Doctor Sleep Movie Review

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The 1980 movie The Shining, starring Jack Nicholson as writer Jack Torrance, is considered a classic. Who can forget the dark events that took place in the isolated Overlook Hotel?  Jack, his wife and young son Danny stayed there alone as caretakers of the property. Only, there weren’t really alone. The strange happenings in the hotel slowly drove Jack to insanity and violence. Danny, gifted with “the shining”, uses his intuitive abilities to reach out for help, beyond the snow bound property.

If you’ve seen The Shining, you know it doesn’t end well for Jack.

Doctor Sleep is the long awaited sequel to the story that began in the Overlook Hotel. Danny…Dan…is grown. However the events from his childhood greatly impacted the adult he grew into.

Check out this Doctor Sleep movie review, for a look at the continuation of The  Shining story. Mild spoilers included. The movie’s ending is not revealed.

Doctor Sleep Title Meme

Doctor Sleep Cast

This horror/thriller stars Ewan McGregor, Rebecca Ferguson, Kyliegh Curran, Zahn McClarnon, Zackary Momoh, Carl Lumbly, Alex Essoe and Jocelin Donahue. Mike Flanagan directed and wrote the screenplay, based on the novel Doctor Sleep, by Stephen King. Doctor Sleep carries a well deserved R rating, for violence, language, nudity and intense scenes, and has a run time of 2 hours and 32 minutes.

Danny Torrance grows up
Danny Torrance grows up.

Overcoming a Difficult Childhood

Doctor Sleep opens with flashbacks to Danny’s traumatic winter at Overlook Hotel. Danny (McGregor) and his mother Wendy (Essoe) attempt to move on with their lives, settling in Florida where it never snows. Danny does not speak for months until he receives a visit, in spirit, from Dick Hallorann (Lumby). Hallorann offers Danny techniques for containing his fear. Dick, who befriended Danny at the Overlook and recognized his shining, tells the troubled boy to mentally build boxes to trap the ghosts who bother him.

Danny grows from troubled boy into troubled man. Alcoholism, and the tendency to drift from town to town in an attempt to shake the past, bring him to New Hampshire. In a small town there he finds people who encourage him, offer him work and help him enroll in Alcoholics Anonymous.

As he heals, Dan works nights in a hospice unit with the cat Azzie, who instinctively goes to the rooms of those about to die. Dan uses his intuitive gift to bring comfort and peace to the the dying in their final moments, earning him the nickname of Doctor Sleep.

Doctor Sleep Movie Review Dan and Dick
Dan as Doctor Sleep and his friend in spirit, Dick Hallorann.

Abra Shines

During his years in New Hampshire, Dan connects with an unseen presence who leaves messages for him on his blackboard wall. Abra (Curran) is a young teen girl with powerful psychic abilities that she hides from her parents (played by Momoh and Donahue) . She reaches out with her mind to find Dan and alert him to group of people who are murdering children gifted with the shining.

Members of The Knot are energy vampires who have lived for centuries by feeding on the “steam” or shine of gifted youth. Led by Rose the Hat (Ferguson) and Crow Daddy (McClarnon) the group comes into Abra’s energetic awareness when they kidnap and kill a boy with the shining. Horrified, Abra locates Dan and meets with him in person. She asks for his help finding the baseball glove of the murdered boy so that she can use it to track The Knot and stop them from harming anyone else.

However, The Knot is aware of Abra too and they are drawn to her incredible gift.

The hunters become the hunted. And Dan finds he must return to where his horrors began as a child, if he is to save Abra and others like her.

Doctor Sleep Movie Review Abra and Rose
Abra and Rose the Hat in Doctor Sleep.

My Thoughts on Doctor Sleep

I recently watched The Shining again, in preparation for this film. Other than seeing a couple of previews, I avoided learning anything about the sequel. From the brief movie trailers that I saw, I knew the story continued with Danny as a grown man.

