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Another Top 10 Terrifying Horror Movie Masks

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Telly Vlachakis Scariest masks to appear in horror movies, these are the faces killers hide behind. WatchMojo presents another top 10 masks to appear in the scariest movies. But which mask will take the top spot? The grinning masks from The Purge, The Doll Masks from The Strangers, or Sam's Mask from Trick 'r Treat? Watch to find out? Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to Mattyhull1, TheJackGaffney, Adam Vallance, DiscordsDestiny, Zander619, Ramny and Kim Holgado for suggesting this idea, and check out the original Top 10 list here:

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What is it about creepy masks and horror movies? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down Another Top 10 Horror Movie Masks.

For this list, we will be looking at more of the most terrifying and memorable masks worn by those loveable cinematic killers, monsters, freaks, and psychos. If you didn’t see a mask you thought should be on this list, be sure to check out our first video of the Top 10 Horror Movie Masks.

#10: Frankenstein Mask
“The Funhouse” (1981)

Classic horror filmmaker Tobe Hooper starts off our list with this carnival of terrors. The minimalist plot has a bunch of teenagers doing what they do best in '80s horror flicks: which involves lotsa sex, drugs and rowdy behavior, and ends up leading them to sneak into a carnival’s creepy funhouse to spend the night there. Clearly that’s a bad idea, and they end up witnessing the bizarre ride assistant murdering someone. Knowingly stuck with a masked murderer, the teens scramble to escape. There is little explanation at first as to why this killer is walking around wearing a Halloween mask, but we soon find out there is something more gruesome hiding underneath.

#9: Owl Mask
“Stage Fright” [aka “Deliria”] (1987)

This sadly under-seen and under-appreciated slasher film is mostly recognized today for the famous owl mask the killer wears. The film takes place in a theater, where a group of actors have locked themselves in to rehearse a musical about a serial killer named the Night Owl. This unlucky group slowly realizes that locked inside with them is an actual a recent psych-ward escapee… and an actual serial killer. As he wears the killer’s costume, which includes a huge, imposing owl’s head, he honors the play’s source material and goes on a killing rampage. Safe to say there will be no opening night.

#8: Surgical Mask
“Eyes Without a Face” (1960)

Horror movie masks seem to be a more modern trope, growing in popularity with the rise of slasher flicks in the late 70s. This film’s early use of a mask to convey terror harkens back to the “Phantom of the Opera,” showing the audience a blank, expressionless face that is hiding more sinister intentions. Our protagonist’s surgical mask may be hiding her deformed face from the world, but the evil intentions are her father’s, as he looks for victims whose faces he would surgically remove and give to his disfigured daughter. Having caused the car accident that disfigured his child, the insane father will go to any lengths to give her a new face.

#7: Wax Mask
“House of Wax” (2005)

What seemed like another typical teen horror flick turned out to be a surprisingly entertaining romp about a group of teenagers trying to get to a football game. Through a series of events, they all end up in a deserted town whose main attraction, the House of Wax, has a sinister past and a disturbing secret. While the clueless teens try to figure out why the wax figures seem all too real, they are stalked by two brothers who have been running this twisted wax museum. Vincent hides his disfigured face with an expressionless wax mask as he kills the innocent victims, who are destined to be the future stars of his museum.

#6: Animal Masks
“You’re Next” (2011)

Taking a cue from the classic “Wicker Man,” “You’re Next” takes innocent animal masks and transforms them into the stuff of nightmares. When a group of siblings and their partners visit their country home to celebrate their parents’ anniversary, the party is halted by a group of killers that seems to be stalking the family. Donning lamb, fox, and tiger masks, the killers are determined to use their arsenal of weapons to take out the family members one by one. Soon enough, however, the hunters in the animal masks become the hunted.

#5: Sack Mask
“The Orphanage” (2007)

As a general rule, every parent should be wary of their children befriending invisible kids…especially if he says they are wearing sacks over their heads. This is what happens when Laura decides to move her family in to the now-defunct and incredibly creepy orphanage she grew up in. Her adopted son Simón befriends the ghostly Tomás, and it’s all fun and games until Simón goes missing. A plot involving a previous worker of the orphanage and the morbid history of the building unfolds in tragic waves, but ghostly little Tomás and his sack mask remain the tortured centerpiece of this horror drama.

#4: Green Mask
“Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon” (2006)

While there have been horror-comedies in the past, “Behind the Mask” succeeds in creating something utterly unique and mesmerizing. The main subject of the film being what truly lies behind a killer’s mask, this mockumentary shows us the daily life and intense preparation required to be a masked slasher killer. How do you create fear with a mask and carefully timed power outages? Although the movie satirizes the lifestyle of a lonely copycat wanting to emulate his masked heroes such as Jason Voorhees or Michael Myers, Leslie Vernon ends up creating a believable and terrifying persona and equally disturbing and emotionless mask.

#3: Grinning Masks
“The Purge” (2013)

With a plot that resembles a political thriller, the filmmakers took the backstory of a future America whose government has approved an annual Purge, and transformed it into a home-invasion survival horror film. The Purge allows all crime to be legal, including murder, for one night only. Although wealthier households have added the ultimate in security to keep Purge-supporters at bay, the Sandin family nevertheless becomes targets. Their attackers cannot be prosecuted during the purge and therefore do not need to hide their faces. This makes their grinning masks more terrifying, as they are simply used for theatricality and pure intimidation.

#2: Sam’s Mask
“Trick ‘r Treat” (2007)

The movie that revitalized the horror anthology, 2007’s “Trick ‘r Treat” offers a fresh variety of ghoulish stories featuring everything horror can offer, from monsters to killers to Halloween goodness. The most memorable aspect of this cult hit, and the only thread that ties all stories together, is the mysterious little trick-or-treater, Sam. Is little Sam an ordinary kid looking for candy on Halloween? Wearing a now-iconic burlap sack and armed with a deadly lollipop, each subsequent story reveals more and more of the evil that is hiding behind those button eyes. Halloween-haters: beware.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

“Satan’s Little Helper” (2004)

“Tourist Trap” (1979)

“Slaughter High” (1986)

#1: Doll Masks
“The Strangers” (2008)

Home-invasion films, along the lines of classic stalk-and-slash horror flicks, are a dime a dozen, and most seem to feature some kind of scary mask. What will make a killer’s mask scarier and a cut above the rest? Those 4 ominous words: “Inspired by true events.” With an incredibly simple plot ripped from the news headlines, a young couple comes back to their secluded vacation home only to soon realize they are not alone. Offering up more tension than gore, this thriller introduces the world to the pin-up doll strangers and their bag-headed leader, who will easily be entering everyone’s nightmares for a long time to come.

Do you agree with our list? Which other horror movie masks give you nightmares? For more creepy top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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