Love them or hate them, horror movies are one of cinema’s most enduring subgenres. For decades, film-lovers have been drawn to the don’t-want-to-watch-but-have-to lure of horror, and that’s reflected in a lasting influence on both popular culture and streetwear.
Need proof? October 2020 has seen Los Angeles label Brain Dead release Nightmare On Elm Street and The Exorcist capsules, while Nike dropped the third installment of its skeleton Air Force 1 series.
Halloween-ready collections and sneakers are nothing new, either. The “Freddy Krueger” Dunks, Off-White™ “All Hallows’ Eve”, and Reebok “Voodoo” are just three releases from the ghosts of sneakers past, and this undying relationship between apparel and horror had us thinking.
In celebration of every goth’s favorite holiday, we took off on our latest game of sneaker-spotting with streetwear and sneaker marketplace GOAT, rewatching some of the all-time classic horror movies, as well as some modern favorites, to see if any of their victims were sporting decent sneakers. The results were surprisingly good.
This fantasy-comedy from 1987 boasted a power cast of Cher, Michelle Pfeiffer, Susan Sarandon, and Jack Nicholson. As well as being subjected to some voodoo doll torture at the hands of the witches, Nicholson’s character Daryl is seen sporting a pair of Dunk Low “Michigan” sneakers in the film. He pairs them up with a pretty sweet shirt, shorts, and bucket hat combo while playing tennis, too. The 2020 retro of the silhouette is fire.
Way before Avatar, James Cameron was freaking cinema-goers out with box-office hits like Aliens. In this second installment of the Alien franchise, Sigourney Weaver returns (for some strange reason) to the place where she first encountered the terrifying Alien being. While this was a ridiculous decision, the wild Reebok “Stomper” boots she wore throughout were not. This imitation pair was released in 2016 in honor of the very first Alien Day.
While we use movies for sneaker spotting, others like to delve into the deeper meaning behind each scene. There’s a whole Reddit thread debating whether Ari Aster’s psychological thriller Midsommar references the death of Heaven’s Gate cult members and how they were found in bed with fresh new sneakers, for instance. Though that might be a push, a character in the film is seen wearing a pair of New Balance 1400 under the sheets in the arguably similar scene. We just had to include the J.Crew edition of the 1400 silhouette from 2012. Too good not to.
Sharing some similarities with a lot of us right now, Shia LaBeouf spends the entirety of Disturbia under house arrest. While he spied on his potential serial killer of a neighbor, we spied the fire ASICS Ultimate 81. While Shia went for the blue-striped edition, but we prefer the ultra-retro, red and beige colorway.
A sequel to 2009’s Zombieland, the second movie saw Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg return to examine and, in turn, fight off the undead. They also happen to be living in an unoccupied White House and wearing some sick sneakers. We spotted the New Balance 574 in navy and black on Eisenberg’s character Columbus.
Combining nightmarish bouts of sleepwalking and some end-is-nigh warnings that are unfortunately fitting for Halloween 2020, Donnie Darko is one strange but amazing movie. For a film of such peculiar nature, the protagonist, played by Jake Gyllenhall, goes considerably more conventional with his sneaker choice — the adidas “Campus”. A classic nonetheless.
The second of the two adidas sneakers we spotted during our horror movie marathon comes courtesy of ’70s high school horror Carrie. The telekinetic happenings in the film have had a particularly lasting influence, evident in modern productions like Stanger Things and Netflix’s I Am Not OK With This. In one scene, Carrie’s teacher is suitably dressed for gym class in a pair of adidas Nizza basketball shoes. The “White Legend Marine” colorway of the silhouette dropped this year, and is a nice alternative.
Horror spoof franchise Scary Movie proved so popular that they ended up making five of them. We watched number three, a film that parodies both The Ring and 8 Mile in one sitting. George, a rapper based on Jimmy “B-Rabbit” Smith Jr. from 8 Mile, is spotted wearing a pair of white PUMA sneakers, complete with the iconic black stripe, as he strolls across his ill-fated farm.
One of the most ’90s things ever, Hocus Pocus centers on witches of the Salem era returning to 1990’s Massachusetts. The movie shows love for the Swoosh on more than one occasion, but we picked out the Nike Air Platinum — a dad shoe of ultimate proportions. They’re damn hard to come by these days, but the Nike Air Cross achieves a similar pops vibe.
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