After his terrifying experience in the Luna Park Hollywood Horrors attraction (yes, a bad parenting decision – thanks for rubbing it in!), I really thought my youngest one wouldn’t want to go the horror themed dress up this year for Halloween. In fact, I wasn’t even certain he’d want to do Halloween for fear of seeing someone dressed up scary while we were out and about at twilight. He even shied away from wanting to watch some of the ‘scary’ bits in Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull (a movie both my boys love but that always leaves me with a sour taste in my mouth as to what horrors can be done to a beloved franchise when producers don’t spend the time really making sure the reasons for adding to that franchise are solid – like a good script, directing, CGI, an actual story that makes sense within the world that has already been built… Don’t even get me started on the Star Wars prequels!! The horror….the horror…)
Anyway, I digress…
My boys embraced Halloween a few years ago when they were invited over to join friends of the family in their Trick or Treating and in the years since, the theme for Hallowween has always been horror.
Well, perhaps not always – both my monsters are boys after all and in the spirit of all boys, zombies, zombie skeletons, vampires and Star Wars characters are usually all the rage for Halloween.
Just like fart jokes are all the rage for humorous gags and Minecraft is the computer game of choice.
Anyway, mostly horror has always been my boys’ Halloween go-to of choice.
But back to my story…
After the disaster of the Hollywood Horrors, I thought last year’s wonderful make up effort, (the youngest one allowed me to go all make-up artist on him and turn him into my version of a scary blood-sucker) would not be repeated this year.
Which made me very sad. Turning him into one of the living dead was huge fun for me and dusted off my make-up skills that I’ve not really used since I gave up the theatre before the older one was born. The youngest one was always enthusiastic about being made to look like something horrific (and given my penchance for the paranormal, I was happy to play along with this, especially as the older one wouldn’t even let me near him with makeup in hand.) I was all resigned this year to the younger one wanting to go as Harry Potter (he dressed up as Harry for a fancy dress day at school) and have nothing but a lightning bolt to draw on his forehead. Not that I have anything against Harry – love the books, love the movies – and he really did make a very cute Harry, but it would mean all my fabulous theatre make-up would continue to sit in the make-up bag feeling incredibly sad about being alone and unused and unapreciated (of course, that was the make-up feeling that way. Not me at all.)
I could not have been more wrong.
The older one (who won’t even watch Doctor Who because he finds it too scary) made his usual dress up choice, which involved putting a demon mask on and not letting me anywhere near him with my make-up skills. He wouldn’t even let me ‘demonise’ his hands with some effective blood splatter 🙁 or wear all black – yes, that is a camel on his chest. Very demonic.
However, the younger one surprised the pants off me when he decided he wanted to go dressed as Freddy Kruger.
‘Why Freddy Kruger?’ asked me, a little shell shocked and trying not to bring up the bad experience of the Hollywood Horrors again. ‘Isn’t he a little scary? I mean, do you even know who he is?’
‘He’s the baddy from ‘A Nightmare on Elm Street,’ says the youngest one who has never seen a horror movie in his life, nor has his brother, but they both seem to have an extensive awareness of them, or more to the point, the scary masks that the killers like to wear in horror movies.
‘Well, you know that’s a horror movie,’ says me carefully.
‘Then are you sure you want to dress up as him?’
‘Yeah. He’s scary and cool.’
‘Really?’ says me, incredibly surprised.
‘Oh, yeah. He was the nice man who took a photo with us at Hollywood Horrors. I like him.’
‘But I thought that scared you.’
‘It did, but not him. He was there before the scary bit. Although he is scary and I want to be scary. It is Halloween after all, Mum. You’re meant to dress up scary.’
‘Oh, right. Well… okay then.’
I thought in the weeks leading up to Halloween he would change his mind (he usually does change it about twenty times) but he didn’t. he stuck to this idea of wanting to be truly scary. We couldn’t find a mask for him – they are all adult sized – and the children sized Freddy Kruger costumes only come with a hat, striped top and glove with ‘claws’. The kid on the front of the costume we bought had some make-up on and the youngest one looked up at me and said, ‘You can do better make-up than that, Mum. Remember, I want to be truly scary.’
So, even though I was still a bit bewildered by his attitude to this whole thing, I decided to give it a good go. I bought some great prosthetic pieces to help enhance the awful visage of Mr Kruger and brought some new make up colours and went to town on my version of the nightmare villain. And this is what I came up with…
I was pretty happy with the end results (he is pretty amazing about having it put on – he sits so still and allows me to do his neck and hands as well to create the entire feel.) And he was really thrilled with how he looked – go figure!
Then, when we were out and about with my sister and nephew, I suddenly realised why he wanted to be made to look truly scary. When you have a really well executed scary costume, people respond to it in a really exagerated way (Holy crap, you’re Freddy Kruger!’ ‘Wow, that’s scary!’ ‘Oh my god, that looks real!’) and you get more lollies. In fact, he got the all time best comment, ‘That’s the best, most scary costume of the year, for me – here, have a handful more of these.’ Every young monsters dream!
I have a smart cookie on my hands. One who knows a good scare is worth a tonne of sugar!
Both boys (otherwise known on the night as ‘my little monsters’ brought in a really good haul of lollies – more than I imagined they could, with little FK coming in ahead of the rest by about a dozen lollies.
He’s pretty good about sharing though, so there weren’t any fights and everyone had a lovely night – it was beautiful and mild here in Australia at the moment with the spring roses out and scenting the air. My sister and I had a great time strolling, chatting and enjoying the boys’ excitement and rolling our eyes over the inevitable sugar overdose and trouble getting them to bed.
I know we don’t ‘celebrate’ Halloween here in Australia like it is celebrate elsewhere, but when you do it, it is really quite a fun, lovely thing to do with lots of generous people who are happy to open their doors, exclaim over the costumes and hand out lollies to the horrifying monsters, devlish devils, bloodsucking vampires, fairies, witches and movie heroes and villains that come to their door. it is more about the ‘treats’ with no sign of the ‘tricks’ that you often hear about happening on the night in the US when people go overboard. In the years we’ve done it with friends or family, goodwill flows and it is a lovely thing to see.