It's Halloween, and you want to throw a party. But what kind? You don't want to throw just any old costume party. You need a theme, something to set the mood. Vampires? Too cliche. Zombies? It's been done (to death). So what's left? That's right, it's time to stir the couldron, pull out the spell book and be a total witch.
Now, we’re not talking about real-life witches or Wiccans. We’re talking about modern cinematic witches, with their sexy struts, flashy CGI spells and soundtracks made up entirely of angsty, one-hit wonder rock/techno acts. Thankfully, two films come to mind that will combine their powers to help you throw the ultimate campy, spooky, vaguely (and sometimes blatantly) homoerotic Halloween party.
Let's start with The Craft—the camp classic that was charmed before there was Charmed. Since you’ll need a chaser after the sheer amount of ridiculousness crammed into that film’s runtime, you’ll want to follow it up with The Covenant. It’s like The Craft for Boys, and it was made with the sole purpose of someday inspiring a drinking game. (More on that below.) First, let's get ready for the party.
CREATE THE MOOD
- Candles. Lots of candles. All the candles you can get your hands on. You can even take a cue from The Covenant and forget you have electric lights at all. Place the candles anywhere you want, even places where it makes no sense for candles to be. You may not have any empty surfaces at the end of it, but you’ll have plenty of ambiance. (Safety note: Do not leave lit candles unattended. Firestarter is not part of this double feature.)
- If you’re feeling really ambitious, you can pile up a random assortment of books, trinkets and gemstones to turn your home into a film-ready occult book store.
- If you’re not using the films’ soundtracks for background music, then make sure what you use is electronic; no acoustic instruments at all (drums and strings are allowed). Make sure the bands you feature only have one prominent hit, preferably one from the 90s. You may have to end up doing a lot of single-track searching on Spotify, iTunes and/or YouTube.
WHAT TO WEAR
You’ve got a few costume options here, depending on how much effort you want to put into things, but there's no need to spend a lot of money.
- Go the prep school route. Black pants or skirts, crisp white tops, black stockings paired with a pair of stylish black boots. If you really want to make an impression, you can accentuate with whatever vaguely bondage-esque accessories you can get from your local Hot Topic or neighborhood dominatrix.
- For the more casual partygoer, wear anything you’d expect to find in the closet of a rich, entitled, chauvinistic frat bro. Axe Body Spray is optional.
- Under no circumstances should you wear anything with an actual color (maybe muted earth tones, but don’t push it).
- Of course, you could just slap on a Speedo and a blank expression and call it a day.
WHAT TO BRING
- At least one wig from your local fly-by-night costume store.
- As many fake snakes and spiders that you can fit in your backpack or purse.
- A book on Spells for Dummies, preferably used.
- A container of silly string to simulate the use of your witchy powers (see picture below).
- A candle to pass around, solemnly.
- And don’t forget your number 2 pencil…you can't prove you're a witch without floating one of them in air.
WHAT TO PLAY
- Cast a glamour on yourself and your friends! Give yourself a brand new look through the mystic arts of illusion magic…or just trade cheap wigs with your friends like they did in The Craft.
- If that gets boring, take your magic to the next level and cover your closest friend with fake snakes and spiders when they least expect it. Once they’re thoroughly freaked out, tell them it was all a fun practical joke and ask them to hang out next week, as if nothing happened. Make sure you do it with as little emotion as possible.
- And of course, you can always do a few rounds as “light as a feather, stiff as a board.” You can make it a fun competition by seeing who can spend the longest time waiting to be levitated without cracking up.
- If all of that seems like too much effort, here's a simple, low-impact game you can play. Everyone takes turns sitting down on a chair whose back is turned to everybody else. Say something really cryptic and seemingly important like, “I know what happened. I don't want you to make the same mistake.” Bonus points if you can dangle a cigarette or drink from your hand while doing it. The winner gets to write the script for The Covenant 2: The Weyotch is Back.
WHEN TO DRINK
(Or sip…we don’t want to be responsible for any liver damage.)
For The Craft:
- Anytime the main characters treat the casting of spells as a fun and perfectly harmless hobby.
- Anytime Skeet Ulrich does something incredibly creepy that’s framed as charming.
- Anytime someone uses the phrase “natural witch” in the same way the X-Men use the word “mutant.”
- Anytime Robin Tunney sort of hops/runs in a tight sweater.
- Anytime Nancy completely loses her shit, and you're not sure if Fairuza Balk is just acting or she's actually having a genuine mental breakdown on film when she realizes she just has this and Return to Oz on her resume.
For The Covenant:
- Anytime one of the warlocks does anything misogynistic (again, you’re going to want to sip).
- Anytime you see some of the worst green screen/CGI in any 21st century movie.
- Anytime any of the guys does anything ambiguously gay, such as locker room shenanigans, or one of the many “my magic/dick is bigger than yours” contests.
- Anytime one of the guys does something blatantly gay, such as every conversation between good guy Caleb (Steven Strait) and bad guy Chase (Sebastian Stan).
And there you have it. You’re well on your way to spending four hours celebrating two of the most ambitiously ridiculous films about witches from the last 20 years. Who knows what might happen? You might just awaken your powers as a “natural witch”…or you could spend time with friends, have a few drinks and make fun of a couple of truly campy movies. And isn’t that what Halloween is all about?