Why Did Michael Myers Want to Kill Laurie Strode? 'Halloween,' Explained

The 'Halloween' franchise is centered around Michael Myers' obsession with Laurie Strode, which began in John Carpenter's 1978 classic.

Michael Myers may have racked up a body count that cements him as one of the deadliest slasher villains to date, but throughout his numerous killing sprees in the Halloween franchise, there has always been one main target: Jamie Lee Curtis' Laurie Strode. The pair's saga spanned four decades before concluding in 2022's Halloween Ends, but why did Michael Myers want to kill Laurie Strode?

Laurie became one of the sole survivors of the Haddonfield, Illinois Halloween night 1978 massacre after spending a terror-filled day being stalked by The Shape. She became Michael's target early on in John Carpenter's original 1978 classic when she dropped off keys at the Myers house – left abandoned after Michael brutally murdered his sister Judith Myers on Halloween night 1963 when he was just 6 – while on her way to school. Unbeknownst to her, Michael was in the house and watched her as she left the keys under the mat, and he is later seen behind her, watching as she and Tommy Doyle walk away.

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After that initial meeting, Michael began following Laurie. She first noticed The Boogeyman when glancing out the window during class, seeing the masked figure on the other side of the street looking directly at her. She saw him again just peeking out from bushes while walking home from school with friends, who later became among that night's many victims.

A definitive explanation for Michael stalking Laurie was never given, but Dr. Loomis stated in the film that "there's an instinctive force within him" and described Michael as "purely and simply... evil," suggesting there was no real reason for the murders he commits, and thus, no real reason for his stalking of Laurie. Rather, he was simply compelled by the evil within him. Meanwhile, other theories posed suggest that Annie, rather than Laurie, was Michael's true target in the original movie or that Michael targeted Laurie because she disturbed his childhood home, which he is drawn to throughout the franchise.

Michael's obsession with Laurie was given more depth in Halloween II (1981), which introduced the controversial storyline of Laurie being Michael's younger sister. In this storyline, Laurie, then named Cynthia, was placed in foster care after her parents were killed in a car crash. She was adopted by Morgan and Pamela Strode, who changed her name to Laurie. In later movies – 1988's Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers and again in 1989's Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers – Michael's focus shifted to Danielle Harris' Jamie Llyod, Laurie's daughter.

The sibling connection was included in the original timeline, consisting of the first five films, the H20 timeline, and Rob Zombie's timeline. However, it was dropped from several other timelines, including in the most recent franchise installments, David Gordon Green's trilogy of Halloween (2018), Halloween Kills (2021), and Halloween Ends (2022), which concluded Michael and Laurie's story.