She’s morally superior to everyone else, she doesn’t drink or party or have sex, and she’s usually a brunette with a gender-neutral name, like Sidney or Chris. She manages to defeat the killer, or she’s rescued just in time. She’s the Final Girl. This horror character trope was defined by film theorist Carol J. Clover in her 1992 book “Men, Women, and Chain Saws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film.”
One of the most notable examples of a Final Girl is Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) from the “Halloween” franchise. The wholesome high school student differs from her rebellious peers, something many fans believe spared her from the wrath of Michael Myers (Nick Castle). While director John Carpenter dismisses the idea that the 1978 slasher film is a cautionary tale about morality, Laurie’s Final Girl legacy is undeniable.
Curtis’ iconic portrayal of the shy, book-smart teenager has withstood the test of time, and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in that role. However, she wasn’t the first choice for the character.
So, why was Jamie Lee Curtis cast in “Halloween”?