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 have done for the past two Octobers, 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.

Last week, we inspired lit fiends by channeling the authors and characters populating this year’s best book titles. We couldn’t forget about the film geeks out there, and have scoured the movie universe to come up with some original costumes that will make all the uninspired cat girls, black widows, and batmen jealous. There’s something for everyone — including couples and pets — in our DIY guide. Get shopping past the break, where we ventured to a Moonrise Kingdom, space, and beyond to help make your Halloween amazing.

Suzy Bishop and Sam Shakusky in Moonrise Kingdom

This year’s Wes Anderson film boasts major vintage eye candy, and we think dressing as the adorable and stylish Suzy and Sam would make for a great couple’s costume on Halloween. Moonrise Kingdom’s 1960’s setting and the young lovers’ quirky personalities creates a colorful palette to borrow from. The success of the costume is all in the details. Books, hand-drawn maps of your own secluded cove, and personal jewelry pieces would allow you to make the look your own. Sam’s uniform could easily be feminized with vintage-style dresses (everything earth tones) and unusual accessories.

The Costume:


Saddle shoes — $20, Payless, or go leopard — $129, F-Troupe (via Of a Kind)

Lace knee-highs — $10, Sock Dreams

Peter Pan collar dress — $45, ModCloth or $35, Dorothy Perkins

Raspberry beret — $12, Village Hat Shop

Binoculars Necklace — $24, Etsy

Beetle shell earrings — $16, Ivory Jar or real stag beetle earrings — $26, Wanelo

Grab a vintage suitcase or binoculars bag for cheap at your local thrift store. Fill it with books.


Raccoon skin cap (fake fur) — $10, Village Hat Shop

Khaki short sleeve shirt — $11, American Work Apparel

Khaki shorts — $21, Dickies

Olive wader socks — $15, Bass Pro Shops

Vintage Boy Scout patches — $12, Etsy

Vintage orange rucksack — $50, Etsy or $220, Archival

Vintage acorn and leaf brooch — $25, Etsy (or just borrow a pin from grandma)

Channing Tatum in Magic Mike

Magic Mike was this year’s “Citizen Kane” of stripper movies, so you don’t have to feel bashful about baring it all and bumping and grinding. Flaunt your natural charm and sensitive side like star Channing Tatum. Leave the tearaway pants at home — remember, you’re “the thinking man’s beefcake.” The costume’s conversation piece should be your entrepreneurial dreams and not the thong you’re wearing.

The Costume:

Black trench coat — $220, Kenneth Cole

Black suit pants — $24, Target

Black open stick umbrella (for extra twirling capability) — $18, Amazon

Chain wallet — $14, Target

Fedora — $14, Amazon

Stick on a tie and a smile. Practice these dance moves, and pray for rain.

The Engineers in Prometheus

Pay homage to your extraterrestrial elders the Engineers with this simple, but effective Prometheus-inspired costume. The uniforms that the rest of the crew wears in Ridley Scott’s film are too Tron, and who can resist a hulking, pale, hairless humanoid, anyway? Oh, and about that curse you were plotting to inflict upon the planet Earth? Fuhgettaboutit! Everyone will be too drunk on candy corn martinis and pumpkin cider to give a damn about your biological warfare.

The Costume:

White liquid latex for full body coverage — $9 (for one “average size” person) or $47 (up to four people)

Gray, hooded cloak — $70, Etsy

Creepy contact lenses — $175 9mm Sfx or $30, Extreme SFX

Agent Coulson and The Avengers in The Avengers

Look, between Joss Whedon’s Marvel movie and The Dark Knight Rises, we’re going to be seeing enough slutty, pleather versions of Black Widow and Cat Woman this Halloween to last an eternity. With news surfacing this weekend that the world’s biggest Captain America fan would be resurrected from the dead to appear in Joss Whedon’s S.H.I.E.L.D. TV series, we think dressing as Clark Gregg’s character is the way to go. The costume also provides the perfect pet partner opportunity to help you stand out from the other besuited guests at your party.

The Costume:

Drag out that business suit from the black of your closet. Embellish with a radio earpiece — $29, Planet Headset, or your own Bluetooth headset. Add a dog. Watch the below video for inspiration, and don’t attempt to try this on cats. They hate you enough already.

