The Night She Came Home: New ‘Halloween’ film offers powerful homage to original Scream Queen


In this flick, 40 years passed since Laurie Strode survived an attack from killer Michael Myers on Halloween night. Myers escapes from an institution when his bus transfer goes wrong.

Lauren Sanchez , Viewpoints Section Editor

Michael Myers may be back, but the recent sequel to John Carpenter’s “Halloween” is Laurie Strode’s movie.

Director David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” is the 11th film in the franchise and is quite possibly the best. This is by no means any disrespect to Carpenter; after all, he gave us the original film in 1978 and created what is one of the most iconic slashers to ever grace the big screen.

However, we can praise the original “Halloween” while also noting that it’s insanely cheesy, full of poorly written dialogue and the scenes that don’t focus on Michael stalking and killing his victims aren’t all that good.

That being said, what Carpenter’s “Halloween” lacks in storytelling and overall scares is made up for in Green’s “Halloween.”

The film opens at the mental institution where Michael is being held, two true crime podcasters who wish to gain insight on the Myers’s case help show the audience just how far ahead in the future we are. These podcasters introduce us to the new Michael Myers as well as his new doctor. Most importantly, the podcasters introduce us to Laurie Strode, still psychologically tormented by her would-be killer from 40 years ago. From there the film follows Laurie and introduces us to her daughter, her son-in-law and her granddaughter.

The imagery surrounding Michael is also stunning. Michael Myers never has a true slasher name other than the one given to him by Carpenter, “The Shape.” Michael was called this because he often blends into the background as he stalks his victims, and when they catch a glimpse of him he’s a shape off in the distance. The new “Halloween” plays heavily on this, as you often see Michael killing someone in the background as a blurry shape or materializing out of the darkness.

The film does a wonderful job of keeping transitions between characters and settings smooth and comprehensible while also keeping the audience on the edge of their seats. The storytelling aspect is new and interesting while also incorporating some of the old horror movie tropes we know and love; the film has something for classic horror movie fans and new-age horror movie fans.

The audience is introduced to Laurie’s granddaughter, Allyson. She’s a high school student in the Honors Society, she’s assertive, she’s a brunette and she has all the characteristics of a final girl. For those unfamiliar with the final girl, she’s the only survivor of the horror film and makes it out either with her smarts, her will to live, sheer dumb luck or a combination of the three. Aside from Allyson, we meet her two friends, one being a blonde and the other being a stoner. We later meet another friend of hers, the class clown. All these characters, aside form Allyson’s, are always marked for death in horror films. Their fates are as plain as the nose on Michael’s face.

While we do encounter these character tropes in the film, there is also an interesting and powerful family dynamic within the film that helps the movie shift away from traditional horror movies. Laurie, her daughter Karen and Allyson each must band together to protect themselves from Michael after years of enduring the terror he subjected the three generations of the Strode family to.

Though Karen and Allyson have never been directly attacked by Michael until this film, both have felt the long-term effects he left on their mother and grandmother’s life. Laurie and Karen’s relationship is rocky at best, considering the fact that Laurie’s trauma caused by Michael became Karen’s trauma. Oddly enough, this is not only a slasher film, but also a film about mothers and daughters and the roles they play in each others lives.

Another stark difference in this film is how the roles are almost reversed between Michael and Laurie, making Laurie the predator and Michael the prey.

A lot of the shots in this sequel are mirrored shots of the original, but with Laurie’s and Michael’s positioning reversed. The iconic scene from the 1978 film where Laurie is at school, gazing out of a window and spots Michael stalking her from across the street is mirrored in this version, only Allyson is looking out the window and spots Laurie watching her.

While leaving out as many spoilers as possible, the ending from the original where Michael is shot out of a window only to disappear from sight in the next shot is also mirrored. Laurie is thrown out of a window, and when Michael’s attention is shifted away from her body for a split second, he looks back and she is gone.

Yes, Laurie’s family is being hunted by the Shape. But she’s hunting him as well.

As a fan of these films, I must pay my respects to Carpenter and the original masterpiece he blessed horror fans with 40 years ago. But for me, revisiting Haddonfield and getting this new look at Laurie Strode, one where she’s taken back the power from Michael, has made this film for me the best of the franchise.

Laurie Strode has finally come home. Happy Halloween, Michael.