Super-disturbing masks also feature heavily in trailers for horror-thriller "You're Next," which opens in August. So what better occasion to let loose the most terrifying hordes of masked horrors from your worst nightmares?
Gallery | The 17 Most Terrifying Movie Masks
- 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre' (1974)
You can't get any more disturbing than a mask made out of human skin, can you? There's a reason moviemakers keep going back to the fearsome character of Leatherface: He scares the living sh*t out of us.
- 'The Strangers' (2008)
Three soulless home invaders wear three different masks in this harrowing thriller. What's more terrifying, the almost cutesy doll masks worn by the women or the Scarecrow-esque burlap sack worn by the man? The childishness of their false faces just makes their random attack so much more disturbing.
- 'Donnie Darko' (2001)
"Why are you wearing that stupid bunny suit?" Jake Gyllenhaal asks a guy who just seems to be wearing a bizarre costume in this cult classic. Frank's hideous rictus smile and his whispery response -- "Why are you wearing that stupid man suit?" -- will haunt our dreams forever.
- 'The Orphanage' (2007)
This unusually moving tale of a mother who loses her son has its creep factor exponentially raised by the film's ghost: A child who was so deformed that he wore a burlap bag over his face. The misshapen face we do see is more unnerving than the boy's real one, especially when he appears to the heroine in an eerie bathroom scene.
- 'Halloween' (1978)
As any horror fan knows, the mask worn by Michael Myers is a William Shatner one, spray-painted white. The blankness of its features just make his merciless killing spree even more terrifying. You can't beg for your life when the killer is this inhuman. And let's face it: You can't kill Michael because he is inhuman.
- 'Saw' (2004)
Who wouldn't be scared out of their wits by a freakin' pig mask? If you see someone wearing this, you know you're screwed. Really, really screwed.
- 'Friday the 13th' Franchise
It's just an ordinary hockey mask, but when it's worn by a chainsaw-wielding maniac, it becomes the iconic face of horror. Like Michael Myers, Jason is one of horrordom's favorite monsters, a cold-blooded killing machine, and he wouldn't have achieved that status if we could have seen his face.
- 'Scream' (1996)
Several people in this franchise have worn the Ghostface mask, but they've all wielded the same brutal knife and the same insane obsession with killing for kicks or revenge. This is the kind of mask you don't put on for fun. (Unless you're some kind of sick sociopath.)
- 'A Clockwork Orange' (1971)
The phallic mask worn by Alex (Malcolm McDowell) is a horrible foreshadowing of the savagery he and his thuggish Droogs are about to unleash on an unsuspecting couple who unwisely let them into their house. The old "ultraviolence" is made that much more cruel by their disturbingly weird get-ups.
- 'Eyes Without a Face' (1960)
Like Leatherface, the heroine in this eerie French classic wears a face made out of human skin -- but it's her mad father's doing. He kills women to transplant their faces onto her imperfect one. She wears a plain white mask for most of the film, but the horrors of what lies underneath are never far from our mind.
- 'Smiley' (2012)
A super creepy mask is about all this low-budget horror movie has going for it. But damn, is it ever creepy
- 'Batman Begins' (2005)
Take a simple burlap bag, stitch it awkwardly, and Dr. Crane has a mask that's slightly odd but not that scary. Once he doses you with powerful hallucinogenics, however, you're soon screaming your lungs out in terror as you see worms writhing and a gaping maw... pretty much your worst nightmare
- 'Brazil' (1985)
Sad paper pusher Sam (Jonathan Pryce) is haunted by dreams where he's a powerful avenger, freeing the masses who are wearing Chinese masks. When those dreams are dashed, he's interrogated by a former friend (Michael Palin) who's wearing one of the very same masks to distance himself from the awful things he's about to do.
- 'Amadeus' (1984)
A fancy masked ball costume worn by Mozart's strict, disapproving -- and dead -- father resurfaces on a man who mysteriously commissions a requiem. It seems as if Mozart's father has risen from the grave to demand one last thing from his son. It's really a plot by Mozart's rival, Salieri, to unsettle the prodigy. And it succeeds beyond his wildest dreams.
- 'Drive' (2011)
In the film's next-to-final scenes, The Driver (Ryan Gosling) uses his stunt-driving skills to force a deadly enemy off the road. His vengeance seems that much more unstoppable because of his generic rubber mask. It's the ultimate personification of the impossibly stoic Driver.
- 'The Man in the Iron Mask' (1998)
What's more terrifying than someone in a mask trying to kill you? Being unjustly imprisoned and locked in an iron mask for years on end, with no one believing your true identity. That and Leo's '90s long hair!
- 'Star Wars' (1977)
It's kind of hard now to think of Darth Vader as a scary guy, but he's terrified generations of children. His iconic black helmet blended a skeletonized face, the hint of a predatory insect, and the smooth swoop of military ruthlessness. When we first caught a brief glimpse of the horribly scarred flesh under that sinister hood, we all shuddered.
Photo Credit: Alamy