Get reel: a film geek’s guide to Halloween

Yvonne Teh, Film Editor

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 10:41pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 October, 2013, 10:41pm

When some film buffs hear the word Halloween, their thoughts turn to the Halloween series which got its start with the 1978 slasher directed by John Carpenter. Those are among the horror movies that some people will make a point to watch again on All Hallows' Eve. But not being the greatest fan of scary movies myself, that is not a Fright night ritual I take part in.

On the other hand, when I lived in the United States, I did go trick-or-treating as a child. Later, as an adult, I would hand out candy, along with some healthier goodies, to kids who came a-calling at my home on Halloween night.

Over the years, I couldn't help noticing that a lot of Halloween costumes had been inspired by the movies. Sure, there were revellers who opted for attire that bore no relation to films, such as the guy dressed in a pink bodysuit with a chair on top of his head, who would tell people he was a piece of bubblegum stuck under a chair.

But for every offbeat costume, there were many others that were inspired by the movies. The first time I went trick-or-treating was during the original Star Wars era - so I spied quite a few Darth Vaders, Princess Leias (not the sexy slave girl version, but the one with the hair buns that looked like headphones) and Luke Skywalkers (dressed in what often looked like karate-gi and brandishing toy light sabres).

Among the teenage and young adult revellers, it was pretty much a guarantee there would be at least one ski-masked Jason Vorhees (of the Friday the 13th series) each year. Less scarily, Harry Potter and other Hogwarts denizens have made appearances - alongside the likes of fairytale princesses and more hellish creatures - at Halloween.

My most memorable Halloween movie character sighting took place in Hong Kong. I was in the MTR when a woman got on dressed as an Avatar Na'vi, complete with blue body paint and a long tail.

Everyone in the carriage stared - and a couple of people even snapped photos of her with their mobile phones. Astonishingly, the woman appeared upset by the attention. So maybe after, she "settled" for a look more regularly seen here on Halloween night - that of the gyongsi (Chinese hopping vampires) from the local Mr Vampire series.