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Halloween Costume Ideas: How to Dress as Your Favorite Movie Character

Halloween is approaching quicker than you think, so we've got a handy guide to costumes based on your favorite movie characters this year. Throwing together a costume inspired by Bane, Katniss Everdeen, or even Magic Mike is a total cinch — and we've done all the hard work for you! Check out our favorite Halloween costume ideas for 2012.


Bane from 'The Dark Knight Rises'

 
 

It may take some practice to get his voice down (think Sean Connery in a tunnel), but the costume for Bane is a piece of cake. Tons of people are making custom masks and selling them on Etsy, like this one we found. Grab a tactical vest, pants, and combat boots -- all relatively cheap at a local Army Navy store. The jacket is the most expensive element, but totally optional. We like this replica from CelebsClothing.

 
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Katniss Everdeen from 'The Hunger Games'

 
 

Katniss is one of the strongest, baddest young ladies on the big screen this year. It's almost too easy to put her costume together -- the officially licensed jacket and Mockingjay pins from 'The Hunger Games' are available at various online outlets, and all you need to add is a braid in your hair, a toy bow and arrow set (let's get real and not hurt anyone, okay?), and the key element: a piece of pita bread as a stand-in for Peeta. Drawing a frowny face on said piece of "Peeta" bread is optional, but we're totally into it.

 
Lionsgate
Lionsgate

Lieutenant Alex Hopper from 'Battleship'

 
 

The key to dressing up as Taylor Kitsch's character from 'Battleship' is a vacant, confused look. If you're going to a party, it might be best to sort of bump into people and say "huh?" a lot. We also recommend taking the pegs from a Battleship board game and tossing them at people randomly. You can get a blue camouflage outfit at any local Army surplus store, and frozen chicken burritos are less than a buck at your nearest grocer.

 
Universal Pictures
Universal Pictures

Zombie Agent Coulson from 'The Avengers'

 
 

Okay, so Zombie Agent Coulson isn't actually a character, but since our favorite suit bit the big one in this summer's superhero extravaganza, we thought it might be fun to bring him back to life. All you need is a white shirt, suit jacket, and black tie paired with a bluetooth earpiece and voila -- you are Agent Coulson. But what really makes this costume special is the zombie make-up and a Captain America action figure, which signifies Coulson's obsessive love for Cap.

 
Marvel Studios
Marvel Studios

Hushpuppy from 'Beasts of the Southern Wild'

 
 

We think the ragamuffin Hushpuppy from 'Beasts of the Southern Wild' would make a cute and relatively cheap costume option. First you'll need a white tank top and some white rain boots. Next, tease your hair to hell and back to get that frizzed-out Hushpuppy style. Check out your local party supply stores for sparklers, and don't forget to go up to everyone you meet and put your head to their chest to hear their heartbeat. Life is all around you!

 
Fox Searchlight
Fox Searchlight

'Project X' Kid

 
 

This is one of the cheapest, easiest costumes you can throw together at the last minute when all else fails. Grab some douchey aviator sunglasses and a stack of red plastic party cups (available almost everywhere). Drink a lot of beer (like, all of it) and make sure you say things like "bro" and "for real" very loud and often. Randomly pass out on the ground somewhere surrounded by your red plastic cups. Bonus points for: making every woman in your general vicinity feel uncomfortable, getting the cops called on your party, and not learning a valuable lesson about being an obnoxious jerk.

 
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

Stripper from 'Magic Mike'

 
 

So you'll never have Channing Tatum's abs, but that doesn't have to stop you from working some 'Magic Mike' magic this Halloween. All you need is a vest, some breakaway pants (make sure you're wearing underwear!), and a ton of baby oil to get that greasy stripper glow. And don't worry if you aren't particularly fit -- the more out of shape you are, the more hilarious this costume is.

 
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

'Piranha 3DD' Girl

 
 

Women have a tendency to dress a little saucier on Halloween, so we've put a twist on that idea. Instead of just slapping some cat ears on your head while wearing lingerie, why not amp it up and really get in the spirit with this 'Piranha 3DD' costume idea? Extend the shelf life of your summer bikini by adding some toy piranha fish (the wind-up ones we found could be hilarious) and a TON of fake blood. If you want to take it over the top, run around screaming all night.

 
Dimension Films
Dimension Films

Suzy Bishop from 'Moonrise Kingdom'

 
 

This one requires a little more dedication, but the end result is totally worth it. To replicate Suzy Bishop's distinct look from 'Moonrise Kingdom,' you'll need a pink (or yellow) vintage-style dress. We like this one from ModCloth, but your local thrift store could turn up something more affordable. These pink saddle shoes from Bass are spot-on, but regular saddle shoes from Payless could work, too, and are definitely cheaper. You'll also need white knit knee-highs, turquoise eye shadow, and binoculars. Kitten and portable record player are optional.

 
Focus Features
Focus Features

Marty Huggins from 'The Campaign'

 
 

Zack Galifianakis' characters are always reliable Halloween costume fodder, and his Marty Huggins from 'The Campaign' is no exception. Basically a re-purposed version of his Seth Galifianakis stage character, Zack G.'s Marty Huggins rocks an ugly grandpa or 'Cosby' sweater, a turtleneck, and some khakis. Don't forget the dorky fanny pack and a pet Pug dog, but we advise opting for a stuffed one because those purebreds are expensive. Top it all off with a mustache and a lisp and you're good to go!

 
Warner Bros.
Warner Bros.

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