A slasher is only as good as his mask. This being October—I often refer to it was “Shocktober”—I thought it would be appropriate to rank horror movie slasher masks from least menacing to most. I think you’ll be surprised to learn that this has never been done before. Do a Google search. The internet is completely devoid of horror movie mask rankings. Weird, right?
It can be difficult to separate the mask from the violent actions carried out by the mask wearer when compiling a list of this sort, but I’ve tried my best to focus on my personal emotional response to each mask represented, and leave said masked killer’s actions out of it. On occasion, I have made passing mention of the heinous acts committed by the “man (or woman???) behind the mask,” but I’ve tried to keep the proceedings relatively masked-focused, a real mask-fest, if you will.
11. Ghostface (Scream and its sequels)
10. Animal-masked assassins (You're Next)
9. Jason Vorhees (Friday the 13th: Part 3 and beyond)
8. "Satan" (Satan's Little Helper)
***BONUS MASK*** Jesus (also Satan's Little Helper)
7. God Mask (The Purage: Anarchy)
I haven't seen The Purge or it's sequel, but I know whenever this guy popped up on my TV screen in the weeks leading up to Anarchy's release, I felt really uneasy. First, the mask looks like the kind your high school chum's faux-artsy mom would hang on the wall in the guest room. It'd be part of, like, a whole ballet or theater theme, but it would actually scream, "I'm a crazy person who is definitely watching you while you sleep...and there's a good chance I'm wearing this mask while I do it." Second, it's the crudely scrawled "GOD" across the forehead. I haven't seen Anarchy, but I know what it's about. This guy is playing the part of God on Purge night, and if you have the bad luck to encounter him and his creepy mask, you're not going to enjoy the results.
6. Henry Creedlow (Bruiser)
I don't remember particularly enjoying Bruiser, but this mask--holy crap, this mask!--still creeps me out. It's those beady, pinhole eyes what do it.
5. Mr. Mouse (Torment)
Scarier than the fact that this unstoppable, homicidal brute's mouse mask is a creepy, deformed mess, is the fact that said mask started out as the head of a beloved stuffed mouse. Why did Liam's stuffed animals all have giant, irregularly-shaped heads?!? A stuffed animal head should never fit comfortably on the head of a psycho killer.
4. Man in the Mask, Dollface & Pin-Up Girl (The Strangers)
The thought of people breaking into my home while me and my family are in it, terrifies me to the bones, and that is why I'm (oddly) drawn to home invasion horror flicks so much. The Strangers is one of the scariest I've seen (The sun comes up...our heroes have survived the night...AND IT ISN'T OVER!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!), and those masks are a big part of it.
3. Leatherface (Texas Chainsaw Massacre and its many sequels)
This mask is made out of the flesh stripped from horny teens and nameless drifters. This mask is worn by a slovenly, cannibalistic butcher with little to no discernible social skills. Everything about Leatherface is filthy and diseased and sticky and gross, and that is pretty much a recipe for scary.
2. The Old Hag (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)
Walt Disney's Snow White has the distinction of being the first animated feature film ever made. It is beautifully animated, and remains a solid watch to this day. It's also the source of all childhood nightmares and the lingering unease I feel whenever I'm around old people. I watched Snow White with my three-year-old daughter recently, and, oh boy, did she not enjoy the Evil Queen in Old Hag mode. Neither did I. She is extremely unpleasant to look at. It is a testament to Snow White's goodness that she is kind to such a disturbing--and clearly disturbed--character. I'm not saying members of the elderly community should be disparaged and shunned because of their wrinkled skin, bony fingers, scraggly hair and toothless, gaping maws, I'm simply suggesting one think twice before accepting any fruit from one. Stick to the individually wrapped hard candies they've got stashed in one of the many candy dish stations in their house. Those probably haven't been poisoned.
1. Michael Myers (the Halloween series, at least the ones that aren't about Stonehenge and bugs coming out of people's faces*)
"What's that? Giant Electric Penguin named my mask the scariest? How do I feel? How do you think I feel?!? Like singing, of course!!!"
Haddonfield's own Michael Myers tops our list, because what's scarier than William Shatner's face turned inside out? And don't say William Shatner's regular face, because that isn't very nice.
*And, yes, I know Michael has a cameo in Season of the Witch! What do you take me for, an amateur?!? Sheesh!