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Friday, May 23, 2008

Laurie Strode (Halloween)

Laurie Strode is a fictional character in the Halloween horror film series, portrayed by actresses Jamie Lee Curtis and Scout Taylor-Compton. She appears in five of the films and is referred to in most of the others. The character was Jamie Lee Curtis' first role in a feature film.

John Carpenter's Halloween (1978)
Laura "Laurie" Strode is a seventeen-year-old senior who attends Haddonfield High School. She is a learned, but reserved bookworm spending her free time babysitting elementary and junior high kids. She has two wild friends her same age: Annie Brackett, the outspoken and confident daughter of Haddonfield's Sheriff, and Lynda Van Der Klok, a native of California and a popular cheerleader for the high school's Haddonfield Huskers. Laurie and her friends and family reside in the suburb of Haddonfield, Illinois.

On Tuesday, October 31, 1978 her adoptive father Morgan, owner and operator of Strode Realty, instructs Laurie to leave a key at the Myers' House on her way to school. When she leaves the key under the front door's mat, Michael Myers, unbeknownst to her, is watching from inside the vacant house. For most of the day, he stalks the innocent teenager, making her uneasy, but alert. Throughout the day, Laurie thinks her mind is playing tricks on her.

Later that evening around 6:30 p.m., she leaves with her friend Annie. They kill time by riding through town smoking a joint before going to baby-sit in another neighborhood. Laurie sits for eight-year-old Tommy Doyle; Annie sits for "little" Lindsey Wallace. Later that night, Annie goes over to Tommy's house with Lindsey. Annie asks Laurie to baby-sit Lindsey while she picks up her boyfriend, sixteen-year-old Paul Freedman. Laurie reluctantly agrees. Annie never makes it to town to pick up Paul, because just as she is about to drive, Michael appears from the back seat and chokes her with his bare hands, but just as Annie grasps for air, Michael slits her throat. Then Lynda and her boyfriend Bob arrive at the Wallace house to continue their planned Halloween fun. Later on, after getting a strange call from the Wallace house, Laurie goes across the street to find her friends. She thinks they are playing Halloween pranks on her, but goes upstairs to find them all dead. From behind the shadows, Michael stabs Laurie's left shoulder. She falls down the stairs and sprains her ankle. Her escape on foot is difficult, but she succeeds.

The pursuit and attacks continue at the Doyle residence. Dr. Loomis, who had been on Michael's trail all day long, locates his deranged patient where Laurie is trapped. Loomis shoots Michael six times at close range causing him to fall from a second-story balcony. Laurie says, "It WAS the boogeyman." to which Dr. Loomis states that "as a matter of fact, it was." Loomis feels assured he shot Michael enough to render him immobile. But, when he looks over the balcony, he sees that Michael had survived and is still on the loose. Laurie sees Loomis' reaction and is now afraid for her life.

Halloween II
The beginning of this film picks up directly where Halloween ended. Laurie Ann Strode (portrayed by Jamie Lee Curtis once again) is almost killed by Michael Myers when she is saved by Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance). After the fall from the balcony, Michael disappears while Laurie is transported to Haddonfield Memorial Hospital. Dr. Loomis continues in desperate pursuit of his escaped patient. With the continuing assistance of Haddonfield Sheriff Leigh Brackett, the pair searches the streets. Michael himself is now again in search of his youngest sister Laurie. After hearing a radio announcement declare she was transported to the hospital, Michael makes his way to his newfound destination.

When at the hospital, Michael slowly kills off members of the staff. Laurie befriends Virginia Alves, the Head Nurse, and almost Jimmy. Mrs. Alves further assists Laurie's wounds and tries locating her parents Morgan and Pamela Strode. Her parents had been at a party also attended by Dr. Frederick Mixter, the man whom doctored her injuries when she arrived at HMH. Jimmy places himself in Laurie's presence for emotional support and the two begin falling for one another. In a deleted scene of this film, Jimmy fulfills his promise of getting a Coca-Cola drink for Laurie.