It’s difficult to write a sequel to a classic. However, I feel that Mike Flanagan, well known for the recent remake of The Haunting of Hill House, created an excellent follow up film.

Rather than focusing on ghosts and jump scares, Flanagan examines the human element. He shows us how Danny is affected by post traumatic stress syndrome and dwells in the shadow of a problematic, albeit deceased, parent. In addition Flanagan reveals the difficulties caused by dulling pain with alcohol  and carrying the burden of living with a unique gift.

Be warned, however. There are extremely intense scenes in this film. One in particular is excruciatingly painful to watch and impacts the viewer with an emotional punch to the gut.

Redrum
A familiar word from Danny’s past.

The Message for Me

I like the ties to The Shining, which brings continuity to the story. And I appreciate the deeper message in Doctor Sleep, which it this: shine.

As an intuitive who hid my abilities for many years, I identify with Abra. Her gifts are more powerful than mine. However, I understand her desire to hide what she can do. I understand her hope that others think her normal.

It does me good to see Abra accept who she is in the film and embrace her gifts. That’s a journey I’ve taken as well. I accept who I am. And I embrace my gifts. When Dan tells Abra to shine, as herself, I take those words to heart too.

Isn’t that a message for all of us? Shine. Accept who you are. Embrace your gifts, whatever they are. How amazing to receive this encouragement in a Stephen King thriller. Then again, this King of Horror is a master storyteller…and a keen and thoughtful observer of humanity.

He's back...
Ewan McGregor is Doctor Sleep.

Check out these Stephen King finds on Amazon:

 


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Week One Celebrations

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Week one celebrations occurred, as I move through 62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday. Check out that post HERE, to see what the celebrations are all about.

I’ve chosen to do a weekly update every Friday, as a way of sharing the fun and also to hold myself accountable. Accountability is actually what led me down the blogging path back in 2014. That year I did something new every day, 365 days in a row. Blogging helped me to stay focused and be transparent in my accountability. In the same way, posting weekly updates keeps me on track with the birthday activities. It’s a big undertaking, this time of year, to add an extra activity every day. And yet, that’s part of the fun, challenging myself to “go beyond”.

I hope you benefit as well, from following along with me. May you find new ideas and be inspired to create your own magical games.

Week One Celebrations Title Meme

Week One Celebrations

As a reminder, I have 62 activities written on slips of paper. I folded those papers up and dropped them into a jar. Every morning I draw out an activity and do what is written on the paper. I love this game, trusting that the activity I randomly select is the perfect one for that particular day. This is a game that I play frequently, for various reasons. My trust and playfulness have both deepened greatly as a result.

How does this game deepen trust?

Some activities work better on different days, depending on what else I have going on. My trust develops because I can see the correlation between the free time I have on a given day, and the activity I randomly draw out. And as you will see in the week one celebrations, I sometimes begin an activity and then draw it out of the jar. This simple game shows me that I am part of a much larger “game” playing out. The more aware I become, the more magical my life is.

Here we go…week one celebrations.

Watch a Movie in a Different Genre

I’m an avid movie watcher. Movies, like music, speak into my life. So this activity, the first one I drew out of the jar, is more of a challenge than one would think. I watch films across a broad range of genres.

After consideration, I chose the category of Documentary. I’m not sure why, but I rarely watch anything in this genre. The next task was to choose one to watch. Charged: The Eduardo Garcia Story snagged my attention because Eduardo is a chef and outdoorsman who found a way to combine those two loves into a budding career. However, during a hike in the wilds of Montana, Eduardo came across a dead bear within a large metal box. Curiosity drew him to investigate, resulting in an electrocution. 2400 volts of electricity shot through his body and erupted in four places. Eduardo survived but he lost his lower left arm and hand, four ribs and muscle mass from his torso, leg and scalp.

More important than what he lost, is what Eduardo found as he began a life changing journey through recovery.

