It’s four days until Halloween, and you still don’t have a costume. All of the costumes at the seasonal Halloween store have been picked over, leaving you to choose between sexy ladybug and Walt from Breaking Bad, at $50 apiece. You’d make a costume on your own, but the best idea you have is “ghost,” and you’re not sure you’re willing to ruin a perfectly good sheet by cutting eye holes in it.
Fear not! I have done the hard work of coming up with an idea for you. Here are five last-minute costume ideas from this year’s movies:
1. Boxtroll from The Boxtrolls
This is the first and most obvious last-minute costume. Got a box? Got a marker? Got an exacto knife? Great! You’ve got a costume! Cut arm holes, a head hole, and label your box as though it used to hold produce or something, and you’re ready to go. (Note: the best choice would probably be “Eggs,” as he is the human raised by boxtrolls, and therefore your human features would be acceptable. If you went full troll, you’d probably need a mask of some kind).
2. Tris from Divergent
Okay, so part of the Divergent story is that Tris dresses like a normal teen once she joins the Dauntless crowd. She also, however, gets a very distinctive tattoo… So, if you’re a girl with long hair you can put into a decent Tris-style ponytail (or you’re a guy with a wig and a slight figure), just have your artist friend paint the crows tattoo on your left collarbone/shoulder-ish area (you do have an artist friend, right?), find yourself a tank top and some skinny jeans, and you’re all set. I don’t recommend carrying a gun or leaping onto or off of moving trains, however.
3. Maleficent from Maleficent
If you are willing to devote quite a few hours between now and Halloween to fabricating a cowl with wonderfully twisted horns, a long black cape, and a staff, and you’re comfortable wearing heavy makeup, you should absolutely go as Maleficent. She’s at least recognizable, so you wouldn’t spend the evening explaining what you are (although you might end up catching your horns on doorways and drapery, causing some awkward moments). I recommend starting by making your horns. They can serve as the bellwether for the success of the rest of the costume. If it’s going to be a complete failure, better to know right away and move on to another idea.
4. Hazel and Gus from The Fault in Our Stars
For the couple that doesn’t like to dress up but was invited to a Halloween party and so feels obligated to come up with something: Find or create an (empty) oxygen tank for your Hazel to drag around, along with some tubing to tape to her face, and…you’re basically done. Congratulations. You might also want to throw a plaid shirt on whichever of you is playing Gus, but it’s hardly required. Note: this costume is potentially offensive to amputees and cancer sufferers, survivors, and their family and friends.
5. Rayford Steele from Left Behind
Find a navy blazer, some yellow felt, and some charcoal (or black eyeshadow) and you can go as Rayford Steele, the latest of Nicolas Cage’s unfortunate roles. Cut some pilot stripes from the felt, affix them to your blazer, smudge charcoal strategically on your face and body, then spend the evening looking distraught and discussing your crisis of faith. If you can find a pilot’s cap, or some of those wings that airlines used to give out to kids who flew with them, that’s even better. The kicker: carry around the empty clothes your wife and son left behind when they were raptured.
There you have it. Runners-up included Gamora from Guardians of the Galaxy (paint yourself green, find a pleather body suit) and Thomas from The Maze Runner (make a weird vest-slash-utility belt and… run, I guess?). Good luck, and remember: if all else fails, there’s always the TP mummy.