When strange occurrences happen at the hospital, Laurie begins having flashbacks of her early childhood. She becomes even more frightened and has every reason to be; her tormentor is on the trail. That night, Jimmy had explained to Laurie that the radio and television broadcasts have identified her attacker: Michael Myers. Laurie doesn't admit Michael's true identity in front of Jimmy: he is her older brother.

Laurie is nearly caught by Myers again, but is saved by Dr. Loomis and his colleague Nurse Marion Chambers. Loomis instructs Marion to call for help. While protecting Laurie at all costs, Dr. Loomis lures Michael to a rear operating room. With Loomis' gun, Laurie shoots Michael twice in the face, presumably in the eyes. While his eyesight is impaired, Loomis turns on nearby oxygen and ether tanks. This gets Michael's attention and he goes to the source of the tanks' hissing sound wherever he hears it. He tries to blindly slice his psychiatrist and sister with a scalpel, but misses each time. Loomis frees Laurie from the room. She runs out of the room and down the hall. Loomis says "It's time, Michael." He switches on a cigarette lighter igniting the gases.

Dr. Loomis practically blew up part of Haddonfield Memorial leaving him and Michael horribly burned. On the following morning of Wednesday November 1, Laurie is the quintessential survivor. She is pushed in a wheelchair by Nurse Marion to an ambulance outside. She apparently is to be transported to a bigger hospital for further physical and psychological treatment.

Laurie's presumed death
In the fourth Halloween installment Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, it is assumed Laurie Strode had died in an automobile accident in November 1987. Richard and Darlene Carruthers, friends of Laurie, became the foster parents to Laurie's young daughter Jamie Lloyd.
A newspaper article as seen in the prologue credits to Halloween: Twenty Years Later reads as follows-

Survivors of Halloween Murders Killed in Auto Accident, By Mary - Austin Klein: Staff Writer
Longtime Haddonfield resident Laurie Strode, survivor of the so-called "Halloween" mass murders in 1968 [error in actual film source], was killed yesterday in an auto accident.

Police estimate Miss Strode was traveling an excess of 80 miles (129 km) an hour when she failed to negotiate a curve on Highway 18 near Porterville and slammed into a tree. The posted speed limit is 45. Eyewitnesses reported the late model sedan had been driving erratically before the accident occurred.

Friends had no explanation for the reckless behavior of Miss Strode reporting that she had been "the happiest of her life" in recent weeks.
This is the third incident this year on this stretch of highway. Despite that statistic, highway officials blame each accident on driver error.

Halloween 4, 5, & Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers
Michael Myers learned that his sister Laurie had died in an automobile accident. He then tracks down and pursues her daughter Jamie when she is a child, leading to many deaths of her adoptive family and friends as well as anyone else who gets in Michael's path. The fourth and fifth films are the first introduction of a Curse of Thorn (never mentioned by name) on Michael's wrist, and of the man in black (who bears the same rune and is identified in the sixth film as Dr. Wynn). Based on the installment Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers Jamie (although portrayed by a different and older actress) is finally killed by her uncle on the night of Monday, October 30, 1995 in the outskirts of Haddonfield at the Tower Farm by means of impalement. Earlier that night, Jamie had birthed a son. She was being held against her will in the subterranean levels of the Smith's Grove - Warren County Sanitarium by a pseudo-druidic cult headed by none other than Dr. Wynn. The cult believes in the Curse of Thorn and has been aiding and protecting Michael supposedly all along. Michael starts hunting Jamie's son but is unsuccessful in killing the child (due largely to the actions of Tommy, Loomis, and the female protagonist (played by Marianne Hagan), and ultimately turns on the cult and kills most if not all of its members. After a final showdown with Loomis, the outcome and ultimate disposition of Michael is left to speculation (though an alternate ending provides a bit more detail). The child is now in the care of Tommy Doyle, whom Laurie babysat in the original film. This film marks the last time that Donald Pleasance performed the role of Dr. Loomis before his death.

