Essays · Movies

13 Unlikely Halloween Costumes Based on The New Movies of 2017

Conversation starters (and possibly enders) for this year’s holiday party. Here is our 2017 guide to movie-inspired Halloween costumes.
Movie Halloween Costumes: A Ghost Story Hill
By  · Published on October 5th, 2017

This Halloween, we’re sure to be seeing a lot of Wonder Woman, maybe some Baby from Baby Driver, and possibly some Porgs, despite Star Wars: The Last Jedi not being out yet. But if you’re interested in something more unique, the kind of costume that gets people talking, either amongst themselves or to you, I’ve got some suggestions. And most of them are pretty cheap, too, if you’re on a budget.

Because this is my 10th annual list of unlikely Halloween costumes, and because this year is so rich with potential for the obscure but clever movie geek get-ups, I’ve extended the number of ideas. As always, I encourage anyone who actually goes as any of these things or something similarly original, send us a photo and maybe we’ll share it on Twitter.

Jason Statham with a Baby from ‘The Fate of the Furious’

Jason Statham continues to be my favorite Halloween costume fodder. Back in 2011, he made the list via the supposed Jason Statham disguise from Drive. Then in 2015, I suggested his character from Spy because there was a promotional gimmick involving a make-your-own 3D-printed Jason Statham mask. Now it’s time to reuse that mask (or one of these) for a Deckard Shaw costume. Add a doll or your own infant with headphones to the mix to depict one of the better sequences from the latest Fast and Furious installment. Or just pretend you’re Statham himself, as he did just become a father this summer.

Undercover Wonder Woman from ‘Wonder Woman’

The most common costume you’re likely to see this year is Wonder Woman, among the young and old. But every single one of them is likely to be the character in her superhero uniform. Maybe not all will be the new movie version, though they all will be some variation on her iconic outfit. You can be the outlier and even save a buck by skipping the recognizable store-bought or custom-made costume and go as Diana in her German gala get-up. All you need is a fancy dress and a sword prop to strap to your back. It’s not totally unlikely, as the look has become a fashion trend, but on Halloween it will be a rarity.

Bondage Wonder Woman from ‘Professor Marston and the Wonder Women’

Even rarer, at least in most circles and especially on the trick-or-treating routes of your neighborhood, would be a Wonder Woman costume inspired by her origin story. The other Wonder Woman movie of the year, starring Luke Evans as the character’s creator and Rebecca Hall and Bella Heathcote as the real women who inspired him, opens four days before Halloween, yet it will still be relatively unknown at the time. Especially compared to the superhero blockbuster. At some parties, though, most people will just think a kinkier Wonder Woman costume is a normal sexed-up Halloween costume.

Sexy Mummy from ‘The Mummy’

Speaking of sexed-up Halloween costumes, sexy mummies have been an option for years, but now you get to link the idea to a movie. The thing is, not a lot of movie fans that need that movie-related qualifier are also into the Dark Universe take on The Mummy. Maybe the existing sexy mummy costumes will even be less popular that usual this year thanks to that disappointing Tom Cruise vehicle. But Sofia Boutella’s sexy, strategically bandaged mummy is one of the few great elements of the movie and is deserving of the recognition. Hopefully due to the box office bomb, sexy mummy get-ups are discounted this year. Just color one grey and give yourself some face markings to make it specific. And pair it up with your man in a clear body bag if you’re in need of a couple’s costume thing.

C from ‘A Ghost Story’

Another classic Halloween staple got a movie tie-in this year. David Lowery’s A Ghost Story isn’t widely known but it presents a great excuse to just wear a sheet with eyeholes as your costume. You’ll have friends coming up to you asking, “So, you went for the basic minimalism this year, eh?” Someone will go, “I love it, just like Charlie Brown,” to which you’ll answer, “No, Charlie Brown’s sheet had way too many holes, that was the joke,” and then they’ll walk away annoyed with your “well, actually” before you can even explain the true inspiration. If your friends are film savvy, though, they’ll get it. Just to be safe, though, or if you need a couple costume idea, have your partner grab a pie as a prop and you’re C and M.

Logan Lucky from ‘Logan’/’Logan Lucky’/’Lucky’

Is it time for a terrible pun idea yet? Yes, it is. Outside of all the movies with the word “wonder” in their title, the most interesting name-related movie thing this year has been the link between LoganLogan Lucky, and Lucky. And by interesting, I just barely kind of funny. Halloween is a time for being just barely kind of funny —just look at most of the novelty costumes at your local Halloween store for tons of embarrassing concept — so here’s what you can do to receive plenty of groans: dress up as old man Wolverine from Logan, tack on some lucky charms like a rabbit’s foot and a four-leaf clover, maybe just some Lucky Charms cereal. Now you’re Lucky Logan, or Logan Lucky. Then throw a cowboy hat on top for the inclusion of a reference to the new posthumously released Harry Dean Stanton movie Lucky.