What an extraordinary documentary, about an extraordinary man. His former girlfriend, who journeyed with him through recovery, and his supportive family are just as amazing. I loved Eduardo’s zest for life and how he grew through his challenges. And I appreciated his desire to offer back to the world.

Rent the documentary HERE through Amazon, or watch for free if you are a Prime member. (Not a Prime member but want to be? Click HERE for a 30 day free trial.)

Mental note to self…watch more documentaries!

Week One Celebrations Charged
Week One Celebrations – Watch a movie in a different genre.

Spend 30 Minutes Brainstorming Ideas

This appears to be a simple and easy to do activity. However, 30 minutes seems to drag by while writing continuously. I set a timer for this activity, grabbed a pen and notebook and settled into my bedroom to write.

The intention is to write quickly and allow energy to flow, without editing thoughts or words on paper.

I didn’t limit myself. Instead, I jotted down ideas and didn’t stop until the 30 minutes was up. I had a momentary pause about halfway through. Fortunately, the ideas flowed again and on I went. I ended up with FOUR pages of ideas, so I was quite pleased with this activity and I’m excited to develop what I came up with.

Week One Celebrations Brainstorming
Brainstorming ideas are intentionally blurred out. These need development.

Have a Mini Afternoon Retreat

Oh how I love any excuse for a retreat! I “happened” to draw this activity on a Sunday, which worked well as this day is my self care day. I brewed a cup of peppermint tea, grabbed my Lord of the Rings Coloring Book and my colored pencils and retired to my room.

As I colored I caught up on recorded Poldark episodes from the current season. I intended to color for an hour or two. Coloring is so soothing for me, and meditative. The act of laying color onto a page releases a flow of creative energy and all kinds of ideas flow too. Three and a half hours later, I declared an end to the mini retreat. I felt so refreshed.

Week One Celebrations Mini Retreat
Coloring as an activity during week one celebrations. I have more coloring to do.

Design Shirts for Blogs

This is an idea I’ve had for a while, that I have not acted on. Hence the reason this activity went into my jar. I’ll enjoy wearing shirts with Cindy Goes Beyond or Journey With Healthy Me  and their tag lines printed across them. Fortunately, my daughter-in-law and her sister make shirts as a side business.

I’ll share my ideas with them and discuss logos for the shirts as well. My intention is to offer these shirts for sale on the blog sites. Watch for those in the near future!

Week One Celebrations Shirts
Week One Celebrations – Design shirts

Take a Class

This is the activity that I started BEFORE I drew the action out of the jar. As I checked through social media feeds, shortly after waking up, I caught a notice for a class on copywriting. It’s a free four part class, offered via videos sent daily through email. I keep returning to the idea of copywriting as a side business, so the class interested me.

I signed up. A short time later, I drew my activity for the day.  Guess what it was? No, really, guess. Right! It was Take a Class. I love when such synchronicities happen. They show me I’m in the flow of life, exactly where I need to be.

The class is called 6 Months to 6 Figures with Copywriting…which sounds amazing. It’s taught by Sarah Turner and I’ve watched two of the videos so far. You can sign up for the free class HERE.

Week One Celebrations Class
Week One Celebrations – Take a Class.

Watch a new TED Talk

Like watching documentaries, I rarely watch a TED Talk, even though I know there are some amazing topics discussed. The few TED Talks I’ve watched were via YouTube.

When I drew out this activity, I decided to go directly to the TED Talks website and join. I’m glad I did. After selecting topics I’m interested in, the site chose my first TED Talk for me.

The Gift and Power of Emotional Courage was perfect for me. Susan David begins with the word Sawubona, which is the Zulu word for “hello”…and I knew this was the right talk to listen to. Sawubona carries significance for me. It literally means, “I see you, and by seeing you, I bring you into being.” A dozen years ago I came across this amazing word and realized the importance of really seeing people.

I loved the TED Talk and plan to watch many more.

