While actress Jamie Lee Curtis independently became a “scream queen” through her role as Laurie Strode in the Halloween franchise, she also comes by her title through heredity. In 1960, Curtis’ mother Janet Leigh delivered one of the most iconic onscreen shrieks of all time as Marion Crane in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. On last night’s Scream Queens, Curtis got to pay tribute.
In the original scene from Psycho, Marion—a thief on the run—gets into the shower in her room at the Bates Motel. After a few moments of joyful bathing, she’s interrupted by a knife-wielding murderer. She screams, is stabbed to death, and viewers watch as her blood spirals down the drain.
Scream Queens’ version of events (originally aired in color and converted to black and white for the YouTube video) allows Jamie Lee Curtis to step into her mom’s shoes (or out of her mom’s robe), but her ending is decidedly different and—if you’re the victim—for the better.
When the Red Devil killer pulls back the curtain, they find not a cowering victim, but an empty shower. That’s when Curtis—as the increasingly Sue Sylvester-like Dean Munsch—jumps out of her hiding place and delivers several blows to the killer’s head.
“I saw that movie 50 times,” she sneers, punching the Red Devil in the face. What follows is an all-out ass-kicking that’s far more worthy of Laurie Strode than it is Marion Crane. In a nice way, it’s giving Marion the ending she deserved—not hunched in the shower, terrified and screaming, but on her feet fighting—completely flattening—any foe who’s dumb enough to come at her.
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