10 Lady Horror Villain Costumes to rock this Halloween.

Halloween is a great opportunity to dress like some of our favorite characters. While most of our horror icons, are dastardly lads, there are plenty of wicked ladies out there too. Maybe you’re a girl who’s bored with the whole female Freddy thing. Perhaps you’re a dude who’d like to get in on the whole gender-bending craze. Either way, here’s a list of costume concepts that will excite any horror fan!

1. Lola – The Loved Ones

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When talking about psycho prom dates, Carrie is the queen supreme. Still, Lola from The Loved Ones is not a girl to take lightly. When she fails to obtain the attention of her high school crush, she sets up her own prom for just the two of them. Lola’s idea of prom includes torture and lobotomy, all with a little help from her daddy. For this costume just get a hot pink dress, a crown, a drill, and maybe some blood. Also this could make a cool couple’s costume, if your significant other wants to go as her date, Brent.

2. Esther- Orphan

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She’s just an unloved orphan having difficulty adjusting to her new home, right? Wrong! In reality, Esther is a childlike adult with psychotic tendencies. Once she sets her eyes on her new father, it’s just a matter of getting rid of her other inconvenient family members. Dressing as Esther presents a range of options. The easiest Esther look requires an old school blue dress, pigtails, bows, and maybe some white tights.

3. Sadako- Ringu

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A cursed videotape, a well, a vengeful ghost? Yep, we’re talking about Sadako from Ringu. Sadako is possibly the most well known onryo (vengeful ghost) in Japanese cinema. There are at least 6 books, and 7 movies existing in the Ringu universe. Over the course of time, Sadako’s history has become muddled. Still, her appearance has always remained the same. To rock Sadako’s look, you need a tattered white dress, long black hair, and the ability to crawl out of the television. I wish you luck with that last part.

4. Thomasin- The Witch

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The 1600s were a tough time to be alive, especially when there’s witchery afoot. In The Witch, poor Thomasin and her family are banished to the woods. As their religious zealotry grows, so does the power of evil. A proper Thomasin outfit needs Puritan garments and a bonnet. To really make it clear who you are, find a stuffed black goat.

5. Mary – American Mary

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Katharine Isabelle is something of a horror goddess, and Mary Mason is one of her best characters to date. For those who haven’t seen the film, Mary starts out as an on edge med student. Then she is raped as her professor’s party. Mary decides to put her surgical skills to work. She uses her medical capabilities to seek revenge on those that abused her, but can she stop at simple revenge? Mary’s outfit is easy to master. You just need a basic white top, black pencil skirt with tights, a pair of black heels, and a black vinyl apron. I’d also add a surgical mask,  some gloves, and some bloody surgical tools.

6. Baby Jane Hudson- Whatever Happened to Baby Jane

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Bette Davis is my absolute favorite actress, because she just got better with age. Her finest work is Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. Those of us who’ve seen the movie know that Baby Jane grew up to be a bitter alcoholic, who dominates her paralyzed sister. As the film goes on Jane becomes more and more delusional. Jane believes in all sincerity that she will become a Hollywood star again, and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to keep her dream alive. If you want to transform into Baby Jane Hudson, you’ll need a frilly light colored dress, red lipstick, messy curls, and a baby doll. It also helps if you walk around singing “I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy”.

7.  Nina – Black Swan

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Like Baby Jane, Black Swan’s Nina cracks under the pressure of trying to be a star in a competitive field. Ballet is tough enough as it is. If you throw in an overbearing mother, a lecherous choreographer, some repressed sexual desires, and few hallucinations you get the absolute insanity that is Black Swan. To look like Nina as the Black Swan, wear a black tutu, tights, some ballet style shoes, a tiara, some dark makeup, and red contacts.

8.  The Female- Hellraiser Series

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Huge Clive Barker fan? Are you a master at makeup? Maybe The Female is the right costume for you. The Female was a nun until she opened the box. She was then whisked away to Hell, where she became a cenobite. If you’re a diehard horror fan looking to impress with your costume, give this one a shot. To turn into the lovely female cenobite, you’re going to need some FX supplies, a wig cap, a ton of blue and grey makeup, and a black leather wardrobe.

