Sometimes, there are characters in genre pictures that are so darned awesome, you can’t stop thinking about them or their amazing feats long after the movie is over. This column is dedicated to those cinematic bad-asses that keep us coming back for more. This week’s pick is Rachel Carruthers played by Ellie Cornell in HALLOWEEN 4: THE RETURN OF MICHAEL MYERS.
Acting as a sequel to the first 2 Halloween pictures and skipping over the underrated and non-Myer’s related wacky third entry in the franchise, Halloween 4 picks up with Jamie Lloyd (Danielle Harris), living with an adopted family after the untimely death of her mother Laurie (Jamie Lee Curtis’ character from the original). 10 years after the mass murder rampage of her uncle, the infamous Michael Myers, the famed killer escapes and heads back to Haddonfield to murder the last of his blood line and anyone else that gets in his way. And boy, do a lot of people get in his way!
But the one person worth praising is Rachel Carruthers. There’s something I noticed while revisiting the movie for the upcoming Halloween season. Very early on in the movie, Rachel and Jaime are having a conversation where the emotional little girl asks her older guardian, “do you love me like a sister? Like a real sister?” And Rachel replies, “we’re not really sisters, but that doesn’t mean I love you any less.” This is really important, because it amplifies the lengths that Rachel goes to in order to make sure this little girl (who is not her actual blood relative!) remains safe. Pretty much from the second that Michael Myers presents himself as a threat, Rachel steps up in a way I haven’t quite noticed in other genre pictures of the time. She will literally do anything to protect her adopted sister from Myers.
She’s valiantly in front of her when the prankster kids dress up as a bunch of Michael Myers’ and surround them. When trapped in the house, her and Brady (Sasha Jenson) find a pair of dead bodies and he implies she didn’t stand a chance, she refuses to give up looking for Jamie. She later fights off Myers on the damn roof of a house! “Slide down.” “I can’t!” “Well, try dammit!” At the school, she hits Myers with a fire extinguisher mere moments before he’s about to acquire his target. Last but not least, she flings Myers off the top of the truck they’re in and then mows that sucker down without any hesitation. “Die, you son of a…. bitch!”
Rachel Carruthers went above and beyond to protect her adopted little sister. And although she survives the events of Halloween 4, this amazing character unfortunately suffers a terrible death at the opening of Part 5, which I still am upset about. Regardless, for her actions in Halloween 4 and for never giving up against an unstoppable killer, you Miss Carruthers have earned this hashtag.