Wearing a bloodied vampire costume or knocking on the neighbour’s door for a trick or treat with a knife stuck through your head is so 2020.
Forking out big bucks for just the right pop culture evil gown or sci-fi thriller look sends people into a competitive frenzy every year.
Not any more. For a small outlay, you can buy a comfy red ($77) or green ($58) tracksuit and go to the party as someone from the deadly Hunger Games meets Parasite Netflix series Squid Game, which has taken the world by storm since it launched on September 21, spawning the new Halloween look.
For the uninitiated, Squid Game is set in Seoul, South Korea, and centres around 456 cash-strapped contestants playing a weird children’s game.
If they lose, they die. If they win, they become instant millionaires.
The outfits they wear are, well, tracksuits and full face masks. And we’ve all been wearing those for a very long time, so why change now?
When you type ‘Squid Game costume’ into amazon.com.au, more than 1000 results flash up on the screen, and as the Wall Street Journal reports, Instagrammers are “already giddily posting their themed outfits with the hashtag #SquidGameCostume”.
There are dozens of Squid Game go-to costumes, props and masks you can buy online without the high price tag official merchandise attracts (think Star Wars, Iron Man).
You can go as one of the desperate contestants: Basic white slip-on sneakers (Nike sales have gone ballistic) and a forest-green tracksuit with an assigned number stitched on the left side (most common numbers are 456 and 067).
Or have fun with the villain/menacing guard – all you need is a pinkish-red all-in-one jumpsuit and they come in children’s sizes.
If you’re cash strapped but obsessed with the show, go for the black Squid Game mask (very COVID-safe). It’s $20 and lightweight so postage won’t cost you a fortune.
If you don’t want to go as main contestants like Seong Gi-hun and Kang Sae-Byeok, or an armed guard, you can always go as the murderous ‘Green Light, Red Light’ Mugunghwa Girl, a large vintage animatronic robot doll in the game who has deadly motion-detector eyes.
All you need is an orange sleeveless summer dress, yellow blouse with a Peter Pan collar, white knee socks, black Mary Jane flat shoes, purple hair ties and clips.
Scout around the local K-mart, Target or Big W stores for options.
Why Squid Game resonates with international audiences
Hanh Nguyen, senior editor of culture at Salon.com told CBC News she didn’t realise the game would have “so much depth to it” after more than a decade sitting on the shelf before being picked up by Netflix.
“It’s a very colourful and well-crafted show. It looks really cool, incredibly violent, incredibly brutal,” she said.
“I tell everyone once you get past the first episode [there are nine], if you can stomach it, keep on going.
“All of these people who are participating in these games, they are desperate, they need money, they’re in debt.
“There are so many reasons why they are there and taking this chance.”
Forbes says that “while its gruesome violence is wildly exaggerated, Squid Game manages to reflect the feeling of the present moment, in the same way the decrepit, deceitful rulers of Game of Thrones reflected audience’s apathy and anger toward the political process”.
“Debt and death are commonplace in today’s landscape, and Squid Game features plenty of both, with desperate players risking their lives for the chance at winning the jackpot, all for the amusement of billionaires.
“Despite its wild and sometimes absurd twists and turns, the series never loses sight of the economic inequality that motivates almost every single character.
“Like Game of Thrones, the staggering success of Squid Game will surely inspire a tsunami of imitators … it will be interesting to see if the social commentary will be replicated, along with the dangerous games.”
For the next few weeks up until October 31, Instagrammers can play out the game in a cheap tracksuit, post it on social media and create a Halloween phenomenon.