9. Moira- American Horror Story

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I’m hesitant to bring up American Horror Story. I was really into the first couple seasons, but then it just kind of descended into self indulgent chaos. Still, Murder House was pretty awesome. If you’re interested in going as one of the AHS ladies, I suggest sexy maid, Moira. While Moira is seen by women as her true age, men see her as a young pin-up babe. This is her curse to carry. Before the events of Murder House, Moira made the mistake of becoming involved with Constance’s (Jessica Lange) husband. This led to rape attempts, jealousy, and ultimately Constance shooting Moira’s eye out. To perfect this costume, pick up some maid attire and play around with retro makeup and hair. I’d also make one eye nice and gross.

10. Dracula’s Brides- Dracula

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This costume really only works in a trio, but what devilish beauties you will be.  The Brides are timeless icons. There have been many depictions of the bloodsucking group throughout the years. Usually they’re depicted as mysterious and captivating. I can picture tons of options when it comes to these vampiric vixens. I like the traditionally elegant look, but a modern twist could be fun too. Let your creativity take over and see what you come up with. My only advice is to make sure the three of you at least kind of match.

There you go! Hopefully this list helps you to come up with a unique Halloween costume that you feel proud of. If you liked this article, please follow us here on the blog and also on Twitter. @HallowsHaunts Happy Haunting!

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IT- No Clowning Around

 

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It has only been out for a week, and it’s already completely smashed box office records and blown up social media feeds. It’s seeming likely, that this latest Stephen King remake/adaptation will be the biggest horror movie of the year. Perhaps I’m a bit late to the game, but I figured I’d chime in anyway. It’s taken me some time to compile my thoughts on this one. My feelings are rather jumbled.

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For those of you that have somehow remained unaware, It follows a group of kids trying to stop an ancient evil disguised as a clown. Of course the first element I need to address is the clown, Pennywise. While Tim Curry left some large clown shoes to fill, Skarsgard is a worthy replacement. Skarsgard’s Pennywise doesn’t speak as much as Curry’s, but he’s just as menacing. His fish like eyes that tend to cross, and the weird way he trails off when speaking hint at him being something far more sinister. In the book, it’s quite clear that Pennywise is a Lovecraftian-ish entity. While Curry’s interpretation is more entertaining, Skarsgard’s feels more in line with King’s original vision.

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While Skarsgard’s performance is top notch, it’s the kids who carry the movie. Each of the children stand out as individual characters. Not a single one of them failed to measure up. The interactions between them are humorous, emotional, and authentic. The relationships of the kids in It have been compared to that of the children in Stranger Things. That’s a fair comparison, and audience members that enjoyed one are bound to enjoy the other. While the young actors of It deserve the most credit for bringing their roles to life, director Andy Muschietti is owed praise as well. It can be difficult to work with child/teen actors, and Muschietti managed to bring the best out of all seven of them. Sophia Lillis as Beverly is particularly enchanting. I can see her becoming a household name.

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In addition to the acting, there’s also some bloody good cinematography. The version from 1990 was made for television, so the shots are practical rather than artistic. The new film is a theatrical release with a huge budget, so Muschietti was able to integrate more cinematic camera techniques. The movie is full to the brim of grand drone shots of Derry and slick slow-motion. The scene that stands out for me is the one where Beverly is listening to the voices bubbling up from the sink drain. Then the entire bathroom is splattered with blood in slow motion, while she screams her head off.

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Unfortunately, not all of the visuals hold up. I had a problem with the lighting in most of the interior scenes. While the low lighting worked for the outdoor scenes, it made the indoor scenes just too dark to see. Sometimes even the characters eyes weren’t lit. It’s a small thing, but it makes a world of difference. Horror filmmakers need to learn that just because the subject matter is dark, it doesn’t mean it has to be visually dark.

