(ARA) - Frightful
food, dreadful decorations and menacing movies. Not exactly the
makings of a great party -- unless it’s a Halloween party.
Why not invite your favorite ghosts, goblins and ghouls for an
evening of fun, fright and film?
Planning a party with a movie theme is a good way
to start. Think of all the great films to choose from -- everything
from the timeless Hollywood horror classics of Alfred Hitchcock
to more modern scares like “Scream.” If you’re
throwing a party for kids or if they might be nearby, you may
want to consider Halloween cartoons. Here are some party planning
tips for a fearfully good Halloween party.
For the Grownups
Some adults love getting dressed up for Halloween;
others hate it. Figure out which camp your friends fall into and
decide whether you want to ask guests to come in costume. If you
decide on a costume party, stay with the movie theme and ask people
to come dressed as their favorite character from a scary film.
Consider giving a prize for the best costume.
Decorating should be fun and easy. A trip to your
local party store will supply you with everything you need, from
spooky plates, napkins and tablecloths to CDs of eerie music to
greet your guests at the door. You can be as elaborate or bare
bones as you like. Set the mood by tacking up fake cobwebs in
your doorways; carve sinister jack-o-lanterns; and turn off the
lights and use candles instead.
When planning your party menu, you can go one of
two ways with your food -- either sophisticated or Halloween kitschy.
A sophisticated fall menu might consist of hearty soup served
in hollowed out pumpkin bowls with a nice fall salad and fresh-baked
French bread. If you go the kitsch route, your menu might feature
“deviled eyeball” hors d’oeuvres -- deviled
eggs topped with a slice of black or green olive and a main course
of “guts and eyeballs” (your famous spaghetti and
meatballs). You get the idea. Here again, let your guest list
be your guide.
Have fun picking the movies for your party. Choose
some old favorites, or if you need some suggestions, consider
these picks from James Rocchi, film critic for Netflix, the online
DVD rental service. Here are his top five Halloween films:
* Frankenstein (1931)
-- the Karloff classic
* Halloween (1978)
-- retro-flavored slasher that launched a thousand imitators
* Invasion of the Body
Snatchers (1978) -- one of my favorite horror films
* Them! (1954) -- a
giant insect monster movie with ‘50s camp and timeless scares
Baby (1968) -- the urban-Satanism nightmare that still chills
For the Kids
While the adults are having the pants scared off
them, the kids can enjoy their own, tamer version of a Halloween
movie party downstairs. For the kids, Rocchi recommends “It’s
the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown;” “SpongeBob SquarePants:
Halloween;” and “The Worst Witch: A Mean Halloween.”
Since kids love to dress up, costumes are a natural
part of their party. Have plenty of prizes on hand so that every
child wins in a different costume category. Depending on the number
of kids, you may have to get creative. Consider scariest, funniest,
most colorful, most elaborate, best animal, etc.
The kids will love gross Halloween treats. Gummy
worms can crawl in and out of the dip; chicken strips become witch’s
fingers when you add dagger-like fingernails made of pimientos.
Serve with green ketchup for the finishing touch.
For dessert, serve up mud cups: chocolate pudding
topped with crushed Oreo cookies and more gummy worms.
Netflix makes getting movies for your party simple.
With more than 15,000 titles to choose from, you’re sure
to find just the right ones to set the Halloween mood. And because
you can keep the DVDs for as long as you want, you can get them
ahead of time and forgo a last minute dash to the video store
where you are likely to be out of luck. With Netflix, movies are
mailed directly to your door, another time-saver. The number of
DVDs you can have at any given time depends on your membership
level; the most popular choice costs $19.95 per month and gives
you access to unlimited DVDs, with three out at a time. Once the
party’s over, returning the movies is simple -- just put
the DVDs in the envelope provided by Netflix and drop them in
any U.S. mailbox.
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