Coming Soon to a Theatre Near You: Scary Movies

  • September 28, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

Horror Movies. It seems like there are more in theaters than ever before. This year, come the Halloween season, folks will turn scaring themselves on purpose into a pastime--and the ritual of going to see a terrifying horror movie is just part of the fun. It’s no accident that filmmakers choose the fall months to release some of the most anticipated horror films of the year because let's face it, horror movies and Halloween go hand in hand.

Horror movies, like many other Halloween scares and thrills, can be exhilarating for many reasons. When a person gets intentionally scared in an otherwise safe environment, the individual can go ahead and enjoy the feeling of the adrenaline rush produced by the fear. This enjoyment can happen because the person knows on some level that there is no real threat to their safety. The blood pressure may rise, the heart rate may increase, and palms may sweat--but this all becomes part of the fun when a person realizes that everything is okay. Any adrenaline junkie will tell you, an experience of controlled fear can be downright exhilarating!

Are you ready to find a good horror movie scare to get you into a Halloween mood? Here are some highly anticipated new horror movies that are already in theaters or will be coming soon to a theater near you!

Don’t Breathe (August 26)-Robbing a blind man might just be a perfect crime--right? Well, not so fast--because when a group of friends attempts to pull this off, they make the shocking discovery that this particular blind man is not at all what they expected him to be. Soon the trio is desperately trying to get out of his home alive.

Happy Birthday (September 9)-Tommy attempts to make his friend Brady feel better after breaking up with his girlfriend by taking him to Mexico to party hard. When the boys meet two girls associated with the Mexican drug cartel, the young men are kidnapped and held for ransom, forcing them to come up with a plan to escape.

Blair Witch "The Woods" (September 16)-Once again the "Blair Witch" plot is terrifyingly simple. Teens go into the forest where horrible things linked to an evil presence begin to happen.

The Blackcoat’s Daughter (September 30)- Two sisters at prep school are inadvertently left alone at the school over winter break when their parents neglect to pick them up, The school appears to be completely isolated…or is it?

31 (September 16)-Rob Zombie’s latest thriller follows the story of a group of carnival workers who are abducted on Halloween night and forced to play (and survive) a horrific game.

The Girl on the Train (October 7)-Depressed about her recent divorce; a woman imagines the perfect life of a couple that lives in a home she sees daily along her commute. One day, she witnesses something that entangles her in a mystery that changes everything.

Friend Request (October 7)-This film may make you carefully consider who you unfriend en masse. In "Friend Request, a girl unfriends a school outcast; then things begin to take a violent turn.

Ouija: Origin of Evil (October 21)-A widow and her two daughters are running a séance business when they decide to add a new feature to their routine. They are horrified to discover that an evil force has inadvertently been invited into their home and has taken possession of their youngest daughter.

Rings (October 28)-The latest installment in the very successful Ring franchise, this latest chapter tells the tale of a young girl whose boyfriend watches the notorious tape and tries desperately to save him from death.

Get ready to get scared this Halloween with one of the many thrilling horror films soon hitting theaters. These films are bound to be terrifying--but oh, so much fun!


Playing Politics

  • September 13, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

The Halloween season has begun, but this year may be a little different than others when it comes to Halloween costume choices. Head to any Halloween store and you will see a wide array of political masks and costumes, along with a plethora of politically themed gear. What's going on here? Well, it's an election year, and when it comes to Halloween, politics can be a bit of a game changer. This year, more than others, politics is bound to find it's way into a Halloween party near you. Dressing up like a past, present or nominated President has been a popular costume idea for decades. Some of the more legendary Presidents such as George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are considered impersonation staples for a wide variety of occasions. Current Presidential Candidates are popular costume choices during any election year. Let's face it when it comes to celebrities or famous people there are few recognizable personas that are more memorable or carry more costume weight than a President, or even a Presidential nominee.

Thus, because this year is an election year, Presidential candidates are not only going to be on the ballot, but they will also be showing up in droves at local Halloween festivities and parties. Why do people love dressing up as political figures and Presidential candidates? Is dressing up as a Presidential candidate funny--or is it potentially risky?