Week One Celebrations TED Talk
Great TED Talk

Eat at a New Restaurant

My last activity for this update posed a challenge as well. Having lived in Joplin for 37 years, I’ve eaten at most of the restaurants in town. The second difficulty is the fact that I am plant based. That lifestyle limits which restaurants are suitable.

As I considered and discarded possibilities, one restaurant that I’ve not dined at popped into mind and remained there. Infuxn is a restaurant and cocktail bar located downtown at 530 S. Main Street. The interior is fresh,  contemporary and welcoming. They state on their Facebook page,

“Passionate in everything we do whether it be customer service, culinary creativeness or the art of the cocktail. Please enjoy yourself.”

I took that as a personal invitation! Plus, Infuxn offers vegan choices on their menu and according to the manager, that menu is expanding.

Greg accompanied me to Infuxn, where we enjoyed a huge Asian hummus platter with baked naan, carrots and celery. The Asian hummus was amazing. It was seasoned with spices, including ginger, and topped with sesame seeds. The chef changes out the flavor of hummus each week. I’m excited to visit this classy restaurant frequently, to see what they have to offer. We opted for water with our meal, however I want to try some of their creative cocktails too.

Week One Celebrations Infuxn
Week One Celebrations – Eat at a New Restaurant
Week One Celebrations Hummus
Amazing Asian Hummus at Infuxn in downtown Joplin.

A Great Week of Celebrations

Seven days down, on the march toward my 62nd birthday in January, and 55 to go.

I’m loving this game and the way it opens me up to possibilities and opportunities.

I drew out a doozy of an activity today, one that made me say “ooookay, I can do this”, as I took a deep breath. And I did. I had to think about it for a bit and amazing ideas arose as a result. What I so appreciate about this game is that playing it requires me to follow through.

I’ll share that activity next Friday, in the weekly update, and let you know how it all turned out!

Week One Celebrations
Week One Celebrations – Seven Activities, randomly drawn.

 

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Brittany Runs a Marathon Movie Review

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I love indie films. So although I knew very little about the Amazon Original Brittany Runs a Marathon, when my daughter invited me to go watch it with her, I happily agreed. I expected a comedy, with an inspirational twist. It was that…and so much more.

Elissa and I met at Bookhouse Cinema, Joplin’s wonderful indie movie theater, for some amazing vegan food before the film.

This is a spoiler free review of Brittany Runs a Marathon, meaning I’ll discuss key plot points but I won’t give away the ending or discuss every detail.

Brittany Runs a Marathon title meme

Brittany Runs a Marathon Cast

This comedy/drama stars Jillian Bell, Alice Lee, Patch Darragh, Michaela Watkins, Micah Stock and Utkarsh Ambudkar. Paul Downs Colaizzo wrote and directed Brittany Runs a Marathon. Events in the life of his friend, Brittany O’Neill, inspired the story. The film carries an R rating, for language and adult themes, and has a run time of 1 hour and 44 minutes.

Meet Brittany

Brittany (Bell) lives and works in New York City. In her mid twenties, Brittany feels her life isn’t going anywhere. Her friend and roommate Gretchen (Lee) has a boyfriend and a great job and a life plan that relies heavily on social media.

However, Brittany works in a low paying job and her social life consists primarily of late night bar hopping and brief encounters that can’t in any way be called romantic. Struggling to find motivation to even get out of bed in the mornings, Brittany seeks medical help.

She hopes for an Adderall prescription. But her Yelp recommended doctor (Darragh) surprises her. He prescribes getting healthy by eating better, drinking less alcohol and exercising regularly.

Brittany’s first attempts at exercise fail. The gym proves too costly and she suits up for a run but barely makes it out the door before giving up. Her fit upstairs neighbor, Catherine (Watkins), encourages Brittany to try again…taking baby steps…and invites her to join a Saturday morning running club.

Brittany manages to run for one block. However, when Saturday morning arrives, she joins the running club, determined to do better.

