Columns, Opinion

Miss Leading: ‘Halloween’ is slashing all kinds of records

SPOILER ALERT: This column may feature spoilers.

This past weekend, I watching the sequel to the 1978 original horror movie “Halloween,” the story of a serial killer named Michael Myers who stabs his sister to death and kills the friends of a woman named Laurie Strode. The sequel that I watched was a response to the original movie, and featured Jamie Lee Curtis, reclaiming her role as Laurie, her daughter Karen, and her granddaughter, Allyson.

This year is the year of the woman, and honestly, I believe that Hollywood has taken this very seriously. “Halloween” was extremely successful this weekend, making nearly $90 million in ticket sales, but it was because it passed a milestone in the horror movie genre — being the biggest horror movie opening with a female lead. The women casted ended up being the lone survivors of the film, making an important statement that women are in fact, independent and aren’t the “damsel in distress,” in real life or in movies.

“Halloween” is the third horror movie I have seen in my lifetime, and I think what really stuck with me was the fact that it had not one, but three female leads. Not to toot my own (gender’s) horn, but women are out here kicking some real ass because of all of the accomplishments they have made this year. “Halloween” is the highest-grossing movie ever to open with a female lead over 55 years old. It’s really refreshing to see Hollywood making roles allow women to reach as much success as their male counterparts.

While all of these components are really important, I think the storyline was also really interesting because it was about family, and sticking together, as women, to survive. Curtis, in an interview with Refinery 29, said that her reprised performance was inspired by #MeToo and the Time’s Up movement. The hashtag that has gone viral with regards to this movie is #WomenGetThingsDone, which really demonstrates how politically-aware this movie was intended to be.

Following the election of accused sexual perpetrator Brett Kavanaugh into the U.S. Supreme Court, it’s important for other parts of the American society to show their support for the women in this country — since our government clearly doesn’t. Having three badass lead female roles in one movie is exponentially beneficial to the rest of the women in this country, and honestly, worldwide.

This may be slightly controversial, but my favorite part of the film was the fact that, with one exception, every male character in the movie was killed off (not including the serial killer himself). What I mean is, while horror movies have been re-enforcing the “final girl” trope, it’s an exciting time to see the literal meaning of final girl(s).

Curtis has been adamant that “Halloween” has always been feminist, saying that it was written before the first article that came out about Harvey Weinstein and that it has always been dedicated to empowering the women, not only in Hollywood, but overall.

With more and more movies, music and art coming out about empowering women to be relentless and to stand up for themselves, it’s important talk about what’s going on in our country and to push people to understand the validity of certain social issues.

With the midterm elections coming up right around the corner, I feel like the times are scarier in real life than they were when Laurie Strode feared for her life because of a serial killer. We are in a very strange position right now.

While politics doesn’t really have monopoly over popular culture, it plays a big role in creating the content that we see on screen or listen to. Because of this, I believe that there is no excuse for young people to be active on the political scene as much as they are in the cultural and social scene. It’s much more exciting to live in a time where there are powerful things to be fighting for, like a woman’s ability to control what decisions she makes with her body or how much she should be getting paid based on the work she does.

The times are fast changing, but as Curtis (and thousands of other women) say, the time is up for women to be seen as inferior to men. It’s time to move forward.

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