In this part of the world, Halloween is usually the week of our first frost, so the Things wear the warmest costumes we can find. Team Gimlet attends the annual Trunk or Treat in the church parking lot, where the adults guzzle hot cider to stay warm while the kids run from car to car (some elaborately decorated, some not), collecting about one ton of candy each (You think I’m exaggerating?). The Trunk or Treat is always a fun way to socialize, catch up with old friends and contract hypothermia at the same time.
Thing One usually requests a homemade costume (once he wanted to be Spaceman Spiff; another year, StrongBad) but this time he wanted to use a previous year’s knight costume, perhaps in homage to the computer game he plays with his uncles. Thing Two was a frog, in heavily insulated polar fleece. Stranger anxiety is always an issue with Thing Two, and the strangers were especially strange Halloween night, so he spent the evening on the verge of tears. Truly it’s not easy being green.
After the Trunk or Treat, we put Thing Two to bed and let Thing One stay up a little later than usual to watch F.W. Murnau’s classic film Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922). This unauthorized adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula is justifiably praised for its use of imagery and unique portrayal of the vampire, Count Orlok. Werner Herzog’s very faithful 1979 remake is also one of my favorite films. Thing One was very interested in the special effects Murnau used to make the Count seem otherworldly.
Several editions are available; ours is distributed by Image Entertainment and features color tinting (blue for night scenes, sepia for day), a choice of two scores (organ or the eclectic Silent Orchestra), and a fascinating collection of production images and commentary by Lokke Heiss. A quick search turned up countless reviews and commentaries, and these two, by Jerry Saravia and the Silents are Golden web site respectively, are worth perusing.
Last, to finish off the holiday evening, I received a little treat in my email.