Brittany Runs a Marathon First Steps
Brittany Runs a Marathon – First steps

Training for a Marathon

Among the club members, Brittany connects with Seth (Stock), a newbie runner like her. They wheeze and commiserate with each other as they bring up the rear of the pack. Something shifts in Brittany though as she completes a two mile run. Running gives her direction and purpose and a way to change her health. She eats better. Drinks water rather than wine. And she stops the late night partying.

Running with Catherine and Seth becomes a weekly practice. The three friends set a huge goal: run the New York City Marathon.

They have one year to train. Brittany commits to this new chapter in her life and realizes the cost, literally, of training.  To pay for the gym membership she takes a second job, dog sitting for the wealthy. At her first assignment she meets Jern (Ambudkar), a quirky, artistic young man who works the night shift dog sitting in the same house. Jern annoys her…initially. However as Brittany’s life continues to shift the two declare a truce and a relationship blossoms between them.

As the months count down toward the marathon, Brittany transforms. The weight loss is noticeable and she runs with greater ease and endurance. It’s the inner changes though that create the different outer reality. And it’s the old, inner hurts and insecurities, working themselves out, that create new challenges. Brittany’s greatest obstacle to the life she desires is herself. Will she be there at the marathon starting line…or will she take herself out of the race before it ever starts?

Brittany Runs a Marathon Training
Brittany Runs a Marathon – Training with Seth

My Thoughts on Brittany Runs a Marathon

I enjoyed this fun and thought provoking film. The health aspect of the story line drew me in immediately. I appreciated the no meds approach to improved health. Brittany took responsibility…or not…for her own health and I loved that. She made choices about food, drinking, exercise and partying. And she either benefited or suffered as a result.

Brittany Runs a Marathon is so much more than a health transformation story. The real changes began to occur within first, and that’s the element that touched me deeply. Brittany had more than health issues to work through. Her excess weight was a way of hiding who she really was. She also hid behind a sarcastic sense of humor and resigned herself to the role of flatterer in her friendships. At her core, she didn’t accept herself. Brittany’s self criticism became the lens through which she viewed others and life.

As much as I enjoyed watching Brittany’s health improve, I strongly appreciated seeing the deeper transformations that occurred. And I applauded the important topics that the film touched upon including self worth, toxic relationships and how the world perceives those who carry extra weight.

By the end of the film, which does contain many laugh out loud moments, I found my eyes full of tears and my heart charged with the desire to stand up and cheer. For me, that makes Brittany Runs a Marathon a great film, worthy of recommendation.

Brittany Runs a Marathon Running
Jillan Bell lost 40 pounds during the making of the movie, mirroring her character’s improved health.

Catch Brittany Runs a Marathon at your local theater or indie movie house, or see it beginning November 22 on Amazon Prime Video.

Check out my recent movie reviews:

Joker

Rocketman

Yesterday

 

Brittany Runs a Marathon Soundtrack. Click on photo to order.

Brittany Runs a Marathon Soundtrack

 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

On January 9, 2020, I’ll turn 62 years old. As far as birthdays go, it’s nothing special. However, my granddaughter Aubrey made an awesome suggestion. Her clever idea was this: celebrate my birthday by doing 62 special things, one on each day leading up to it.

I love the way this girl thinks! And she knows me well. Aubrey understands that I enjoy trying new things, playing creative games and growing through experiences.

I adopted Aubrey’s suggestion, writing out activities on slips of paper. Coming up with 62 things was a bit of a challenge! However, I prevailed and today begins a birthday version of one of my favorite games to play. I will randomly draw out a slip of paper each day, through January 9, 2020, and do what’s printed there.

Here are 62 outrageous things to do for my 62nd birthday.

62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday title meme

A Note about Outrageous

A few explanatory sentences, before I type out the list. I’d love to include items like “jump out of a plane” or “vacation in Paris”, however, I also desired to actually do the activities listed. Having one action per day means I must have the time to carry out the activity.