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later
The movie features the return of Curtis's character from the first two Halloween films, Laurie Strode, now revealed to be living under the assumed name "Keri Tate". As Tate, Laurie has a seemingly perfect life with an intelligent son and a dedicated boyfriend, a great career (as a head mistress at a private boarding school in Northern California), Laurie Strode is far from happy. The tragic events from 20 years before still haunts her mind. But this year is different. To mark the 20th anniversary of the happenings of 1978, her big brother, serial killer Michael Myers, tracks her down and starts killing off her co-workers and students one by one in an attempt to hunt her and her seventeen year old son down. Eventually Laurie and her son manage to escape, but Laurie chooses to go back to the school to challenge Michael to a fight to the death for once and for all. The police come and clean the mess and put Michael's corpse in a body bag, and in an ambulance. Laurie steals the ambulance with Michael's body in the back. However, Michael is still alive and escapes the body bag, and again tries to kill her. She slams on the brakes, throwing him through the windshield. She then tries unsuccessfully to run him over. The vehicle tumbles down a cliff but she escapes, while Michael is trapped between it and a tree. He reaches out to her. She reaches for his hand, then pulls back. And while remembering everything he's done to her, she chops his head off with an axe, finally killing him. Michael's head then rolls down the hill.

Halloween: Resurrection
A retcon is established in which Laurie did not really decapitate Michael Myers at the end of the previous film, but rather a paramedic with whom Myers forcefully switched clothing and his mask.

Laurie did not say a word during her entire incarceration, but has been patiently awaiting her older brother's return. She is known to be a suicide threat by the psychiatric care facility's superior doctors. In truth, her times spent on the building's roof were to set traps for the eventual return of Michael. Ardent preparation has become her sole purpose while being in captivity.

On Wednesday, October 31, 2001, Laurie has been confined to a mental institution. Believing that Michael will come to find her she sets a trap to keep herself safe. Michael does indeed come and he successfully falls under her trap. While being held from a rope trap on the roof of the institution, Laurie begins to cut the rope to drop him to his death. Michael clasps his face in a manner of begging her mercy, which Laurie remembers a similar gesture to this from three years ago. She walks over to Michael to unmask him saying, "I just have to be sure." While attempting to unmask him, Michael grabs her hand. Laurie tries to drive the knife into his abdomen, but he grabs her other hand. The rope breaks and the two fall over the other side of the roof. Michael holds onto the edge with Laurie hanging on to him. Michael then plunges the knife into Laurie's back. Accepting her death, she gives him a kiss on the lips of his mask and says her last words, " I'll see you in Hell." Michael removes the knife from her back and Laurie falls to her death onto the ground.

Rob Zombie's Halloween (2007)
In June 2006, Dimension Films announced that musician/filmmaker Rob Zombie would write, direct, and serve as musical supervisor for a remake of the original Halloween. In various interviews, blog entries, and messageboard posts, Zombie has described the new film as "part prequel, part reimagining of the original." He has confirmed that many of the characters from the original would be included, including the character of Laurie Strode. All the previous installments in the franchise will be effectively ignored in this new film's plot line. For many months, it was unknown if Laurie's sibling relationship to Michael, a product of the second film, would remain in Zombie's retelling. But, the sibling connection between Michael and Laurie, in fact still remains. Michael returns to Haddonfield to track down his surviving sibling as he had in the 1978 original.

According to plot summaries, the only person Michael cares for dearly and watches over is his baby sister, Laurie.

Laurie Strode in Rob Zombie's Halloween is played by actress Scout Taylor-Compton.

