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Flick Chick Gives Her Halloween Party Tips

HolidaysHalloweenMoviesMassacresWashington Irving

Tips for Halloween Movie Inspired Parties

Flick Chick loves to throw movie-themed parties. There, now that's just out in the open. Still, Halloweenis one of the best holidays for serving the partying tradition. There are so many variations out there, the possibilities are limitless! But before you decide on a theme, there are a few things that are a must for a successful Halloween gathering. After all, you want your affair to be a treat, not a trick!

Setting: Don't' despair if you can't go all out and rent a haunted mansion or eerie cemetery for your shindig. Setting can still dazzle with little changes to your everyday habitat. The big one is lighting. Turn off those regular halogen, environmentally-friendly light brights and get the place DARK. You can change light bulbs for colored ones , light up scores of candles, or just do the scarf over the lampshade bit.
Guest Participation: Ah, to costume or not to costume? For me, Halloween is all about the costumes. Otherwise, what's the point? All you have is a bunch of people gathering around for a regular 'ol soiree. Still, if your friends are lame, you can offer a costume concession and just require masks (think Palin eyeglasses, Balloon-boy hat, or a Foxy Brown wig). It can be useful to have a few stockpiled at the door for any wayward guests. Hopefully, your friends will come on board all the way and arrive in their own costume.
Snacks & Sips: For any themed party, especially Halloween, it's not what you provide, it's what you call it. If you're going to show scary movies, be sure to dye your popcorn 'red' and call it Bucket of Blood Popcorn! Drinks (alcoholic or non) must be called Witch's Brew, Satan's Spit or some other nonsense like that.
Activities: In the old days, bobbing for apples, hayrides and pumpkin carving were the activities of choice. Those can still work, but you should consider some alternatives. That's where your movie theme comes in!

Sleepy Hollow

Pick any version of the Washington Irving classic tale of jealousy and a vengeful headless horseman, from Tim Burton to Scooby Doo, as your movie choice. Décor choices could include hay and lots of menacing looking pumpkins. Instead of bobbing for apples (that can get a little messy), serve up some apple cider or apple liqueur shots. For an activity, find an outside space like a backyard or rooftop deck, and gather round a fire pit to tell ghost stories.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?

So you wanna mix it up a bit, huh? Make your place Halloween road trip central. Issue your friends an invite to meet up at your place, hang out a bit and then go off and find a more interactive experience. The Metroplex is blessed with many, many, many, many, many, many haunted house options both in town and a little farther afield. Maybe take up a collection and rent a hearse for the trip? But first, warm them up with the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre playing in the background while guests arrive. For snacks and sips, be sure to serve up local sausage and meat products that will keep those Massacre watchers guessing. It goes without saying décor should be like your place lost a fight with a chicken coop. Chainsaws and Leatherface masks are optional.

The Butcher Boys

Costumes are mandatory for this theme. The catch? You and your guests must come as one of the iconic teenyboppers "slashers" of the late 70s or 80s (Jason, Michael Myers, Freddie, etc.), a sex-starved teenager, or as the tomboyish "final girl" that always survives. Instead of toothpicks for simple food, you should find little axes, knives, pitchforks and such to 'stab' the food. Drinks? Definitely must be red and plentiful. As for a game, I think a good game of Operation is in order for learning about all of the body parts that get impaled or chopped off during the screening. As for the movie selection, any slasher will do. They are interchangeable – that was their charm. For the purists out there, you may need to go with Halloween or Friday the 13th. Finally, if you got it, definitely go with an old school VCR and VHS combo to get the "feel" of these movies just right.

Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board

Yes, this party theme is all about the Ouija Board game and its ilk. See how many of your friends harbor deep superstitions by asking them to go into the bathroom and recite "bloody Mary" five times with the lights off. I know, you're quaking already at just the thought. Be sure to deck out your place séance –style with fringes, magic fortune teller stuff and low light or candles. As for treats, go simple: candy apples, rice krispies, candy corn and kool-aid punch. Before you bust out the Ouija board, you should warm up your guests with the movie Witchboard (1986). It's a cautionary tale about the dangers of demonic possession as channeled through an Ouija Board. When it's over, pull out your board game and let the fun begin!

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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