There’s no shortage of masks in horror movies, with some of our favorite serial killers such as Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers, and Leatherface all regularly sporting masks to hide their identity, cover up their true appearance, or just look extra scary before they kill people.
However, it’s not always killers that wear masks, and one type of mask that is worn by killer and non-killer alike is the ever-so-eerie animal mask. These terrifying paper mache or rubber caricature versions of animals that are usually cute and cuddly are a great addition to create an unsettling atmosphere and really dehumanize the person wearing them.
Because it’s the time of year when masks are most popular, we decided to whip up a list of the creepiest critter get-ups we could find. Maybe don’t read this right before bed, because these ten animal masks are guaranteed to keep you up at night!
10. Pet Sematary (2019)
The remake of Pet Sematary (2019) may have been missing a lot of the scares and tension of the 1989 version, but one cool addition it did feature was the local children marching to the ‘Pet Sematary’ to bury their dead pets.
As Jud tells Louis, the ‘Pet Sematary’ is something of a local tradition, and it’s the children who go to the extra effort to make sure their pets are laid to rest properly. The children each wear a different animal mask as they take part in the somber procession. It’s very cool to see this local tradition being acted out on the screen, and it’s an added bonus that the masks are so damn creepy.
9. Donnie Darko (2001)
Both the ‘real’ Frank and the version of Frank that only Donnie can see aren’t wearing the most realistic-looking rabbit mask in the world, but the rest of the fuzzy costume and the big, floppy ears make it pretty clear that’s what he’s supposed to be. Rather than a cute face or a pink nose, Frank’s rabbit costume is terrifying.
The face is silver, with a huge row of overhanging teeth, a skeletal nose, and two milky eyes. Donnie first meets Frank in the middle of the night, on a golf course, when the giant rabbit tells Donnie that the world is going to end. That combo would be enough to scare most people off, but Donnie builds a closer relationship with his imaginary friend as the film progresses.
8. I See You (2019)
I See You (2019) is a film with a few different stories going on at once and interweaving together. One story is that of Mindy and Alec, two young friends who participate in phrogging to have somewhere to live. This means they sneak into someone else’s house and live there without the owners knowing.
Alec brings a very scary wooden frog mask with him on the adventure, which he likes to wear as he sneaks about the house, terrorizing the inhabitants. Whether it’s peaking out of the hood of Alec’s hoody or staring out from the dark under a bed, this frog mask is enough to give you nightmares.
7. The Wicker Man (1973)
The Wicker Man (1973) features our second creepy animal mask procession, but this time it’s the residents of Summer Isle making their way to a part of their May Day celebrations. It seems like the entire village is there as they make their way across the lush grass in a long, dancing line.
The masks have an obviously homemade feel to them, which makes them look even spookier. However, it’s the sheer range of animals on display that makes this scene so cool. We’ve got wolves, cows, bears, badgers, foxes, birds, and even a very impressive fish mask.
6. Leatherface (2017)
Leatherface (2017) is another example of releasing a prequel movie years after the original that tries to give us a sympathetic backstory to some of our favorite serial killers. Leatherface is actually a pretty interesting delve into the Sawyer family history and shows that the Sawyer family has always had a thing for masks.
As a child, Jedidiah sets a trap on the road to get a young couple, Betty and Ted, to stop their cars so he can lure them to his killer family. Jedidiah pops out of hiding wearing an absolutely massive cow head and, somehow, convinces Betty to follow him to make sure he’s okay. Personally, I’d be running very fast in the other direction, but each to their own.
5. The Shining (1980)
There are a lot of weird things that happen in The Shining (1980), but as the film reaches its climax, and the hotel is no longer trying to be sneaky in its approach, the strange sights just keep on coming.
Wendy spends most of the film avoiding the hauntings that Jack and Danny have to suffer, but once she knows there is something very wrong going on, the Overlook does it’s best to freak her out. One such scene is when she comes across a man in a bear costume performing a sex act on another man. Both men sit up and stare at Wendy as she understandably freaks, and the camera zooms in on the blank face of the bear.
4. Killing Eve (2018)
Villanelle from Killing Eve (2018) is perhaps one of the most ruthless killers on this whole list considering she’s a contract killer. However, just because it’s her job, doesn’t mean Villanelle has run out of ways to keep her kills interesting. This usually involves her putting on an elaborate show, killer costumes included.
In the season two episode ‘Desperate Times’, Villanelle is given a target in Amsterdam’s red-light district. She dresses up for the occasion, donning a part-cute part-terrifying pig mask, complete with a pink corseted dress. The outfit is used to lure her mark with the potential of sex, but it also doubles as a disguise when she murders him in full view of the passersby.
3. You’re Next (2011)
In You’re Next (2011), there are three killers, each wearing a different animal mask. Between the lamb, the tiger, and the fox, they take out most of the Davison family when they should be celebrating their parents’ anniversary.
The three men spend most of the movie hidden under the masks, and the blank faces of these three animals attacking from out darkness make the whole thing seem so impersonal. You’d have to be pretty emotionless to murder an entire family for money, and the empty faces of the animal masks help project this.
2. Creep (2014)
For a mask with a name like Peachfuzz, you would think it would have a slightly less terrifying face. However, the wolf mask that Josef likes to pop on to scare videographer Aaron is completely horrifying. Featuring an impressive mane of hair, a huge set of teeth, and very intense eyes, Peachfuzz is the last thing you want to see at the end of a dark hallway.
Josef has a couple of different backstories to explain why he owns the Peachfuzz mask, though it’s not clear which one is true as Josef isn’t exactly one for telling the truth. Whatever the reason, there’s no excuse for Josef using it to terrorize Aaron so much.
1. Saw (2004)
While the Billy puppet is probably the creepy face that most people think of when they think of the Saw (2004) movies, but let’s face it, Billy isn’t really a threat. The much more terrifying threat is Jisgaw’s henchmen doing his bidding while wearing a long-haired pig mask.
The pig mask appears frequently throughout the Saw series, but the scariest appearance has got to be one of its first outings in Saw when Adam is abducted. As Adam moves around his dark apartment, fearing he is not alone, he uses his camera flash to illuminate the dark rooms. Convinced someone is hiding in his closet, Adam swings the door open, revealing nothing but darkness. However, when his camera flash goes off, it lights up the terrifying pig-faced figure lurking inside, before it jumps out and attacks him.
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