Matriarchy Rising: Evolution of a Final Girl

I love Final Girls. This term, coined by Carol J. Clover in her book Men, Women, and Chainsaws: Gender in the Modern Horror Film, describes the last character, usually female, left alive in a Slasher Film. Ever since watching Sidney Prescott in Scream, I’ve been enamored with these strong women and the many shapes they’ve taken through the years. The female empowerment that they embody is what drew me to horror in the first place, and many strong women have won my heart over the years. While Sidney is my favorite, a close second is Laurie Strode from the Halloween franchise. Played by the stellar Jamie Lee Curtis, Laurie has become a touchstone for female empowerment in the horror genre. This year’s Halloween sequel offers us an interesting look at a Final Girl evolving through the years. By looking at Laurie in the original Halloween in 1978, Halloween: H20 in 1998, and New Halloween in 2018, (yes, I know they’re different timelines) we can see how the concept of the Final Girl has changed over time.

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