Avengers dog costumes — $16, PetSmart

Captain America dog costume — $35, Etsy

Avengers dog costumes — call for quote, PetLover’s Closet

Merida in Brave

Pixar’s first leading female character just wants to ride her horse and sling a few arrows. Merida doesn’t really have time for a typical fairytale romance, nor does she have a wicked stepmother oppressing her. The fiery-haired protagonist doesn’t have a fairy godmother to guide her, either. She just follows her own path and bravely figures it out as she goes along. The rebellious and self-reliant heroine inspires a costume that is beautiful and better than anything at the Ren Fair.

The Costume:

Red, long, curly wig — $28, Fancy Ladies or $19, Costume Discounters

Forest princess dress — $70, Costume Express or $65, Medieval Collectibles

Adult bow and arrow set — $25, Chicago Costume

Practice your Scottish accent

Effie Trinket in The Hunger Games

The candy-colored escort for District 12 competitors Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark in The Hunger Games wears frills, flowers, and doll-like makeup with great panache. If you’re worried that puffy clothes make you look like a linebacker, have no fear. The wide silhouette actually works in your favor. Practice your table manners and vacant stare while being delightfully oblivious to the struggles that the District 12 tributes face.

The Costume:

Powder pink wig — $31, NewTech Display

Large magenta hair flower — $15, Etsy or purple orchid organza flower — $30, Etsy

Custom suit with bolero jacket and shirred skir — $350, Etsy or just pair a puffy shoulder jacket ($42, iOffer or $20, Amazon) with a pink, shirred dress ($34, VIVI or $128, Couture Candy)

Organza flower brooch — $15, Etsy

Purchase the makeup in this Effie makeup tutorial

Maggie in Sound of My Voice

No one will think you’re weird for dressing like a creepy cult leader on Halloween. Brit Marling’s Maggie is mysterious and charismatic enough to make people believe she’s from the year 2054 and searching for chosen ones to ally to her cause. Her character may or may not be a dangerous psychopath, but no one will be wondering about that when you’re brainwashing them during a cleansing ritual in your basement. That’s a good thing, since you don’t want them wondering why your whites don’t match.

The Costume:

White linen pants — $14, JC Penney

White raglan sweatshirt — $40, American Apparel

White circle scarf — $27, Etsy

Square lantern (to light the creepy exploits in the basement) — $18, US Candle Company

Victor and Sparky in Frankenweenie

Tim Burton’s had a busy year, with the release of two films: Dark Shadows and Frankenweenie. While we’re still trying to forget the spooky director’s blah-worthy, 1970’s twist on the gothic soap opera, we can’t help but be charmed by his undead doggie Sparky and lovable loner, Victor. This costume is sure to warm hearts with its touching backstory about a boy who lost his best friend and the film’s darkly quirky spin on old school monster movies.

The Costume:

Lab coat — $17, Party City

Black goggles — $13, Spirit

Black rubber gloves — $6, WEBstaurant Store

Black eyeshadow (for dark circles and Burton-esque appeal) — $4, Amazon

Plush Sparky — $20, ToysRUs or dress up your own dog like the undead (little Frankenstein dog costume — $7, Costume Craze)

Céline in Holy Motors

Édith Scob’s mask in Holy Motors references one of the greatest horror films of all time — Georges Franju’s Eyes without a Face. Scob played the disfigured girl in the 1959 film. Her transformation into a limousine driver for Denis Lavant’s gloriously bizarre set of characters in the new Leos Carax movie Holy Motors is quietly eerie and perfect for October.

The Costume:

White face mask — $4, Candy Apple Costumes

Blonde wig — $5, Find Costume

Black, vinyl trench coat — $49, Polyvore

Frank and Roxy in God Bless America

Bobcat Goldthwait’s pitch-black satire about being pissed off at America is fantastic fodder for a couple’s costume. Joel Murray’s down-on-his-luck insurance salesman goes on a Falling Down-style rampage with a disillusioned 16-year-old girl (Tara Lynne Barr), and the pop culture parody sports some great pieces to pull from for Halloween.

Vintage horse print cardigan — $70, eBay

Gold and amber aviator sunglasses — $15, Overstock

Toy gun — $5, Amazon

Sheer rage and pure hatred for the “stupidest, cruelest, and most repellent members of society”