I always knew there were differences between the Laura of the series and the Laura of the movie. I also noticed the differences between the town of the series and the town of the movie. I accepted that the look and feel of the series could never be duplicated to the core for the movie. However, I never really analyzed it because if I had, it probably would have ruined the movie for me. It’s the only movie we have about Laura and I want to keep it somewhat watchable with the ability to impact me the way it originally did. But I have to say, this writer hits the nail on the head. Unfortunately.
I don’t remember when I noticed the parallels, if it was during the tv run or during one of the marathon sessions with a stack of VHS tapes. BOB owling around the woods, in and out of his hosts, that shape-shifting glee, his presence in the corners at night. Laura knowing he’s coming, knowing how impossible it is to escape. And in the end, delivering herself to BOB/Leland and her death to prevent BOB from having her as a host.
In her last moments, which we get through Ronette’s dream (if you are for some reason I cannot comprehend reading this even though you haven’t seen the show, be warned that that is a violent and scary clip), Laura screams, teeth bared, like a demon while BOB bludgeons her to death. She’s scared and suffering, but she’s also furious, a terrifying and powerful animal. A single screen shot of BOB’s face after she’s dead shows that he is devastated—the only moment in the series I can recall where he looks sad (on the video linked above, it flashes in a fraction of second around 1:07). Then he roars in sorrow. He’s lost her forever; she’s won. That is the Laura I want.
FWWM Laura screams too, but it’s all terror. She runs from BOB instead of at him, and he catches her and takes her down and revels in it. There’s no self-sacrifice, no choice, no agency on her end: she sinks to the ground and the hammer hits her like Leo’s soap-in-sock hit Shelly. An angel shows up and scared little Laura is bathed in white and removed from the situation by an unspecified saving force which is most definitely not her strong brave self. That’s just not how it’s supposed to go.