Dean's pick of the month
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by Dean Patrick
A Word about Jamie Lee Curtis
John Carpenter had no plans to hire Jamie Lee Curtis to star in his epic horror, “Halloween,” until he knew she was Janet Leigh’s daughter. Janet Leigh from Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho,” who was butchered in the famous shower scene.
Within a few months after the 1978 release of "Halloween," Curtis became one of cinema’s first scream queens, and went on to nurture one of cinema’s greatest horror characters, Laurie Strode - who happens to be on screen to this very day with the release of “Halloween Kills.”
The first “Halloween” is masterful. Carpenter produced something equally as terrifying as “Psycho.” The 70s hosted a slew of great horror films, but perhaps only “The Exorcist” and “Alien” bested Carpenter’s effort. But that’s for another time.
The “Halloween” saga staring Curtis is as follows:
“Halloween” 1978, directed by John Carpenter
“Halloween II” 1981, directed by Rick Rosenthal
“Halloween H2O” 1998, directed by Steve Miner
“Halloween Resurrection” 2002, directed by Rick Rosenthal
“Halloween” 2018, directed by David Gordon Green (Carpenter as producer)
“Halloween Kills” 2021, directed by David Gordon Green
“Halloween Ends” 2022, directed by David Gordon Green
The first installment is easily the best, with Curtis’ performance the best as well. And while she does not have the range of a Toni Collette or Jessie Buckley Harper, what Curtis has created in Laurie Strobe is a timeless character who goes into battle - even across different time lines - against one of cinema’s greatest horror villains, Michael Meyers. (Quick tidbit: in the first film he was also known as The Shape). Whether you love these films or hate them, Curtis’ Strobe is one of those characters we consistently cheer for in the end to save the day from a perpetual monster.
In these films, and with this character, Jamie Lee Curtis has also created herself as an American Icon. She’s one of those few cinema fixtures that always causes movie lovers to smile. Like a John Travolta, or a Marilyn Monroe, or a Quinten Tarantino. For nearly 45 years Jamie Lee Curtis has delivered a character and a persona that represents the fun side of American cinema. Yes, many of the “Halloween” films are terrible. But even the terrible ones are a joy in their own way simply because of Curtis’ Laurie Strobe fearlessly going into battle against evil.
Something we all love during the Haunted Season.