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Jamie Lee Curtis explains the new Halloween movie's relationship with the #MeToo movement

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Kayleigh Dray
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Halloween 2018 - first look at new Michael Myers film

Ahead of its release today, Jamie Lee Curtis – who is reprising her role as Laurie Strode – has explained why the new Halloween movie is a horror film for the #MeToo era.

The new Halloween film hits screens today, right in time to make this Halloween your most terrifying one yet. 

Following on from the events of the first two Halloween films (and dismissing the events of the other, more forgettable films entirely), the film sees Jamie Lee Curtis reprise her role as Laurie Strode – who will come face-to-face with Michael Myers, some 40 years after his initial killing spree in 1978.

But if you’re expecting a standard slasher flick, Lee Curtis wants you to know that there’s more to the eleventh installment of the franchise. The actress points out that while the film was created just before the #MeToo movement began. it explores themes that are very relevant to the feminist struggles of 2018. 

“Women and men, all over the world, are starting to stand up and say: ‘This happened to me, but it does not have to be the definition of me.’ We made a horror movie that’s super scary but at its core is the subject of trauma,” she told The Independent. “But in the world, we are having a conversation that has been silenced for a very long time.”

The film’s trailer shows the crazed serial killer – who has been incarcerated in a psychiatric facility for the past four decades – being confronted by a pair of filmmakers looking to learn more about his attacks.

It is a deeply triggering encounter, and one that inspires Myers to escape custody of the facility and return to the town he terrorised all those years ago. Once again, he stalks and targets women – making a point of toying with them, terrifying them long before he murders them. 

But, while he seems to be ready to inflict an unstoppable killing spree once again, Myers does not know that he has a formidable foe who has been preparing for this day ever since he was caught.

Strode is ready for him. 

Watch the new Halloween trailer for yourself below:

It is worth noting that filmmakers David Gordon Greer and Danny McBride have made several vital changes to Strode’s back-story: firstly, in this version of events, the horror heroine did not have a son, but a daughter who will be played by Judy Greer.

Secondly, she is no longer Myers’ long-lost sister. Instead, he remains a crazed, unknown killer – one who has been imprisoned in a psychiatric facility since the murders he carried out in the first two films.

And, during the Comic Con panel, Curtis explained how these decisions will impact the film – and for the better.

According to the actress, Strode is a character suffering from PTSD. She’s had her child taken away from her at some point due to her mental health issues, and she lives in almost complete isolation, waiting for Myers to return.

“It’s a movie about trauma,” she said, as noted by Entertainment Tonight. “It’s a movie about what happens to somebody when you’re 17 years old and you have this horrible trauma perpetrated on you, and you have no help. This is a woman who has carried, for 40 years, her entire adult life, this trauma.

“And as we are seeing in the world today, all of these women, primarily women, who have been traumatised in all sorts of ways, physical violence, emotional violence, sexual violence and, in Laurie’s case, actually knife-attack violence… all of those women are having the moment where they will no longer allow that to be the narrative.”

Curtis added: “No longer does that define them, that they are standing up and saying, ‘Enough’. And this is a movie about ‘enough’ at a time when it happens to be a national and worldwide message. And so it couldn’t be timed better, and it couldn’t have been written better. Because, you see, what other life could Laurie Strode have? She was 17!”

Essentially, Curtis said that what convinced her to come back to the role was Green’s idea for the character: the new Halloween provides a chance for Strode to “take back her narrative.”

And, after having her entire life defined by that one Halloween night 40 years ago, we think its high time that Strode finally gets some closure.

Halloween will hit cinemas worldwide this October.

Image: Universal Pictures

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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