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David Gordon Green’s “Halloween” broke several records this past weekend — including biggest “Halloween” franchise opening, biggest horror movie opening with a female lead, and second biggest horror opening ever, to name just a few. But the most exciting one is that the Jamie Lee Curtis-starring franchise entry can also celebrate being the biggest opening for a film starring a woman over 55 ever, regardless of genre.
Curtis, who reprised her iconic role as Laurie Strode in the franchise reboot, celebrated the news on her social media accounts, complete with the hashtag #womengettingthingsdone. And she’s not the only trailblazer in the horror genre.
Year - Films - Stars - Tropes - Teenager
This year alone, horror films centered on female stars that don’t fall into traditional tropes —like the plucky teenager or the nutty older lady — have proven their worth at the box office, from “Halloween” to “Hereditary.” Other classic horror films have hinged on their female leads, from Robert Aldrich’s “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” (which literally helped invent the subgenre of the “psycho-biddy”) to the “Friday the 13th” series (which was always just as invested in the misdeeds of its murderous madman’s mother as it was Jason Voorhees himself), but 2018 has only further carved space for the kind of meaty, complex roles for women that other genres so often lack.
For her latest foray into the “Halloween” mythos, Curtis and her fans have dug into a crowd-pleasing revision of her Laurie Strode that imagines the prototypical Final Girl four decades down the road. Curtis’ own interests helped inform the character, a gun-toting gun control devotee with years of untreated trauma she’s been saving up to level at her attacker, helping turn “Halloween” into treat for both fans of the series and audiences looking for a satisfying #MeToo tale that doesn’t twist itself in order to be “timely.”
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