Just put on a mask and you are ready to go

Horror films without creepy-masked killers are like Disneyland without Mickey Mouse.

Using masked killers in horror films, apart for creating Halloween trends, is probably the best way to disguise the untalented acting performances of usually unknown actors, but yet manage to make the viewers’ adrenaline keep pumping. There is only one Anthony Hopkins and only one Jack Nicholson. Those guys didn’t need any mask to convince the viewers what talented psycho-killers they make. Just with their eyes and their creepy smile, you could tell that their talent to acting like schizophrenic goes beyond normal.

So since there are no Anthony Hopkins or Jack Nicholson replicas, the most sensible thing to do would be to get one big guy, put on a freaky mask, find him a name and there you go. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, the most well-known serial killers in the horror spectrum are characterized by their masks.

myersMichael Myers – Halloween (1978)

The very well-known horror movie Halloween was one of the first to establish Michael Myers, the masked schizophrenic killer. Myers was institutionalised after murdering his sister when he was a young boy. After many years, he escaped from his crazy-call and returned to his former neighborhood. A teenage girl becomes his obsession and his next victim. The masked Michael Myers was the source of many sequels and remakes. More than 30 years have passed since the original Halloween movie was released, but this is not an issue, as Myers still remains an inspiration for more to come.

jasonJason Voorhees – Friday the 13th (1980)

Another classic masked murderer is Jason Voorhees. His plastic mask and his big knife-wielding figure were enough to spread terror to a summer camp where he lurked for his vicious revenge. Friday the 13th, also, inspired a lot of sequels and remakes. With the 2009 release of Friday the 13th , we can’t seem to get over forever-undying killer. Don’t forget. He was the one to fight Freddy Krueger face to face in Freddy vs Jason. Personally, I rooted for the silent masked guy.

new-poster-for-texas-chainsaw-3d-119558-470-75Leatherface – Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

Chronologically, Leatherface is the first of those five killers to create the mask-trend. Along with his chain-saw, Leatherface became known for the leather skin mask he had attached on his face. A group of five friends become his and his family’s target, when they step their foot on his land. The scene with the ultimate darkness, the shivering cry and the chainsaw’s engine running is more than a classic. The 2013 version of Texas Chainsaw, though, was quite an embarrassment.


Ghostface – Scream (1996)

The Ghostface mask, or more widely known as Scream mask is by far the biggest trend when it comes to masked murderers. The entire outfit was an inspiration not only to continuous sequels, with the fourth released in 2011, but also to parodies like Scary Movie and Halloween costumes. His mask is not as creepy or scary as the previous ones. Regardless, Ghostface who was introduced in 1996 still remains a successful must.

strangersPsychos with no name – Strangers (2008)

This is a recent entry in the Crazy-(m)ass(ked) killers category. However, they have set the bar high in the ‘creepiness’ level. Strangers, released in 2008 and starring Liv Tyler, is a horror movie about a couple being terrorized and tortured by three masked killers, two women and a man. The high levels of agony could keep the viewer’s interest alive during the entire film. So, I guess it is a good thing that the sequel is currently in development.

6 Responses to “Just put on a mask and you are ready to go”
  1. Krista Culbertson says:

    Such good picks! Alice Sweet Alice, I think, has one of the creepiest masks ever. Masks make horror movies feel so real (I am more likely to believe in masked killers than spirits), maybe that’s why they’re so popular.


    • maria kriva says:

      Yes Alice Sweet Alice mask was really creepy!I think the porcelain masks are way creepier than the leather ones!


    • maria kriva says:

      Here’s a question: What do you think is more scary, masked killers or child-ghosts? I’m thinking of writing a similar list of scary child-ghost! 😀


  2. Marinos Politis says:

    I’ve watched a documentary about the “Halloween” franchise and what mostly amazed me is that in the first film there was almost no lead actor for the killer. In fact, everyone in the crew wore the mask for a shot or two, so it was not about the person behind it, but about the mask itself and what it represented. The mask really can turn a killer into an icon!


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