50 Magnificent Movie Masks

Burlap Bag - The Orphanage (2007)

The Mask: A sack worn by Tomás (Óscar Casas), a child whom Simón (Roger Príncep) befriends at the orphanage run by his adopted father.

But why is Tomás wearing it?

Why It's Magnificent: Like Jason Voorhees before him, Tomás' use of the sack as a mask is both simple and effectively chilling - a sign of desperation.

Sound Of The Mountain (1954)

The Mask: A theatrical mask of a child which is sent as a gift in this Japanese drama about the growing relationship between Kikuko (Setsuko Hara) and her father-in-law, Shingo (So Yamamura).

Why It's Magnificent: Sure, it's a mask, but it's also a metaphor for how the characters like to either hide their own feelings, or dramatically unmask them in a torrent of emotion.

Sarah & The Goblin King - Labyrinth (1986)

The Masks: Ornate creations worn by Sarah (Jennifer Connelly) and the Goblin King (David Bowie) during a delirious ballroom dream sequence.

Why They're Magnificent: 'Fabulous' is probably a more apt word here.

Particularly Bowie's demon-head-on-a-stick, which looks like his mask is being held up by a skeletal hand.

Alex - A Clockwork Orange (1971)

The Mask: A long-nosed mask worn by Alex (Malcolm McDowell) when he and his droogs break into a house and assault a woman.

Why It's Magnificent: The mask acts as both, well a mask, and foreboding - its unavoidably phallic, which makes it the perfectly horrible thing for Alex to wear while carrying out his violent acts.

Mask of Satan - Black Sunday (1960)

The Mask: A spike-lined metal mask that's used by an executioner to kill Princess Asa, who's been accused of being a witch.

Weirdly, when she's unearthed 200 years later and the mask's removed, she's still quite fetching…

Why It's Magnificent: It really doesn't get more grisly than this; this is the kind of macabre mask that'll give you sleepless nights for weeks.

Pig Mask - Saw (2004)

The Mask: Basically a pig mask worn by killer Jigsaw and his accomplices.

It's meant to be a tribute to the Year of the Pig, which is when Jigsaw began his grisly work.

Most chilling: the pig has hair.

Why It's Magnificent: It's the last thing you're expecting in this first Saw film - a film full of unexpected surprises - and genuinely disturbing.

Dollface, Man In The Mask, Pin-Up Girl - The Strangers (2008)

The Mask: A trio of chill-inducing masks all worn by the faceless assailants who break into the holiday home of Kristen (Liv Tyler) and James (Scott Speedman).

Why They're Magnificent: The Man In The Mask sort of looks like a scarecrow, while Dollface resembles exactly that - a doll come to malevolent life.

If these three broke into our house at night, we couldn't be held responsible for the reactions of our bladders.

Buttonface - Nightbreed (1990)

The Mask: Worn by David Cronenberg as the creepy Dr Decker, this mask comes with buttons for eyes and a zip to make breathing a little easier.

Why It's Magnificent: It's really difficult to figure out exactly what it is - is it human flesh, or a sack, or some kind of pencil case gone wrong?

Also, how on earth can he see with buttons covering his eyes?

Mrs Tredoni - Alice, Sweet Alice (1976)

The Mask: A weird, vaguely translucent mask that sort of looks like a frozen-faced Betty Boop.

When paired with a bright yellow rain coat, it's uncanny and unsettling in equal measure.

Why It's Magnificent:
It's not often that slasher movies feature killers who wear a female mask, making this both unique and scary as hell.

Pig-bear - The Shining (1980)

The Mask: Blink and you'll miss it.

With things going a bit crazy in the Overlook Hotel, Wendy (Shelley Duvall) stumbles upon a room where a man is being serviced by somebody in a disturbing pig-bear suit and mask.

Why It's Magnificent: It's weird, horrible, unexpected and - brilliantly - unexplained.

Afterwards, you're not even sure if you saw it at all…