Your mother may have told you that there are two subjects to always avoid in social settings--religion and politics. However, this Halloween, mama's rules are going straight out the window as politics takes center stage. With the Presidential election just days after Halloween, the Presidential nominees are forefront on many folk's minds. Thus many people may choose to dress up as Presidential Candidate for Halloween. Dressing up as a candidate may be a light-hearted endorsement for a particular candidate or can even be a fun way of promoting your personal political viewpoints. Sometimes wearing a costume depicting a disliked candidate is an opportunity to imitate the candidate in a negative light, a not-always-so-subtle way of making fun of a particular nominee. No matter what the political agenda may be--this year, political costumes are going to be more popular than ever, and costume retailers have been getting ready.

So which political figures make for the best Halloween costumes? There is no doubt that some politicians have much more costume potential than others. A candidate who has a larger than life personality combined with unique and distinctive physical features is automatically going to be an easy target for a Halloween costume. No one wants to have to explain who their costume is--they want the identity of their character to stand out and be completely obvious.

This year the Presidential election has taken over the news, social media chatter, and undoubtedly will also find its way into Halloween. Choosing a political figure costume combines the satirical humor of the election with the fun of Halloween. If you do decide to dress up as a candidate, accept that not everyone may appreciate your viewpoint or interpretation of your character. Don't take this personally. 

Need a few ideas for inspiration? Check out our DIY Costume ideas for creating that perfect Presidential candidate look. We do not know yet who our next elected President will be, but making a choice as to which nominee comes to your Halloween party is easy!


Halloween Costumes: What Should YOU Be?

  • September 08, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

We know it's not officially fall for a couple of weeks yet, but we can feel it--can you? The leaves are beginning to change and those evening breezes are blowing a little cooler. Fall brings many things with it, including one big question that begs to be answered. What are you going to be for Halloween? Critical dilemmas sometimes need a bit of thought and consideration, and because we care, we are here to help. As you begin to ponder on what could be one of the most difficult decisions you face this fall, here are a few things you may want to consider!

What are your passions? Choosing a great Halloween costume may be as simple as taking a long, hard look at what you love. Do you have a favorite video game? Then perhaps considering a costume based on the game you spend hours with would be an appropriate idea. Have you been binge-watching television this summer? Some of the most amazing Halloween costumes out there are inspired by the top TV shows. The action packed, hilarious and awe-inspiring blockbuster movies of the past year are also an excellent source of costume inspiration.

Are you a Pop Culture Vulture? You know who you are--if it's on the cover of a tabloid, you knew about it yesterday. If you are an absolute fiend for Pop Culture, then consider dressing up as one of your favorite Pop Culture icons. Celebrities, musicians, newsmakers and even political figures all make hilarious Halloween costume choices.

Are you a bit of comedian? If you love being the life of the party and making people laugh, consider one of the hundreds of more comedic Halloween costumes. Not everything at Halloween has to be scary. Who knows? A bit of costume levity may be just what your next Halloween party needs to make it a roaring success.

Do you want to make a strong statement? Halloween can be a fun way to express your views in a non-threatening and even humorous way. If there is something on your mind that needs expression, consider using your Halloween costume as a vehicle for getting your point across.

Are you feeling nostalgic? Sometimes, the best Halloween costumes of all are repeats from the days of our childhood. Perhaps now is the time to recreate that My Little Pony or Batman look you remember from your youth.

Feeling Traditional? Classic scary Halloween costumes will always be in style. Characters such as witches, ghosts, zombies, and vampires are considered classic for a reason--because they are always going to be popular favorites. Try adding your personal twist to one of these traditional Halloween characters.

Is there a side of your personality that needs expression? Perhaps you are feeling the need to let loose a little bit this Halloween. If that is the case, Halloween is a great time to explore some of your innermost fantasies when it comes to Halloween costumes. Sexy Halloween costumes or Halloween costumes that depict unique careers or occupations are always favorite costumes to try!

Are you part of a pack? Some of the most exciting Halloween costumes out there are those that are perfect for groups. Choosing a group of characters to depict for Halloween is a great idea for families, friends or even co-workers.

No matter what you decide to be for Halloween, there is no time like the present to start brainstorming costume ideas. Like scary Halloween ghosts and goblins, this is a holiday that definitely tends to sneak up on you!

Halloween Costumes:  What Should YOU Be?

What You Don't Know About Labor Day

  • September 02, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

Most of us look at the Labor Day weekend simply as the bittersweet end to summer vacation. Another long, three-day weekend is something we all relish--but at the same time, there is often a bit of wistful sadness that accompanies summer's end. The summer months always seem to fly by so quickly. If only the winter season were as kind!

There are a few things that you probably didn't know about Labor Day. We bet you didn't know that it is so much more than a long weekend!