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I also took issue with the majority of the scary scenes. There is something going on in the current state of horror, where every horror scene is designed to be manic. That’s definitely the case with It. The cuts are too fast, the sound is too loud, and the camera motion is just excessive. I’m a slow burn fan, so I prefer the creeping dread that exists in the form of stillness, or perhaps a room that’s just too quiet. Maybe the climax scene could have benefited from the chaos, but when every Pennywise scene is that wild, the effect wears off fast. It seems like it’s trying too hard. Think about being at a haunted house. What’s creepier, the guy in a mask shouting in your face, or that thing in the lurking in a corner that you only get a glimpse of?

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As long as we’re discussing the scares, I should point out that there were a few questionable effects. For the most part the movie used practical stuff, thank God. Still there were a couple times I caught some weird CGI. The most glaring example is at the beginning. Pennywise is tempting Georgie to get closer to him. Georgie moves in slowly, and then Pennywise opens his ridiculous CGI mouth and chomps down on Georgie’s arm. I wouldn’t say it ruined the scene, but it made it less enjoyable for sure.

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My complaints aside, I’d still give this film a favorable review. If I had to offer a grade, I’d give it a solid B minus. I explained my issues with it to a friend, and he made the point that this movie still signifies that big budget horror is moving in the right direction. I have to agree. While It is not a great film by any stretch, it stands miles above the likes of other theatrical horror films. Still, I think I’ll stick with wacky Tim Curry.

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Alice Cooper’s Paranormal Album

Annabelle Creation: They’ve Created a Monster

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Please note: Annabelle in italics refers to the film, while plain text Annabelle refers to the character.

Annabelle: Creation is the cinematic form of Frankenstein’s monster. By that I mean it’s a bunch of parts stitched together to make an abomination trying to pass itself off as the real deal. The film desperately tries to cram in all of the usual possession film tropes in order to create tension. Since the tension is never allowed to evolve naturally, the results feel heavy handed and laughable. At this point, Hollywood’s desperation to imitate the James Wan aesthetic is nothing more than a pathetic cash grab.

This catastrophe revolves around a group of young orphans sent to live in the country with a couple of doll makers. These doll makers are of course the creators of the original Annabelle who was modeled after their daughter. When their daughter dies tragically, they seal her room away with the doll in it. The arrival of the young girls triggers her awakening. Terror ensues.

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The first problem of Annabelle: Creation is that there is just too much happening. The film tries to introduce about 50 set pieces. There’s a tea set, a dollhouse, a scarecrow, a stairlift, and more. While each of these elements could be wicked cool on their own, none of them are ever given the proper amount of time to shine.

Then we have the forced supernatural atmosphere. I’m convinced someone over at Blumhouse has a checklist of all the cliches that need to be shoved into every modern horror film. Annabelle: Creation provides all the usual suspects including loud string music, fake jump scares, and little girls bending like contortionists. Unfortunately all of the tropes leave little room for actual plot. For example, a demon possesses the doll, and it needs a human host. Why? I couldn’t tell you. It already has a physical form. Plot holes like this can be found popping up throughout the entire movie.

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Another unavoidable issue with the film is that the doll is absurd looking. They tried way too hard to make her look creepy. No one would buy a doll that ugly. She looks like a Halloween decoration. Dolls are inherently creepy. It’s just unnecessary to take it so far. In a campy film like Dolly Dearest, this approach works. However in a gravely serious supernatural horror/drama it does not.

In all honesty, I’ve never cared for Annabelle. I didn’t like her in The Conjuring. The Annabelle portion of The Conjuring always seemed out of place, like that subplot was an afterthought. I absolutely despised the first Annabelle spinoff, and this latest addition isn’t much better.

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Annabelle: Creation does contain some spooky stuff, but the majority of the film is messy and unentertaining. While the setting and costumes are appealing, no amount of scenery can make up for the lack of a good story. I love The Conjuring 2 and Ouija: Origins, but I’m starting to think it might be time to put the “little girls getting possessed” narrative back into the coffin. Anyone with me?

