?


Jack Flacco is an author and the founder of Looking to God Ministries, an organization dedicated to spreading the Word of God through outreach programs, literature and preaching.

21 thoughts on “Laurie Strode

  1. Again, agreeing with you on Jamie Lee. No one does it like her. She is so versatile in her roles. When they re-made halloween, i felt the new one was missing something…Jamie Lee Curtis.

  2. A brilliant article and a fabulous film. Horror films have become increasingly terrible, so there’s nothing better than sitting back with Halloween and realising how good it can be when it’s done right!

  3. Good post! I have seen all of the Halloween films, but the original is one of the quintessential films the horror genre has to offer. In my view, Jamie Lee Curtis nailed her part in regard to how she projected vulnerability. She reminded me of the girl next door; a smart one at that, who I could picture being as resourceful as her character Laurie Strode while she is protecting the children she is babysitting. I also consider the first Halloween film a passing of the torch moment, since Jamie Lee Curtis’ mother, Janet Leigh, played Marion Crain in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho.”

    1. I agree. The passing of the torch aspect of Curtis’ performance makes it an all-more-important film for movie buffs alike. I’ll never forget the Psycho scene where Leigh had stolen the cash and then she’s playing cat and mouse with the police. I love that scene. It goes to show just how wonderful an actress Leigh was. Curtis inherited those same scene sensibilities with her portrayal of Strode!

  4. A great read. The scream queen still has yet to be dethroned, not by Neve Campbell’s lip quivering Sydney and having recently seen Evil Dead, Jane Levy’s Mia doesn’t stand a chance either. That tense moment in the wardrobe still gives me the chills.

  5. This is one of my favorite all time films. This is a very concise post about Laurie. I know just about everything there is to know about Halloween and Micheal Myers though I still have a few nagging questions in my head that wasn’t cleared up in the movies because later in the series it wasn’t properly explain and I don’t think they did a good enough job putting together the story line evolution. Every Halloween, I celebrate my love of this series by watching it. I do not let a single Halloween go by without watching it. I did not see this movie until about 14 & 15. I believe this is up there in one of the greatest horror movies ever made. John Carpenter is an awesome producer! He and some other people’s work never cease to amaze me. Thank you, Jack, for this awesome, awesome post! Many praises!!!

  6. I’ve only seen the remake…but thats because I took a break from horror for a while. But I recently just bought the WHOLE collection so I’ll be getting on that next month. At least thats the plan 🙂

  7. I loved the first one and then the others kind of languished without Jamie-Lee Curtis (even Halloween 2 wasn’t as good) Until H2O which I loved.

  8. Nobody could scream like Jamie Lee. Now we know why. It was her extraordianarily clean digestive tract. 🙂

  9. Well I love the Halloween franchise. Let me clarify. I enjoyed the first two movies.The others that come after were just OK. I must say I didn’t really care for the Laurie Strode character. She came across too mousy and soft. I’m not saying ever female character has to kick ass but she didn’t come across as being too strong. There’s one scene in Halloween 2 when she’s crawling across the parking lot and she timidly yells help. I’m like girl get up and scream for you life. LOL. That’s my little ole opinion. As usual, I love your Women Who Wow Wednesdays articles.

  10. What a great review! I’ve never seen this, I’m creeped out just reading about it. Lucky I have the dog here. I did watch The Hand that Rocks the Cradle and the last ten minutes of Carrie, that’s about as dark as I can get.

    1. Catherine, this is one of those classics that every film and literature student should watch to learn about pacing, imagery, concept and plot. The whole premise is fantastic. The gore may be too much for some, however, it was the first of its kind to bring something new to the industry that never existed before–the “slasher film.”

  11. Fair play to her she gave it a good go. I was sort of pleased when the blonde one got killed, the one who puts the word “totally” in every sentence? Totally pissed me off!! An excellent film though.

  12. One of my favourite films, but then again I am a big John Carpenter fan. Jamie Lee is great in this, far superior to her counterpoints in other slasher films. But what does it take to kill the seemingly invincible Michael Myers? I also love Donald Pleasence’s performance in this.

  13. This original Halloween is one of the truly great suspense/thrillers I think. Laurie was awesome. I haven’t ever been able to watch any of the others in the franchise, but this one…this one worked without grossing me out. It just terrified.

    But I wonder how many girls were afraid to babysit on Halloween after its release? 🙂

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