The Flavorpill Guide to DIY Pop-Culture Halloween Costumes: Film


Halloween: It’s always more complicated than you want it to be. Even if you’ve got your plans set, it’s a struggle to find the perfect costume — without resorting to the same crappy, overpriced, pre-packaged getups everyone else will be wearing. Thankfully, just as we did last October, Flavorpill is helping you out with a series of easy DIY costume guides tackling various pop-culture realms. Don’t worry — there’s no sewing involved.

In our new installment, we’ve taken on some of this year’s most memorable screen characters. Whether they demand our attention with fire (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), light up the celluloid with their gorgeousness (Brad Pitt, Marion Cotillard), or bear an eerie resemblance to their real-life persona (Mel Gibson), these Halloween costumes are sure to be conversation starters and win you the praise of spooky celebrators everywhere.

Baby Goose in Drive

“Hey girl, like my jacket? I’ve got a lot of arms to hug you with and rock you like a hurricane.”

When Ryan Gosling wasn’t busy breaking up street fights in NYC — or rescuing kittens from trees and babies off train tracks — he was looking looking fine and channeling Steve McQueen in Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive . Baby Goose plays a badass stunt driver by day and getaway driver by night. We can only guess at how many people will be donning the Driver’s scorpion jacket this Halloween. Rest easy, though, because we imagine anyone showing up to the same party as you dressed as Gosling will want to hug it out instead of fight. You could go the “slutty” or “zombie” route with the whole getup to make sure you stand out (and if you do, please send pictures).

The costume:

White satin jacket — you have a few options. Since the official replica ($160) isn’t being delivered until December, you can pick up one that looks similar (here $40, here $60, or here $115) and add your own scorpion on the back with some gold fabric paint ($5). We only recommend painting the jacket if you’re skilled with a brush.

Driving gloves — $62, Only Gloves (or go for the $13 version)

Toothpicks/Chewing sticks — $4, Amazon

Hammer — your toolbox

Slutty costume option — it may be too difficult to find scorpion high heels, but you can play dumb and go for these $1800 arachnid-friendly stilettos.

Kristen Wiig on a plane in Bridesmaids

The female-fronted Bridesmaids — the tone for which was set by producer Judd Apatow’s familiar formula of buddyisms and crassness, and funny lady Kristen Wiig (who also co-wrote the movie) — is fodder for several costume options. We happen to like Miss Wiig’s airplane scene, inspired by booze and sedatives.

The costume:

Black and white striped tank — $16, Piperlime

Tortise cat eye sunlgasses — $20, Kohl’s

Urban Bride makeup collection (for inspiration) — $24, Urban Decay

Booze — we know you have some

Handcuffs — $3, Halloween24

Anxiety — free

Couple’s costume possibility — Colonial woman churning butter

Mel Gibson during the filming of The Beaver

Despite his insane outbursts, Mel Gibson managed to deliver a decent performance in the Jodie Foster-directed The Beaver — about a failed husband and CEO who therapeutically bonds with a hand puppet. The uncanny similarities between Gibson’s character and his off-screen self became strikingly apparent when these images of Gibson jogging on location during the production surfaced.

The costume:

Beaver puppet — $24, Highsmith

Gray zippered hoodie — $13, Old Navy

Blue tee — $6, Old Navy

Sweatpants — $25, Old Navy

Pepper spray (Because with eyes that crazy, you’re really paranoid.) — $20, Mace

Sneakers (to help you run from your failed career) — your closet

Brad Pitt in The Tree of Life

Bradd Pitt’s 1950’s engineer, wannabe musician, and inventor in The Tree of Life is the perfect costume for the guy who doesn’t like dressing up on Halloween — or the dude that everyone accuses of being really boring, but beautiful to look at. Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki recommends attending only daytime parties in order to maintain your gorgeous Vermeer glow.

The costume:

Pleated Khakis — $13, Gap

Dark brown polo shirt — $17, Amazon

Gold watch — $25, Amazon

Toy dinosaur (If you want to make more of an effort.) — prices vary, Dinosaur Corporation

For funsies and accuracy — pin this strange sign to your shirt. (It will also help to separate yourself from the guy dressed as a Mad Men character.) Make sure you clipper your hair extra short.

Saoirse Ronan in Hanna

Saoirse Ronan’s icy stare made her the perfect adolescent assassin in this year’s dark action-thriller Hanna . Even if you weren’t born with blonde locks and blue eyes, Ronan’s cold weather wear is doable for chilly October nights. Try not to shoot your eye out with that bow and arrow, killer.

The costume:

Gray circle scarf — $15, Mod Cloth

Gray ushanka hat — $29,

Toy bow and arrow — $20, Mills Fleet Farm

Tinted lip balm (Use on your nose too, to help capture that Finland chill.) — $7, Burt’s Bees

The Hanna OST by The Chemical Brothers (Because you really need to play this while you kick all kinds of ass … or just to help liven up the office Halloween party.) — $12, Amazon

Marion Cotillard in Midnight in Paris

In Midnight in Paris , a struggling writer goes back in time to hang out with the creative minds of 1920’s Paris. He falls for Adriana (Marion Cotillard), who also has her eyes set on the past — the late 19th century’s “golden age,” which she finds less complicated. Whimsical, romantic, and charming, we can’t think of a snarky reason to dress like Cotillard this Halloween. Just do it, for sentimental reasons.

The costume:

Beaded flapper dress (Go pricier on the dress to help distinguish yourself from the “slutty” Halloween flappers and their cheap, sad feather boas — but keep it simple like Adriana would.) — $198, Unique Vintage

Flapper bag — $3, Halloween Adventure

Cigarette holder — $2, Buy Costumes

Couple’s costume option — bring a neurotic date to double as Woody Allen

Otto Jespersen in TrollHunter

Otto Jespersen — who plays the grizzled and reluctant hero in André Ovredal’s TrollHunter (which finally hit the US this year) — is probably the best part of the film. Jespersen’s eccentric hunter, Hans, single-handedly tries to keep Norway’s troll population at bay. His solemn yet quirky persona is deceptively simple, but Hans’ complex entanglement with a government conspiracy and reverence for the creatures he battles makes him a memorable figure. He never competes for our attention, even next to those giant and strangely beautiful trolls.

The costume:

Brown felt hat (Jespersen is like the Norwegian Indiana Jones in the film, after all.) — $17, Buy Costumes

Black leather coat — $27, Leather Dome

Green quarter-zip fleece — $35, REI

Scar makeup kit (Troll slaying ain’t easy.) — $3, Party City

Troll slime — homemade

Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Hesher

While we thought Spencer Susser’s Hesher — which hit theaters in limited release this summer — was pretty fantastic for its spirit and huge heart, we really fell in love with Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s title character for those exact reasons. The Hesher Halloween costume is all about attitude, of course, so if you have an aversion to being foul-mouthed, listening to heavy metal, or setting things on fire it’s not going to work. Go big or go home.

The costume:

Black sharpie (for homemade tattoos) — $0.69, Shoplet

Black relaxed fit jeans (Or whatever you have around the house. Holes encouraged.) — $40, Levi’s

Men’s white briefs (Wear without the jeans if you’re brave.) — $10, Dillards

Cigarettes — prices vary

Dax pomade (for a messy, greasier hairstyle) — Pharmapacks