If you want to read more articles like this one, follow our blog and be sure to follow us on Twitter @HallowsHaunts. For professional inquiries reach out to us (allhallowshaunts@gmail.com). I can also be found on Etsy, selling stuff for weird girls on my store page, Lola Tarantula.

Queen Mary’s Dark Harbor Unveils Chef

Halloween Horror Nights at Midsummer Scream

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One of the biggest attractions at Midsummer Scream is always Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. Every year fans gather in a room to hear any bit of news from HHN’s creative team, John Murdy and Chris Williams. This panel always draws an enthusiastic bunch of haunt fans, and this year was no exception.

Before jumping into the new stuff, they provided some background information regarding how they became involved in Horror Nights. Both men painted rosy pictures of their childhood love of monsters, and how it inspired them later in life.  None of this was news to me, but Murdy and Williams were as charismatic as usual, so it was still entertaining.

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As for this year’s Halloween Horror Nights, they walked the audience through pictures chronicling the process of building The Shining maze. They promised the Grady sisters, room 237, Danny on his tricycle, “Here’s Johnny”, and of course the famous carpet. Murdy stated that his goal with this maze is to capture the slow burning dread of the movie.

They delved into scare zones a bit, too. One of the scare zones will be Hell on Earth set in New York City. Guests can expect to see an assortment of demons roaming the streets. HHN always creates top notch monsters/effects, so haunt lovers will definitely be in for a devilish treat.

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Finally, for those super fans, Universal is bringing back their VIP tours known as the R.I.P. Experience. This walking tour includes front of the line passes to everything in the park, free valet parking, special entry, a buffet dinner, and reserved seats for shows.

Keep your peepers here for updates about Halloween Horror Nights. Also be sure to follow us on Twitter at @HallowsHaunts. We’ve got lots of spooky stuff in store this Halloween season, and you won’t want to miss it.

 

It Comes at Night… Sort Of

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Theatrical horror releases have been pretty thin this year so far. So when I saw the trailer for It Comes at Night, I couldn’t wait to get out and see it. The limited cast and ambiguous threat had me hoping for something like It Follows, but the film that was advertised wasn’t exactly the film I saw.

It Comes at Night centers around a family living in a post apocalyptic world where infection lurks around every corner. The film opens with the family being forced to kill the diseased grandfather.  It’s an introduction that packs an emotional punch and sets the tone of the movie quite well.

From there on, our young protagonist Travis (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) struggles to come to terms with the emotional reality of the situation. He is overcome by ghastly nightmares involving the sickness and his grandfather. Then one night a man breaks into their home. His parents (Joel Edgerton and Carmen Ejogo) and the intruder, Will (Christopher Abbott) form a tentative agreement to pool their resources. Will retrieves his wife and child (Riley Keough and Griffin Robert Faulkner) and the two families begin living together. At first, things are great, but then suspicion and paranoia begin to propel them all in a violent direction.

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It Comes at Night has a lot going for it. The performances are top notch. I was especially partial to Harrison and Keough. All of the characters are well rounded and they all feel like real people. The relationships between the characters and the mounting tension create a palpable sense of dread. I’d compare It Comes at Night to The Walking Dead. Both rely on characters in desperate situations facing heavy moral dilemmas, where neither party is right or wrong.

In addition to the characters, the architecture of the cabin allows for a unique setting. With its narrow passages, woodwork, and the surrounding forest it presents a wide range of cinematography options.

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The soundtrack consisting of a lot of low key drumming also stands out. It’s a sound I definitely haven’t heard in any other recent horror movie, and its a nice break from the usual orchestral or synth music that seems to pervade the genre.

Unfortunately, for all of its positives, It Comes at Night still doesn’t feel like much of a movie. It was halfway over before I could even figure out exactly where the plot was going. It’s only about 90 minutes, but it feels about twice as long. The supernatural threat alluded to is nonexistent. All of the nightmare fuel imagery is from Travis’s dreams, and those dreams are a rare occurrence throughout the film. In fact, not much happens in the movie at all. The characters are almost enough to make up for this, but not quite.