So these suggestions are very doable, in a few hours or less.

On the other hand, I love trying new things and going beyond my comfort zone. My intention is that most of these activities challenge me a bit…or a lot…and result in personal growth, all while providing outrageous fun.

Following the nudge of curiosity, I looked up the word outrageous, which today means “bold, unusual and startling”. The word originates from outrage, which in turn comes from the Latin ultra, which literally means “beyond”.

How cool is that?? Cindy goes beyond…outrageously…for her birthday. I love it!

62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Papers

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

And…here they are, the activities I wrote on slips of paper. I folded the papers up and dropped them into a jar.

Activities 1 – 20

  • Say “yes” 10 times during the day
  • Drive to Scotland…Missouri
  • Start a conversation with a stranger
  • Do a vlog in place of a blog post
  • Download a new tech app
  • Listen to a new genre of music
  • Watch a movie in a genre I don’t typically choose
  • Find a role model who overcame challenges, to do what I desire to do
  • Apply to a writing fellowship, in another country
  • Brush my teeth, while standing on one leg
  • Hike a new trail
  • Create a new recipe
  • Watch a tv show/movie in a foreign language
  • Take a class
  • Take a power nap (I do not usually sleep during the day)
  • Make eye contact and smile at everyone…all day
  • Listen to music from a different genre
  • Read a book in a different genre, that’s way out there for me
  • Work in a different room/spot
  • Travel to a familiar location, via a different route
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Yes
Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday – Say Yes 

Activities 21 – 40

  • Try a product I’ve never tried before
  • Eat at a new restaurant
  • Make a request SO crazy, that I’d expect a “no”
  • Visit a local shop I’ve never visited before
  • Have a mini afternoon retreat
  • Do an interview
  • Reach out to a brand that I love, for a sponsorship
  • Reach out to a resort, for a comped stay
  • Outline Video 1, in Believe in Yourself for 5 Minutes Series
  • Record Video 1, in Believe in Yourself for 5 Minutes Series
  • Write chapter 1 in House Haunting book
  • Storyboard ideas for online products
  • Meditate for one hour in a new place
  • Try a unique vegetable
  • Experience a new fruit
  • Do a 24 hour water fast
  • Order biz cards for blogs
  • Design and order t-shirts for blogs
  • Change theme for Cindy Goes Beyond
  • Change theme for Journey With Healthy Me
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Notes
62 Outrageous Things to do For My 62nd Birthday – Write Encouraging Notes

Activities 41 – 62

  • Spend 30 minutes brainstorming ideas, as rapidly as possible
  • Plan a 10 day trip to a country NOT on my Travel List
  • Write a travel piece and submit it
  • Have a midnight picnic, with candles and firelight
  • Go to a thrift store, with a $20 budget, and buy a cool new outfit – wear it to lunch or dinner
  • Have an indoor campout – sleep in a blanket tent
  • Leave encouraging sticky notes all over town
  • Watch The Lighthouse at Bookhouse Cinema
  • Attend Birth of Darkness book launch
  • Attend Return of the Christmas Kid at Joplin Little Theater
  • Make a heart ornament for my Christmas tree
  • Create a fresh Christmas vignette
  • Decorate my live pine tree, instead of purchasing a cut Christmas tree
  • Send a message of appreciation to an actor or actress that I admire
  • Listen to a podcast that I’ve never listened to before
  • Give something away today
  • Research a topic I’ve never researched before
  • Compliment a stranger
  • Sign up on Quora and offer advice
  • Watch a TED Talk that I wouldn’t normally watch
  • Write down 62 things that I am grateful for
62 Outrageous Things to do for My 62nd Birthday Gratitude
62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday – Write Gratitudes

Celebrating One Day at a Time

There they are, my 62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday. I’m grateful for Aubrey’s idea and I’m excited to play this fun game. The rules are that I randomly draw out a paper each day and do the activity listed. No missed days. No excuses. My only exceptions are the three activities that are connected to events that are available on specific dates.

