Top 10 Masks in Horror Films

By Last Updated: February 28, 2024Views: 473

Nothing says Halloween like a mask. (Well, maybe a pumpkin. Or a ghost. Or a skeleton, or a black cat, or a witch. Or candy. Look a lot of things say Halloween but masks are definitely one of them.) And in the world of horror if you want to create an enduring villain or a killer that conveys dread and foreboding just slap a mask on that bad boy. And the creepier and disturbing the mask is the better chance you have of creating a franchise…I mean, um, scaring the audience. So I have compiled a top 10 list of my favorite masks in horror movies.

This is not a definitive list. There are a ton more that I wanted to use but then the list would have ballooned into a top 100 list. And there are two reasons for me not to do that: 1) It would take a long time to research and compile and 2) I can’t be bothered. So, with that being said here are my top 10 greatest masks in horror movies!

10. Jason Voorhees

This might be a little controversial. Not that I’m including Jason on this list, but that I’m placing it so far down. Jason’s mask in the Friday the 13th films is iconic, yes. And it looks cool, sure. But in the end, it’s just a hockey mask with nothing else significant about it other than being worn by an enormous machete-wielding possible zombie killer. Also, I kind of prefer the burlap sack from Part 2.

9. Hannibal Lecter

To be fair this sort of resembles a half hockey mask as well. But Anthony Hopkins wears it so well; it just seems more menacing somehow. Also, this has been parodied and homaged so many times at this point that when someone is seen wearing this mask it just screams dangerous.

8. Alice Sweet Alice (aka: Mrs. Tredoni)

A simple Halloween mask, semitransparent with imitation makeup painted on it. Not particularly scary in and of itself but coupled with the yellow raincoat and the killer’s short stature gives this mask a significant creep factor.

7. Phantom of the Paradise

The best of all the deformed, deranged killers that haunt a musical venue films in my opinion. If you haven’t seen Brian De Palma’s classic take on the Phantom of the Opera do yourself a favor and do so now. Also, get the soundtrack – Paul Williams rules. And the mask? Look at it! Crazy bird man. It’s awesome.

6. Onibaba

Another controversial opinion: I don’t know if I’d call this a horror film, and I don’t find it particularly scary. But some do, therefore it is on this list because a) the film is brilliant and moving and disturbing and b) that mask is creepy as hell.

5. Black Phone (aka The Grabber)

A rather new film to be putting on this list, but that mask is instantly iconic. All the different attachments depicting different emotions combined with Ethan Hawke’s performance make all the scenes with the Grabber tense and scary.

4. Ghostface

This is just a generic Halloween mask, one that anyone could buy at your local pop-up mall store. But that’s what makes it especially scary. The killer could be anyone. And in the Scream franchise, it usually is. More than that though, it seems to be menacing and sad simultaneously making Ghostface both terrifying and melancholy at the same time. Man, that Wes Craven was pretty good.

3. Rabbit Guy (aka Frank)

Ah, Donnie Darko. What a movie. I still have debates with friends about what the meaning of it was, and in the end, it does not matter. It is just a cool film that provided posters to adorn hundreds if not thousands of dorm rooms for a decade. And Frank’s rabbit mask? Nightmare fuel.

2. Michael Meyers

Who knew that an inside-out William Shatner mask painted white could cause so much fear? Well, John Carpenter obviously. But it does prove the rule that simplicity is best. A blank face with dead eyes walking slowly toward you is terrifying. Even is some of the – let’s say questionable – films in the Halloween franchise Michael Meyers remains one of the scariest killers in horror.

1. Leatherface

He has a mask made of human skin. What more needs to be said? Texas Chainsaw Massacre is still one of the most brutal horror films ever made. It was made almost 50 years ago and it still has the power to scare, disgust, and disturb. And Leatherface in particular is the poster boy for that horror while at the same time seeming sympathetic and adding pathos to the story. All while wearing a mask made of human skin. It’s a masterpiece.

So, what do you think of my list? Agree? Disagree? What horror mask would you have added? Let me know in the comments and remember, this is all a bit of fun let’s keep the tone light. Cheers.

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