10 Unlikely Halloween Costumes Based on Recent Movies


Welcome to my 6th annual list of halloween costume ideas. These are mostly original, yet also mostly unlikely suggestions. One thing a lot of them have in common is the fact that you’ll need to explain exactly what you are, even if there is some mainstream-recognized foundation. For example, if this was a list of costume ideas based on movies that haven’t come out yet, one might be “Justin Bieber as Robin in Batman vs. Superman.” The basic Robin uniform would probably be easily understood, but the fact that the colors have been changed to purple, white and black, and why you’ve got a mop top will require the clarification that it’s based on a casting rumor the singer made up.

I’d like to preface this year’s list by saying that I feel the past 12 months have either been uninspiring compared to other years — and/or I haven’t seen the hip movies of 2013. And I didn’t bother with much from the last quarter (as in post-Halloween) titles from 2012, because they all just feel like they’re from a century ago. Seriously, if you see anyone dressed as Abraham Lincoln and mention Spielberg’s movie, you’re sure to get a reaction of “oh yeah, there was that movie.”

Feel free to borrow any of the following ideas for your Halloween festivities, especially if you want something that’s a conversation starter. But you must send us pictures. And if you don’t like my suggesions but you come up with your own very original, very clever, very ridiculous costume, you still must send us pictures.


Superman With Blood On His Hands from Man of Steel

First up is a pretty easy one. Superman costumes are all over the place. It doesn’t even have to be anything resembling the uniform in this year’s movie. Wear blue pajamas with a red ‘S’ spray painted on the front for all anyone cares. He’s that iconic. Now just cover your hands in fake blood or red marker or whatever will indicate they are bloody. Why? Because people will not shut up about the idea that Supes killed not only Zod (did everyone forget he killed Zod in Superman II also?) but also thousands of others in Metropolis by way of the destructive fight sequence.


Jaeger Pilots from Pacific Rim

Here’s my couple’s costume for the year, which would work for hetero or same-sex partners depending on which characters you go with. Actually, you don’t even have to be any specific duo, though people like when you give them precise explanations, so just try to look like Raleigh and Mako (for the heteros, that is). There are even Gypsy Danger pilot uniforms for sale out there. Buy one or make your own. Now, connect your arms and legs to poles that are then also connected to your partner’s arms and legs, so you can only move in tandem. You’ll basically be like one of the Amazing Christopher’s shows (if you don’t know, here you go), except neither of you will be the dummie.


“Take a Knee” from After Earth

This year’s costume based on a movie line is a favorite from an otherwise disliked movie. I don’t know if it’s just people I follow on Twitter, but “take a knee” has caught on as a legitimate yet fairly ironic catchphrase. In the movie, it’s what Will Smith says to Jaden Smith (don’t tell me they had character names, because who cares?) when the kid needs to chill out, basically. What you should wear: a wetsuit with a hood attached to it. What you should do: anytime you’re not walking, get down on one knee. Unless you can figure out some way of making it look like you’re always on one knee, or if you can move about always on one knee. Careful not to accidentally become engaged to marry anyone who thinks you’re proposing.


Kris from Upstream Color

The hip highbrow movie of 2013 is the long-awaited sophomore feature from Shane Carruth. If you want to impress at a film studies department’s Halloween party and don’t want to be the umpteenth Travis Bickle, Nosferatu (uh, Herzog’s) or, more recently, Alien from Spring Breakers, then try out this simple idea. Just dress like how Amy Seimetz dresses in the movie, have a fake kitchen knife sticking out of your thigh, carry a plush pig and, with some of that skin putty stuff, make the shape of a nemotode on your neck or whatever visible fleshy area makes the most sense. Maybe your forehead. Feel free to fit the orchids in there somewhere.

Rather than a reject, Christopher Campbell is a film school dropout. But he has since gotten a master’s degree in cinema studies and has been blogging about movies since 2005. Earlier, he reviewed films for a zine (a what?) that you could buy at Tower Records (a what?). He is married with two children.

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