It’s been a very busy week and this day has been full. Nevertheless, I drew out my first slip of paper this evening. This is what I got:

Watch a movie in a different genre

I love gifting experiences for special occasions. I can’t think of a better gift to give to myself, in honor of my 62nd birthday in January, than 62 daily experiences.

I’m smiling at the thought.

And I’m off to watch a movie, in a different (for me) genre. Thank goodness for Netflix and Amazon Prime! I know I’ll find the perfect movie to kick off two months of outrageous celebrating.

62 Outrageous Things to Do for My 62nd Birthday

Week One Birthday Update: First Seven Activities

Read about the first time I played a “draw an activity” game in this post, Launching Arrows of Desire.

Curious about Quora? Check it out HERE.

And try out Amazon Prime, so you too can start a movie any time of day, in the comfort of your own home.

 


 

Cindy Goes Beyond is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This affiliate program provides a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com, all at no extra cost to you.

 

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The Good The Random The Fun #46

Classic Monsters Halloween Party

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my Disclosure Policy for details.

It’s almost Halloween! For me, it actually seems like the holiday is already past, as my family gathered last Saturday at the house of my sister, niece and nephew-in-law, for the annual Halloween party.

The theme this year was Classic Monsters and as usual, Debbie, Ashley and Jon absolutely wowed us. This is a big event in my family. It’s so fun to drive up to the house and experience the transformation. I show up early so I can get the grand tour and begin taking photos, before the other guests arrive.

The majority of the party attendees dress up for the occasion. Classic Monsters is a broad category. We had witches and vampires in attendance with some werewolves and several who put clever spins on the theme.

Come inside, if you dare, and have a look around. This post is photo heavy. And for the first time, I’ve included a four minute video at the end, if you want a room by room tour and a peek at the guests.

Classic Monsters Title Meme

Classic Monsters in the Yard

The Halloween decor, at the party house, starts outdoors and continues throughout the house. It is always a thrill to turn the corner onto the street and get a hint of what’s inside the house, by seeing what’s outside. Debbie, Ashley and Jon make most of the decorations, using basic materials, creativity and a lot of hard work. They are masters at repurposing objects and decorations from previous years into new creations for the current party.

A cemetery, complete with a fence and tombstones, filled the front lawn. I enjoyed reading the clever inscriptions on the stones. Actors who portrayed classic monsters, such as Lon Chaney and Vincent Price, lay buried in this graveyard! And beware the creatures lurking among the graves.

Classic Monsters Cemetery
Debbie, Ashley and Jon created each of these tombstones.

 

Classic Monsters Werewolf
Watch out for the Beast!

“Werewolves howl, Phantoms prowl. Halloween’s upon us now.”  Richelle E Goodrich

Classic Monsters Throughout the House

Inside the house, the transformation is magical. I don’t mean a few decorations tucked here and there. I’m talking about a complete transformation. These ultimate party planners cover walls and ceilings and take decorating to an extreme level, to create authenticity. Take a look!

Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab

Classic Monsters Frankenstein
Dr. Frankenstein’s Lab, complete with one of the most well known classic monsters. This figure began its existence as a Santa Claus!
Classic Monsters Frankenstein's Lab
Close up of Dr. Frankenstein’s creation. Pick up the classic book HERE.

Count Dracula’s Castle

The living room and dining room became part of Dracula’s Castle.

Dracula's Parlor
Dracula’s Lair. Grab this classic tale HERE.
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Dining Room
The castle dining room. By the time guests arrived, a smorgasbord filled that table.

“Being normal is vastly overrated.”  Aggie Cromwell

The Witches’ Wood

Jon claimed this spot, as the “potion” maker. He is an excellent bartender and keeps guests supplied with their potions of choice.