Laurie Myers is first seen as a baby taken care of by her brother Michael and mother Deborah. She is hated by her mother's abusive boyfriend Ronnie White. In this adaptation Michael loves Laurie and his mother but hates and eventually kills his older sister Judith and Ronnie. After Michael is arrested for the murders, Deborah can no longer stand to see her son in his condition and commits suicide. A young deputy named Leigh Brackett is called in at the scene of the crime and finds the infant Laurie screaming. Brackett is unable to let her grow up with knowledge of her family's history so he gives her over to the adoption agency where she is taken by the loving Sperry family. Fifteen years later, Laurie lives a normal life with her parents. She is also good friends with high schoolers Lynda van der Klok and Annie Brackett (the now Sheriff Brackett's daughter.) The two often tease her about not going out and her constant babysitting. In the morning her father sends her to drop off a package at the Myers house before it is sold. It is there that Michael Myers, her brother and escaped mental patient, sees her. He continues stalking her and her friends the rest of the day. At night after she leaves to babysit, her parents are murdered by Michael, who confirms Laurie's identity there. She looks after Tommy Doyle, who asks about the boogeyman, which Laurie scares him with. Annie drops off Lindsey Wallace with Laurie so she and her boyfriend Paul can be alone. She decides to bring Lindsey back to the Wallace house across the street. Once inside they find Annie savagely beaten and Paul dead and hanging from the ceiling. Laurie quickly tells Lindsey to run while she dials 9-1-1. Michael appears and disables the phone and hurts her leg. Laurie runs back home which Michael quickly breaks into and hides in the bathroom with the children. Police sent by Dr. Loomis and Brackett arrive and are killed by Michael. Laurie is carried away by Michael as Loomis and Brackett arrive. In the cellar of the Myers house, Laurie awakes to find her dead friend Lynda and is confronted by Michael, who shows her a picture he had kept of ten-year old Michael holding Laurie in his arms. Laurie does not understand and Michael takes off his mask, heartbroken. Laurie sees this as an opportunity to escape and pretends that she wants to help him, but quickly grabs his knife and stabs him in the chest. She escapes the cellar with Michael in pursuit. She however falls into a drained pool where Michael approaches. He is however shot three times by a reluctant Dr. Loomis. She is again captured by Michael, not dead, who apparently murders Dr. Loomis and searches the house for Laurie. He is able to knock her out of the ceiling with a two by four. Wounded, Laurie grabs Loomis' gun only to be charged by Michael who sends them both flying through the window and over a balcony. Laurie awakes lying on top of an unconscious Michael. As police sirens wail in the distance, Laurie puts the gun to Michael's head and pulls the trigger to find empty slots. Michael awakes and grabs her arm only to be met with a last shot to the head, presumably killing him. The movie ends with Laurie covered in blood screaming like she did as a baby.

  • In Halloween II, Nurse Marion Chambers reveals to Dr. Loomis "...that Strode girl, that's Michael Myers' sister. She was born two years before he [Michael] was committed. Two years after, his parents died, and she was adopted by the Strodes." Michael was committed to Smith's Grove in 1963. Laurie was born in 1961.
  • Some of the information regarding an expanded look on the original Halloween film- especially about what takes place before and on October 31, 1963- can be found in Halloween: A Novel by Curtis Richards. Published by Bantam Books, it was released in 1979 and re-released in 1982. (ISBN 0-553-26296-3).
  • Background information on Laurie Strode (especially concerning her biological parents, foster parents, her two marriages and her two children) were once part of a "character information" page on the official Halloween Series website- halloweenmovies.com. This page was removed a few years ago for unknown reasons. Other characters included were Michael Audrey Myers, Dr. Samuel Loomis, Annie Brackett, Lynda Van Der Klok and Jamie Lloyd.
  • According to the former Laurie Strode character page as mentioned above, Dr. Loomis was responsible for assisting Laurie in her going into hiding. Also, even while she was living across the country, he still maintained contact and kept watch over her
  • Laurie's biological parents were Don and Edith Myers. Her foster parents are Morgan and Pamela Strode.
  • Based on the continuity of the 2007 film: Laurie's biological mother was Deborah Myers. Her foster parents are Mason Strode and Cynthia Strode.
  • In the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section of the official website, it is confirmed that while no date and story settings were featured in Halloween: Resurrection, Laurie's death took place on Halloween 2001, while the Dangertainment events took place one year later on October 30 and 31, 2002.
  • Also in the FAQ, it explained what had happened to Laurie's son John Tate. Apparently, Laurie hid him somewhere safe to avoid being found. A picture of him can be seen above Laurie's bed in her cell. In the special features of the H8 DVD, one moment of Laurie's dialogue on the rooftop scene had her say to Michael "...but you won't find my son. I made sure of that."

Halloween (film series) characters Fictional characters from Illinois Fictional orphans Fictional adoptees


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