Is the Horror Heroine Making a Comeback, or Is It Just Wishful Thinking?
Horror remakes tend to fall flat, but the new 'Halloween' film just might change that (or not).
There was a time when the "horror heroine" fell by the wayside in favor of flashy and sexy superheroes. It was a sad time. Then, for ages we had to gladly put up with some of the more visceral horror tropes of our mentality, escaping the camp that was the B-horror flick (although for a time, we saw a throwback coming forward, especially with the age of the "nostalgic movie poster").
But thanks to Jamie Lee Curtis, is it true? Is that golden age of female heroics coming back?
Chances are good you heard through the grapevine that a new HALLOWEEN film was coming back. And not just a "sequel," per se, but a true-to-form, truly throwback follow-up of what made horror films so darn good.
The fight-hard protagonist.... Who just happened to be female!
Now understand this: I have nothing against male protagonists! In fact, they're most likely quite essential to any story format. Think about it:
We've Got, After All, Kyle Reese of 'The Terminator'
Or how about Hicks from 'Aliens' (Coincidentally played by the exact same actor!)?
Or maybe we can throw in the token white dude cop, Samuel Loomis (Donald Pleasance) from the original Michael Myers flick.
For every strong female protagonist, there's that male figure somehow pushing or guiding her toward survival.
So please understand—this isn't a knock against masculinity. Rather, it's just a point: it used to be that the whole idea of survival centered around the female. The fragile female. It made for a great story. Fierce killer, demon, hunter, what have you—against, well... a girly Neve Campbell.
The word is that familiar horror trope's coming back with a vengeance, though; and we can see a lot of aficionados going crazy over the resurgence of the scream queen. Or, at the very least, the hard-edged tough-as-nails b*tch taking on the world?
Long story short, the female characters are coming into their own, regardless of genre.
We've got our Daisy Ridleys, Wonder Womans, and now there's definitive talk of a Black Widow film straight out of the MCU as well as the obvious Captain Marvel spearheaded by none other than Brie Larson and her pretty self.
And don't even get me started on the tough cast of Black Panther, eclipsing the very protagonist of the same name (most of them being quite female -- and gorgeous, yet vicious).
Word also came out that a new Terminator film will be helmed by none other than James Cameron (of course) and starring —guess who —Linda Hamilton. The lady who arguably began the entire trope all by herself. Sarah effin' Connor.
You then, hence, have to wonder...will Blumhouse kill it with their version of 'Halloween?'
Especially with none other than Jamie Lee Curtis herself at the forefront? Don't get me wrong, though, she's been in one of the lackluster sequels (or two) before. And those sequels, for the most part...sucked. That was way far back and forgettable.
But perhaps a throwback (like STRANGER THINGS) to what started it all—a true nostalgic turn of the same character (and not some glamourized iteration of the character)—might take this resurgence to the next level, already began by Star Wars and Princess Leia, and the obvious fact that the newest Jedi trilogy everyone's loving these days doesn't feature a white boy on a desert planet—but a little British lady!
We can only only hope. Jamie Lee Curtis seems to think so.
Well, she should. But why should we not give her the benefit of the doubt since this franchise essentially made her? This might be what propels that ancient model of familiar horror back into the modern age with gusto.
It's about letting go of the sensationalism behind some of these brands—not trying to reinvent but simply throw back to a time when horror was just simply scary.
In other words.... Picture one of those classics filmed just like Sinister. Or Insidious (which, let's face it, the newest sequel rang quite the bell and highlighted probably the best character in the franchise). Or The Babadook.
Low-key. Minimal. And all about a woman kicking ass. That's what horror should really be all about anyway! Let's do this, Jamie. Eff up Myers like you mean it this time....
I am an author, adventurer, and father, living with my wife, four daughters and one son in Grand Rapids, Michigan. I've trekked through tundras, waded through swamps, wandered through deserts, and swam in the Great Barrier Reef.