With Halloween creeping upon us like slick Lovecraftian protuberances, there are a couple things we as men need to acknowledge: (1) this year went by faster than an afternoon nap, and (2) a giant baby will never be an acceptable Halloween costume. Not now, not ever. Throw that costume idea out the window along with the beer bottle, salt n’ pepper shakers, keg (with ironically placed spigot) and all those other frat party ephemera. Halloween has always been a celebration of the ghastly and grotesque, so why settle for simple jokes when you could go for over-the-top creepy?
There are plenty of premium creepy characters out there, and from them I’ve plucked five of the creepiest that would make undeniably choice Halloween costumes. No more settling for a store-bought Zorro or poorly padded Superman. Time to get gory, unnerving and disturbing.
Janitor (Silent Hill)
The unopposed winner for most messed-up creature/character in a movie is undoubtedly this one, the Janitor from 2006’s Silent Hill. Everything about it is skin-crawlingly disturbing, and also pretty nasty.
Visually, it is a decaying figure blindfolded and contorted so by barbed wire that his feet are bound to his head. In the film we see him first as a bound and suspended corpse, made a sick statue in a bathroom stall, which is scary enough, but moments later, with a sickening shout, he is given life again and crawls about the bathroom. Heaving his wire-bound husk about slowly, it is the behavior he exhibits that makes him so especially creepy. Flicking his tongue and screaming libidinously, he crawls on like some lust-enflamed Barker-esque snail from Hell. It just makes for a visually and mentally trying costume, and if undertaken…well, it’d be something never to be forgotten.
Shibito (Siren: Blood Curse)
Siren: Blood Curse is a video game much like Silent Hill. A town gets caught up in an occult ritual and demonic influence runs amok in its secluded, rural streets. The Shibito are basically zombified/demon-possessed townsfolk, maniacally determined to exterminate any humans who cross their paths. This misanthropic madness alone makes for a disturbingly creepy costume that could be a lot of fun, and there is quite a bit of freedom appearance-wise also.
The Shibito are just made up of townspeople, most of them appearing in medical uniforms or military apparel – tattered and torn surgeon uniforms, bloodstained while blood bubbles from every facial orifice. They lurch and stalk menacingly in zombie fashion, and it is their facial expressions that cap things off, often smiling or staring unblinkingly wide-eyed. Insanity is the key with this one, and could be a real thriller of a Halloween costume.
A fetishistic figure combining mutilation and domination, the Chatterer (next to Pinhead) is one of the more iconic figures in horror, and rightfully so. Seen in the first two Hellraiser movies, his appearance and attitude make for a genuinely creepy character, and an equally frightening costume.
The Chatterer’s face is just a twisted palette of seemingly burned, featureless flesh. The only thing left is the mouth, which the lips of have been burned, pulled back, or removed. Adding to this monstrous facelessness his attire, bound and strapped leather from neck to toe with occasional exposed strips where massive gashes in the body can be seen bleeding, the Chatterer is a figure of visual disgust. Additionally, when seen in the films he is always making an off-putting chattering noise with his exposed teeth, and also has the tendency to do some Mankind-wont mandible claw maneuver on those the cenobites are attempting to restrain, dominatingly shoving gloved digits down the helpless’ throttled throat.
This combination of visual and characteristic oddity make the Chatterer a definite candidate for creepiest character, and would make such a more significant Halloween imprint than something conjured out of the costume store’s clearance aisle.
Slayer (The Suffering)
Okay, this one would be a doozie to replicate, but it is so horrific that to overlook it would simply be criminal.
To briefly sum up the concept, The Suffering is a video game that takes place in a prison. There are several kinds of monsters that appear, all indicative of a different form of execution, and the Slayers are representative of death by beheading. Okay, foundation established?
Where to begin? The Slayers are terrifying on every level, and not just because of the game’s unnerving atmosphere. In the broad daylight, the Slayers would still be startling. Visually, the Slayer is a dismembered torso with massive blood-caked blades emerging from the truncated stumps of roughly hewn arms and legs. Flitting around in the dark on these blades like masochistic quadrupeds, they make a tik, tik sound to give goose bumps. On top of that, they bound around clad in asylum-grade straps around limbs, torso and face, giving that disturbing eyeless/faceless aesthetic so common among these candidates.
Of course, with a character this extreme some adaptation would need to be made, but not as much as one may think. With some stilt-like modifications, the Slayer could be your next Halloween venture, and the nightmarish S+M horror of everyone unlucky enough to encounter you in the crepuscular Halloween ambience.
Pale Man (Pan’s Labyrinth)
Lastly, coming out of the mind of Guillermo del Toro is the infamous Pale Man, bizarre and mysterious figure of 2007’s horror-fantasy film, Pan’s Labyrinth. Definitely a shocker, the Pale Man has all the characteristics of an unforgettable Halloween costume: grotesquely macabre, unnervingly alien, and stomach-churningly gross.
The Pale Man, discovered in some sort of slumber, awakes with slow and single-minded horror: the desire to feed. Unfortunately for a couple of too-close faeries, he is of an indiscriminate carnivorous hunger. This characteristic can be applied well for some Halloween terrorism.
The anatomical make-up of the Pale Man is, in a way, one of extreme emaciation. Loose flapping skin hangs from every twiggy limb and knobby joint. With flesh the tint of exposed subdermal fat, rosacea reddened, the character is more immediately sickening than anything else. Then, there is his face.
A stretched featureless canvas with loose jowls around a slit mouth and two reptilian holes for a nose, the Pale Man does not seem to have any eyes…until he lifts his hands. His eyes, embedded in his palms, gaze horribly as he spreads his hands across his face like glasses or reaches out with one arm to further see his fleeing prey.
The Pale Man staggers with awful abnormality, and coupled with the appearance, you know this would make for a remarkable Halloween costume, if not slightly nauseating.
Whatever you end up doing, though, whether endeavoring with one of these suggestions or taking inspiration in another direction, just promise me one thing – leave the beer bottle costume at home this year.
“Slayers – The Suffering Wiki”. The Suffering Wiki.