Horror's Most Iconic Killer Masks

A big part of many successful horror films and horror film franchises is a mask that disguises the killer’s identity. The mask is often just as iconic as the killer. A good mask lends an extra layer of intrigue to the killer’s persona and gives him or her a sense of anonymity. The mask also serves to distance the killer from their victims and makes the maniac seem even less human. The mask makes it more difficult for the killer to emote, thereby making the character seem that much more mysterious. An effective mask makes a killer much more terrifying to audiences.

To celebrate some of the more memorable masks in horror cinema history, we've put together a list of eleven of the most iconic masks worn by on-screen psychopaths.

Michael Myers’ Mask from the Halloween Franchise
Who would have thought that a mask in the likeness of William Shatner would become so iconic? A coat of white paint made that captain Kirk mask one of the most recognizable masks in horror film history. The mask has undergone some transformations, including a CGI enhanced mask in Halloween: H20, but the Michael Myers mask remains a terrifying fan favorite to this day.

Jason's mask from the Friday the 13th films
There are few masks as iconic as Jason Voorhees’ goalie mask. He has slashed through countless teenagers in eight films (3-10), plus a face off with Fred Krueger and a remake in that hockey mask. The mask has gone so far as to become a staple of pop culture. We have Shelly of Friday the 13th Part 3 to thank for providing Jason with his now iconic hockey mask. There are several different stories regarding how the hockey mask came to be a part of the Friday the 13th franchise. Different cast and crewmembers seem to have different recollections. But, regardless of whom you speak to, one thing is indisputable: the mask was an epic addition to what has become an epic film franchise.

Leatherface's Mask from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre Films
Loosely inspired by Ed Gein, Leatherface’s human skin mask is an indispensable staple of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre franchise. It is one of the creepiest masks in all of horror cinema history and rightfully so. It’s pretty difficult to beat a mask stitched together from pieces of human flesh. Though Leatherface has been played by a variety of actors, the character’s unforgettable mask is a big part of what makes the character what he is.

The Ghostface Mask from the Scream Series
The unusual thing about Ghostface is that unlike most mask-wearing maniacs, he/she is a variety of people. But, since every killer in the scream franchise has donned it, the mask has a definite familiarity to it. The mask has become somewhat iconic over the past decade and a half, and though the plotline of the franchise has become a bit threadbare, viewers still seem to be interested in the Ghostface Killer’s latest exploits. It will be interesting to see if we are treated to a fifth installment. That would certainly be preferable to an MTV television series.

The Collector's Mask
The Collector’s mask is quite creepy and very different from the headgear worn by many of his contemporaries. It’s difficult to determine exactly what the mask is made of from watching the films, but a little research yielded that the mask is constructed of foam baked latex. The feel of the mask is supposed to be similar to a sponge. Regardless of its construction, the mask is creepy as hell and gives the Collector a decidedly sinister appearance.

More at the Source
The list pretty much goes the way that you would expect it to but I thought it could lead to a good discussion. Are there any horror movie masks (or horror movie villains in general) that just give you the chills? This might not be from a movie but it still creeps me out.