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Halloween Costume Ideas Based on New Movies

By Christopher Campbell | Spout October 2, 2008 at 10:11AM

With Halloween less than a month away, it’s time to start thinking about what to go as. That is, if you haven’t already. A good costume-loving cinephile typically knows well in advance what he or she will dress up as for Halloween (and Comic-Con, too). But if you’re one to wait until the last minute, and also one who likes to be a lot more contemporary than, say, dressing up as a Ghostbuster or Edward Scissorhands, I’ve got some suggestions for you for costumes based on recent films.
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With Halloween less than a month away, it’s time to start thinking about what to go as. That is, if you haven’t already. A good costume-loving cinephile typically knows well in advance what he or she will dress up as for Halloween (and Comic-Con, too). But if you’re one to wait until the last minute, and also one who likes to be a lot more contemporary than, say, dressing up as a Ghostbuster or Edward Scissorhands, I’ve got some suggestions for you for costumes based on recent films.

Check them out after the jump.



“Nuke the Fridge” - from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull


For this costume, you need to prepare a basic Indiana Jones costume and then build a ’50s-style fridge costume out of cardboard to go around your whole body. It could look something like this, except instead of just exposing your head, you show your whole body, dressed in Indy clothes. When people ask what you are, explain the terrible scene from Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as well as how it has spawned this new term for when a movie franchise goes sour. Also, if you like to be demonstrative, feel free to throw yourself into the air as if being propelled by a nuclear blast.


“Chad Feldheimer” - from Burn After Reading


This should be a pretty easy homemade costume. Just get a dark red polo, patch on a handwritten “Hardbodies Fitness Center” logo to the chest, spray a little temporary blond into your hair and strap an ipod to your arm. Maybe even add a “Chad” name tag, despite Brad Pitt’s lack of one in the film. For lack of a better quirky indie character this year (like Napoleon Dynamite), it’s a good enough idea to get you by without need for too much explanation.


“Didier Revol” - from Son of Rambow


If you want to be a little quirkier and a lot more obscure, though, you could seek out appropriate ’80s Euro clothing in your local thrift shop and go as this popular French exchange student. For this, you’ll still need some kind of temporary hair coloring for that skunk stripe, and you definitely need some red shoes. The jacket doesn’t need to be perfect, and anyway you can also just find a triangle-print midriff-exposing t-shirt and be fine. For your few cool friends who’ve seen the movie, it shouldn’t be too hard to get the idea across.



“Pepper Pots” - from Iron Man

Another thing lacking this year was strong female roles in comic book and action movies, from which you can usually get hot costumes like Lara Croft and Selene from Underworld. But as boring as it will be to go as Pepper Pots (or Rachel Dawes, or Betty Ross), putting on a women’s pantsuit and dying your hair light orange will also serve as a protest against the 2008 tough-woman drought. Sure, you could try to pass something off as Fox from Wanted, but nobody will get it. If you really need to do something with skimpy outfits and machine guns, there’s always the Sarah Palin costume. However, that’s obviously not movie-related enough, unless you somehow make it clearly reference Miss Congeniality.


“The House Bunny” - from The House Bunny


For the girl who likes to keep things simple, there’s fortunately the old Playboy Bunny staple. And now it’s more movie-themed thanks to the comedy The House Bunny. Just get some hot pink duds and some basic bunny ears and you’re all set. Just don’t let people assume you’re just a sexy bunny, or, worse, either Bridget Jones or Elle Woods. Another old standard that has recently become movie-themed: zombie stripper.


“Eve” - from Wall-E


The girl who doesn’t like to keep things simple may want to attempt a homemade Eve costume. It’s possible that it could serve as a sexy costume, as it can consist of a white body stocking, posterboard-cut flap arms and a white garbage pail top for the head. But as hot as that tight-fitting stocking will be, the real shape of Eve’s body is far sexier. So get out those plastic-welding tools and come up with something more streamlined and rounded. Otherwise people might just think you’re an iPod or some other Mac product.



“There Will Be Blood group” - from There Will Be Blood

If you’re looking for a good group-costume idea, and you don’t want to be Scooby and gang, then the characters and iconic props from There Will Blood are sure to be a hit. While three friends dress up as Daniel Plainview, H.W. Plainview and Eli Sunday, three other friends must dress as a bowling pin, a milkshake and maybe an oil rig (copy this Eiffel Tower costume).



“The Dude Playin’ a Dude Disguised as Another Dude” (aka “Robert Downey Jr. in Blackface”) - from Tropic Thunder

Even Halloween is now a questionable time for a white person to put on blackface, but you might be okay with the dark face paint if you go as Robert Downey Jr.’s character, Kirk Lazarus, as his African-American Army sergeant character. It’ll be fun doing the voice, but it’ll be even more fun telling people why your race-altering costume is not un-PC, because it’s ironic and satirical. You can also invite your friends to dress up as the other actors and make it a Tropic Thunder group costume. Just don’t have anyone be Simple Jack, because that’s definitely not PC.



“Joker-Faced Meg Ryan” - from The Women

Sometimes a good Halloween costume can come about by turning another costume into something new. Like how John Carpenter turned a William Shatner mask into a Michael Myers mask for Halloween. Now, for anyone wishing to go as the plastic-surgery disaster that is modern Meg Ryan (or her character, Mary Haines, in The Women), all you have to do is take a Dark Knight-style (and Heath Ledger-style) Joker mask, change the hair color or add on a curly blonde wig, and maybe flesh-out the color of the face.



“The Dark McCain” - from The Dark Knight

Inspired by the cartoon of McCain as Batman printed in Entertainment Weekly, this may be the easiest and most timely movie-themed Halloween costume of all. Because this is going to be a heavy year for both political costumes and movie-related costumes, but this one fits both categories (as do a Bristol Palin Juno costume, a Bristol Palin Baby Mama costume, a Sarah Palin Miss Congeniality costume, a Barack Obama Hancock costume, etc.). Because there were readings of The Dark Knight in which people said the Caped Crusader is Bush or Cheney, those alternates will also work. Just be sure to get your McCain mask (or Bush or Cheney) and your Batman costume before both sell out.