You know, the past few years, I haven’t really gotten into Halloween. I didn’t dress up last year. Living in Kansas City, my friends were so spread out and of varying ages that there wasn’t any really cohesive plan. But here, it’s been the week of Halloween. And what fun! Adam and I bought loads of candy and some kickass Skull cups to take to parties. Last night was Whiskey/Pepsi, tonight I think we’ve got a 12-pack of Heineken- bottles, always bottles.
Tuesday, we carved pumpkins, and even though I’m sure mine was the worst, it was fun. It was a silhouette of Gotham City, with the Bat-signal looming over it. Tricky stuff, cutting out the spaces around the Bat-symbol. It’s already mostly rotted, but oh well. We’re a filmmaking bunch, so we had pumpkins from “Nosferatu” and “JAWS” and 2 from “The Nightmare Before Christmas.”
I’m pretty proud of my costume. I’m Owen Wilson’s character, Francis, from “The Darjeeling Limited.” Adam is Tallahassee from “Zombieland.” Awesome. I’d tried to be Shaun from “Shaun of the Dead” but couldn’t locate a cricket bat – literally no one out here sells them. C’mon, L.A. get with it! Nonetheless, the costume has been a hit thus far, and I’m looking forward to tonight. Last night, Josh literally created his costume just to piss me off – he went as Noah Baumbach. 3 people at the party got it, but boy was he spot-on. Brown pants. Black suit-coat. Scarf. Sunglasses. And, most importantly, most pretentiously… black fingerless gloves. Check out the making-of featurette for “Margot at the Wedding” and join in the resistance against this uber-douche. Or, the picture to the right. I’ll have to put up a comparison once I find some pictures from last night. It’s uncanny. And probably the most frightening thing I saw all night.
And of course, what Halloween would be complete without scary movies? Last Saturday, we had a Horror Trilogy – with “Halloween” and “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (originals, of course) and “The Blair Witch Project.” I think “Texas Chainsaw…” was the scariest, but “Blair Witch” was the best (read a good review of it here, from my friend Josh who hadn’t seen it before now). Can you believe it’s been 10 years since that movie came out? And now here we have “Paranormal Activity,” which is very similar in spirit and budget and pure filmmaking gumption. I saw it this week, and just like “Blair Witch…” it’s scary not because of blood and guts and cheap thrills. Both movies are unsettling, they seep into you. They’re about people fighting desperately to regain control of their lives from unseen forces. Both made on the cheap, both some of the most effortless, natural improvisation captured on film, both “horror,” both very much about their setting and small, creepy things happening. And, in some ways, both about filmmaking itself and the desire to watch what happens.
10 years ago I was 16. I remember trying to sneak into “The Blair Witch Project” and having to settle instead for “The Runaway Bride” (I was on a date, I’ll let you decide which movie was whose choice). My friend Clint and I used to host Halloween parties every year, so we ended up watching it in his basement on a huge screen. I watched it like 3 times that night, I couldn’t get enough. My parents had no idea what I was watching I’m sure, which is for the best. My church youth group was of the opinion that Halloween is of the devil and activities such as dressing up and saying the words “Trick-or-Treat” are surely just the first step towards eventually demon-possession. Ah memories.
So on this Halloween Night, sure to be filled with ghosts and goblins, friends and frights, alliteration and apparitions, remember these few simple rules. And enjoy.
1. Costume+Party = Necessity. C’mon, just do it, it’s loads of fun.
2. Ghost/Demon summoning = Not recommended, but could be interesting. Please heavily document and notarize as needed.
3. Drink+Dance = anything that can be a dance move will be a dance move. In the age of digital cameras and Facebook, proceed with caution.
4. This is not the night to experiment with others’ prescription drugs… ah hell, a little never hurt (?), and what’s the worst that could happen? (See #2)