Witches' Lair
This is an adult party, with the exception of a few younger nieces and nephews. Jon serves up creative drinks from this creepy room.

The Spider’s Web and Creature from the Black Lagoon

The downstairs hallway was filled with spider webs. And the creature’s lagoon wasn’t recognizable as the guest bathroom.

Spider Spider
Imagine getting tangled in this spider’s web!
Classic Monsters Creature from the Black Lagoon
Classic Monsters – Creature from the Black Lagoon. This room was stunning.

“It’s as much fun to scare, as to be scared.”  Vincent Price

Mummy’s Chamber

Classic Monsters Mummy
Classic Monsters – Mummy
Anubis at the Halloween Party
Anubis in the Mummy’s Chamber

Classic Monsters Upstairs

The theme for the party continues up the stairs.

The Invisible Man on the Stairs

Classic Monsters Invisible Man
Classic Monsters – Invisible Man

The Phantom of the Opera

Being a fan of this musical, I loved this surprise at the top of the stairs! The soundtrack from the musical played on a loop, which was such a nice touch.

Phantom of the Opera
Classic Monsters – Phantom of the Opera

“I love Halloween, and I love that feeling: the cold air, the spooky dangers lurking around the corner.”  Evan Peters

The Costumes

Here are some of the attendees, in costume. Unfortunately, I did not get photos of everyone. My sisters and brother and I all dressed up as vampires. Each year, at the Halloween party, we take a sibling photo. It was fun to get a sibling vampires shot!

Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests
Miller Family, Mom and her girls, Sibling photo with fangs, Sibling photo without fangs.
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests 3
Bryan & Christel, Cindy & Greg, Nate (Cookie Monster), Elissa & Adriel, Nate & Adriel
Classic Monsters Halloween Party Guests 2
Scott & Nicole (monster under the bed), Barnes Family, Cody & Ciera, Christina & Brian

“Halloween is not only about putting on a costume, but it’s about finding the imagination and costume within ourselves.”  Elvis Duran

Our Phenomenal Party Hosts

I am amazed, every year, at the work that goes into the annual party. These are people with jobs and responsibilities and busy lives. And they possess an extraordinary level of creativity and resourcefulness.

Our hosts adhered to the classic monsters theme in their costumes. They appeared as a vampire, wood witch, werewolf, Dr. Jekyl and Dorian Gray. See Ethan’s transformation into Mr. Hyde in the next photo!

Halloween Party Hosts
Debbie, Ashley, Kaleb, Ethan & Jon, our amazing party hosts.
Mr. Hyde
Ethan changed back and forth from Dr. Jekyl to Mr. Hyde. Such a clever costume…and teenager.

Video Tour of the House

Enjoy this 4 minute video tour of the house.

Classic Monsters Halloween Party

Another Halloween party here…and gone. I’m so appreciative of my family. Their party creating skills are off the charts, truly. They do it because they enjoy the creative challenge and they enjoy hosting family and friends.

I marvel at their ingenuity and their labor of love. For that  is what it is. Thank you Debbie, Ashley and Jon.

My vampire costume was steam punk inspired. I enjoyed a slightly different look that cost me almost nothing to pull together. I owned the leggings and jewelry already. The knee high boots, shirt, vest and long jacket all were thrift store finds and cost me less than $20, total. Daughter Elissa loaned me the hat and great nephew Kaleb supplied the walking stick. I purchased inexpensive teeth at Spirit Halloween Store.

Most of us create our costumes “on the cheap”, with clothes and props we have on hand and thrift store purchases. The idea is to be creative and have fun.

Mission accomplished.

“Every day is Halloween isn’t it? For some of us…”  Tim Burton

Classic Monsters Vampire
Steam punk inspired vampire.

 

Check out last year’s Halloween Party:

The Barnes Carnevil Circus Part I

The Barnes Carnevil Circus Part II – Costumes

Amazon Finds for Scary Fun:


 

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