How Halloween & Friday The 13th Essentially Created The Same Character

How Halloween & Friday The 13th Essentially Created The Same Character

Friday the 13th and Halloween introduced Tommy Jarvis and Jamie Lloyd four years apart, so how did both series arrive at this same point?

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How Halloween & Friday The 13th Essentially Created The Same Character

Two of the iconic 1980s slasher franchises – Halloween and Friday the 13th – have a lot of similarities in their basic designs, but one of the most interesting comparisons is how they both arrived at essentially the same character at the same point in the franchise — movies four through six. In Friday the 13th, these movies were released in 1984, ’85, and ’86, while the Halloween movies came out in 1988, ’89, and ’95, respectively.

In the fourth movie of both franchises, a smart, capable child is introduced who is not only able to defeat the killer, but is also foreshadowed to become the killer themselves. In Friday the 13th this character is Tommy Jarvis, while in Halloween, it’s Jamie Lloyd. Both franchises also bring back this character for the fifth film, exploring how they each recovered from their brush with the killer, how they have to continue to fight them, and their draw to take on his role once more.

While Tommy Jarvis is one of Friday the 13th’s most memorable characters, beloved by most of the fandom, Jamie Lloyd is highly underrated. But, both characters are essentially the same archetype, functioning in the same way to both stories, and follow more or less the same arc over the three movies that each appear in. So how did both franchises end up creating basically the same character at the same point in both franchises?

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In David Grove’s book, Making Friday the 13th: The Legend of Camp Blood, the writer for Friday The 13th, Part IV: The Final Chapter, Bruce Hidemi Sakow, revealed that the character of Tommy Jarvis was primarily his creation.

“The major contribution I made to the script was with the Tommy Jarvis character and the relationship he had with his mother and sister and Jason. It was my idea to have this little kid kill off Jason, because we’ve seen Jason kill off loads of young adults so who else but a kid?”

The character of Tommy Jarvis became wildly popular with Corey Feldman’s portrayal in The Final Chapter as a young boy who is able to defeat Jason by shaving his head and disguising himself as young Jason to throw the killer off his game. After this happens, he takes Jason’s own machete to the killer’s head.

Tommy Jarvis then goes on to return in Friday the 13th: A New Beginning and Friday the 13th Part VI: Jason Lives, in which Joseph Zito, the director of Part 6, originally intended for him to take on the mantle of Jason and become the new killer of the Friday the 13th franchise, should any more sequels be made. However, due to the negative reaction to the test screenings of that ending, the idea was dropped. The creation of Jamie Lloyd’s character, on the other hand, is a bit more opaque. Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers, her first appearance, was released four years after Tommy Jarvis’ introduction, so it’s entirely possible that director Dwight H. Little and writer Alan B. McElroy were inspired by the Friday the 13th franchise.

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That being said, Jamie Lloyd is also presented as Laurie Strode’s daughter, and with Halloween already having created a story heavily reliant on bloodlines, moving away from Laurie and focusing on a new generation simply made sense as the logical next step. This is made clearer by the way that Halloween (2018) took a similar approach, even removing the blood connection between Laurie and Michael, but keeping the focus on a new generation of Strode’s family.

Jamie Lloyd may have been inspired by Tommy Jarvis, bringing in a child protagonist as a fresh start for a franchise gone stale, or she might have been introduced as a creative way to combat Jamie Lee Curtis’ decision not to return for Halloween 4. Of course, a blend of both is most likely, as no idea is created in a vacuum. Either way, two awesome killer kids in two beloved ’80s slasher franchises, Halloween and Friday the 13th, certainly isn’t a bad thing.

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