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I tried to pinpoint why this film felt so lackluster for me, because on paper I should love it. Usually, psychological slow burn films are my favorite, but this one didn’t stick the landing. I think it’s because many of the scenes don’t serve to drive the story forward, so it starts to feel stagnant. When the climax finally came, it was about what I expected. Then it just sort of ends. Everyone in the theater started grumbling, saying things like “That’s it?”. I liked It Comes at Night, and I’m glad it’s out there because it is something fresh in this landscape of Alien and Annabelle sequels. Just don’t expect it to live up to the hype.

Breaking News- Cassandra Peterson a.k.a Elvira will be at Midsummer Scream 2017

As if the Summer couldn’t get any hotter, the team at Midsummer Scream just announced that Cassandra Peterson, a.k.a. Elvira, will be making a special appearance at Midsummer Scream 2017. As of now, she is slated to appear as herself, not as Elvira. She will be at the convention on Saturday July 29th to sign autographs and meet fans.

The addition of the “Queen of the Macabre” has added a level of excitement and awesomeness to what is shaping to be an epic event!

Midsummer Scream takes place Saturday July 29th and Sunday July 30th, 2017 at the Long Beach convention center. Tickets are on sale and can be bought at MidsummerScream.org . You can also follow them on Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, and Instagram: @MidsummerScream.

Be sure to follow All Hallows’ Haunts here and on Twitter (@HallowsHaunts) for more information on Midsummer Scream as more announcements are made.

The Shining announced at HHN Hollywood

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As we creep towards Halloween, we’re beginning to get some great news about upcoming haunt events. The best news so far, comes from Universal Studios. Universal Studios has just announced that The Shining will be a maze theme at Halloween Horror Nights. Guests at HHN in Orlando and Hollywood will be given the chance to wander the dizzying corridors of the Overlook.

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Universal promises to include many iconic scenes from the film, while adding their own creative flair. Those brave enough to enter will encounter a crazed Jack Torrance as well as the spirit of room 237. While not explicitly stated, the maze is also expected to include the eerie little girls Danny encounters in the famous hallway scene. Hopefully, we’ll also be treated to the blood gushing elevator and the guy in the bear suit blowing another guy. Seriously, it’s the weirdest part of The Shining.

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Click the link above to view the official maze teaser. Also follow us right here on All Hallows’ Haunts and on Twitter @allhallowshaunts for more Halloween updates.

Midsummer Scream Schedule of Events!

It’s just over two months before the return of the Midsummer Scream Halloween Festival. Now, the team behind Midsummer Scream has announced its schedule of events, and it certainly looks exciting!

Some of the panels include presentations from The Queen Mary’s “Dark Harbor”, Universal Studios Hollywood’s “Halloween Horror Night’s”, Knott’s “Scary Farm”, and much more. They also announced the return of the Winchester Mystery House, as well as a thrilling panel discussing the sadly now gone Disney’s California Adventure ride “The Twilight Zone’s Tower of Terror.”

This is only the tip of the iceberg folks, as Midsummer Scream has additional shows, the “Hall of Shadows”, and numerous other events and panels booked for that weekend. Plus, more is on the way.

You can check out the 2017 Midsummer Scream event schedule by clicking on the the following link- http://midsummerscream.org/2017-schedule/

The entire AHH team is anxiously waiting for Midsummer Scream to get here!!!

Midsummer Scream takes place Saturday July 29th and Sunday July 30th, 2017 at the Long Beach convention center. Tickets are on sale and can be bought at MidsummerScream.org . You can also follow them on Twitter/Periscope: @MidsummerScream, and Instagram: @MidsummerScream.

Be sure to follow All Hallows’ Haunts here and on Twitter (@HallowsHaunts) for more information on Midsummer Scream as more announcements are made.
(Midsummer Scream Poster by Midsummer Scream.)