During the time of the Industrial Revolution, the advent of modern technology had significantly increased the demands placed on the average American worker. In factories, mills and mines around the country, it was not uncommon for employees to be working outrageously long hours. Twelve working hours (or sometimes more) per day, seven days a week was not at all unusual. Additionally, back in those days, even young children worked laboriously hard with long hours to boot. Kids as young as six or seven years old were performing whatever tasks they could manage, right alongside the exhausted adult workers.

Labor Unions formed to help improve the working conditions for the workers and to protect them from the completely unreasonable expectations of their employers.   Safety for workers was also a concern of the Labor Unions, in addition to obtaining fair pay and eliminating the abusive practice of child labor.

In 1882, a Labor Union leader named Patrick McGuire decided that the workers in New York City should have their own special holiday. Mr. McGuire thought that the workers not only deserved a day off--but that they also needed a day that rewarded their many accomplishments, achievements, and contributions to American Industry. The very first Labor Day involved these 10,000 New York City workers as they marched through the streets of New York.

In 1894, in the midst of a bitterly fought Railroad Strike, Grover Cleveland set aside the first Monday of September to officially be Labor Day from that day forward. Not only was this act set forward to appease the striking Railroad workers, but it was also an attempt to acknowledge workers nationwide, honoring and recognizing their effort as well as to giving them a much needed day off. September 1 was deliberately chosen to mark the new Labor Day holiday as it fell right between the already sanctioned holidays of July 4 and Thanksgiving. Early Labor Day celebrations included speeches, food, festivities, and rallies. During those early days, the Labor Day festivities theme centered on the American worker and important concerns such as improved working conditions. better pay and a much more realistic eight-hour work day.

Today's Labor Day holiday is far less about Labor Union workers than it is about fun, family, and enjoying some much-needed time off.   Remembering the roots of Labor Day honors those who continue to work tirelessly behind the scenes, producing products that are essential to the vitality and well being of our great country. No matter how you spend your Labor Day--with friends and family, barbecuing, picnicking, going to a parade or even a concert--it's great to know a little bit of the history behind this end of summer holiday!

Happy Labor Day from your friends at Halloween Express! 

What's Cool About School

  • August 23, 2016
  • Jenna Maxwell

Back to School--for kids, it's the end of summer inevitability.  For parents, it may be a long-awaited reprieve.  No matter how you view the end of summer vacation and the back to school transition, school time is nigh.  No need to feel sad or stressed at summer's end, because there is still plenty of fun to be had.  There is so much cool about school!

Sleep-Summer vacations, schedule interruptions, late nights following long days, lazy mornings that are just so perfect for sleeping in--let's face it, there are a lot of reasons why regular sleep schedules go awry during the summer months.  You and your kids may even be a little sleep deprived.  Back to school may mean getting up early again--but it likely also means a more realistic (and healthy) bedtime from which all will benefit. 

Routine-Going back to school has a rather significant side benefit that can't be overlooked.  School attendance forces the family into a routine.  Having to be in class at a particular time each day ensures that all other activities are worked around that necessity, making life both predictable and simpler from many standpoints. 

Mom Time-The kids will be at school for hours each day--whether you work in or out of the home, moms can rejoice about having time to do the things that they need to without having to stress about entertaining the kids or figure out ways to keep them busy.

Extracurricular Activities & Sports-Maybe you haven't missed attending Bobby's football games or schlepping Sally to her piano lessons --or maybe you have.  Back-to-School usually means back to extracurricular activities as well--and many of these are enjoyable events for parents and children alike.

Clothes & School Supplies-One of the major upsides of going back to class is in the gearing up process.  A new pair of shoes, a fresh new notebook, pens that work, pencils that aren't chewed into stubs and highlighters that aren't dried out--if your child can't see the bright side in much else, surely there will be a silver lining found in new school supplies and gear!  

Friends-Summer schedules are not always conducive to staying in close touch with many school friends.  Getting back into the classroom means reconnecting with many buddies that have been neglected over the summer months. 

Brain Power-Summertime often means that learning in the traditional sense is put on hold.  Between way too much television watching, hours playing video games, traveling hither and yon and engaging in a very wide range of other summertime activities, suffice it to say--it might be time to re-engage the kid's brains.  Active learning feels good, and it is good for you!

Summer is winding itself down, and soon the kids will find themselves back in a classroom.  No need to despair, as there are so many things about the school routine to look forward to.  Back to school is COOL!