Jake Gyllenhaal 2017 Character Mashup from ‘Life’/’Okja’/’Stronger’

I started out with this just being a Johnny Wilcox costume, but some of us truly like that Jake Gyllenhaal performance as Okja‘s zoologist character so there probably will be people dressing up as him. You can change it up some to make it more unique by adding a wheelchair to the costume, inspired by Gyllenhaal’s portrayal of Boston Marathon bombing victim Jeff Bauman in Stronger. It’s not offensive if you mean it respectfully, not jokingly, I think. Gyllenhaal had one more movie role this year, so you have to add that in. Represent Life with a prop involving a Venom action figure inside of a petri dish.

Sharkhead Maui from ‘Moana’

Last year, Disney found controversy with the release of Maui costumes from their not-yet-released animated feature Moana. The issue wasn’t there being a costume but the fact that it involved wearing brown-skin coverings. Now that the movie has been out and the kids love it, there are sure to lots of Moana costumes this year but maybe not so many Maui costumes, still. You can now buy just the leaf skirt without the tattooed skin parts, so just get that and a shark mask and you’ll be able to distract from any cultural insensitivity. And the neighborhood children will be cracking up, just as they do at the moment in the movie.

Robot Butler from ‘Transformers: The Last Knight’

Are kids still dressing up as Jack Sparrow and Optimus Prime for Halloween this year in spite of their respective franchises’ poor showings over the summer? Either way, I doubt there are any official Cogman costumes out there, and that’s too bad since he was one of the few entertaining elements of the latest Transformers movie.  In the tradition of such great robot butlers as Woody Allen in Sleeper and JARVIS from Iron Man, Cogman serves both his master and the film audience well. I’m not certain how to properly make a costume that looks like the wild human-size Autobot, but if you integrate a giant fish as a prop to literally kick about and maybe it’ll be familiar enough.

David 8 and Walter One from ‘Alien: Covenant’

Any twins out there need an unlikely costume idea? How about going as the identical-looking androids from the latest Alien prequel? Whoever is David can wear a cloak, like the one he’s wearing in his first appearance here, while whoever is Walter can do the military garb he’s wearing at first. Between you, you’ll also need one flute to finger together. Non-twins can give this costume a shot, as well, if you can find a couple Michael Fassbender masks.

Teen Groot from ‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’

Another popular movie for costumes this year is the Guardians of the Galaxy sequel. There’ll be some more Star-Lords, Gamoras, Rockets, and possibly Yondu/Mary Poppins mashups, which have been popular at cosplay-friendly conventions lately. There could be some regular Groot costumes, too, and likely some babies dressed up as Baby Groot. But will there be any Teen Groot costumes? Not unless you’re clever enough to make it stand out, as such. Besides requiring a video game prop, you can oversell it with some kind of angsty teen shirt from Hot Topic (or here’s one from Amazon and another on Etsy). And cross your arms and slouch a lot.

Rock Dog from ‘Rock Dog’

Who is Rock Dog? Exactly. But there are sure to be some young fans out there of the poorly received animated movie — kids watch all kinds of crap — yet it wasn’t successful enough theatrically to warrant official costume tie-ins. That’s fine, as you just need to find any old dog costume, a blue robe style shirt, and a green beanie. Oh, and a guitar — real or prop. Surely some other kids at school or out trick or treating will get. Maybe. Technically, the character’s name is Bodi, but you and the kids should just say “Rock Dog,” because it sounds cooler. Even if it’s not. This also might make a good obscure costume for your pet.

Meowthra from ‘The Lego Ninjago Movie’

The Lego Ninjago Movie is a box office disappointment, but that might not stop kids from wearing costumes of their favorite ninjas from the movie. Those are pretty boring, though. A real Lego Ninjago Movie fan (of which I’m one) would go for the villain. No, not Garmadon (who doesn’t seem to have a costume, either). Meowthra! Get a cat costume and then cover yourself in scattered Lego bricks and figures like you’ve just attacked and demolished part of Ninjago. You can even build some building with Lego and attached some of those around you. Just don’t get distracted from your candy hauling by anyone with a laser pointer. Obviously this could also be a pet costume, if you can figure out a way to attach Lego parts to your cat.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.