50 Magnificent Movie Masks

Killer - Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)

The Mask: A fencing mask, as worn by the murderous slasher in this silly but watchable sequel.

By this point, slasher flicks were running out of ideas for masks, but this is a neat and simple approach.

Why It's Magnificent: There are nice touches, like the killer's breath steaming through the grill - plus a great little montage moment where suspects' faces are super-imposed over that dark oval.

Revellers - The Purge (2013)

The Mask: Grinning, almost wooden masks that are worn by a group of youngsters who have wholeheartedly embraced the 'purge' - the one night of the year that it's legal to kill somebody.

Why It's Magnificent: They look so happy and innocent, you're pretty certain that these kids don't mean our protagonists any harm.

But a smile can hide something deadly…

David Aames - Vanilla Sky (2001)

The Mask: A latex replacement for what David Aames (Tom Cruise) has lost; this pale and emotionless mask is given to Aames after a car crash leaves him horrifically scarred.

He enjoys wearing it just a little too much.

Why It's Magnificent: It sort of looks like the mask worn by Michael Myers, which can only ever be a good thing.

Smiley (2012)

The Mask: A butchered and bloody corruption of the infamous yellow smiley that was first created in 1948.

Naturally, it's apparently the face of a serial killer who hacked at his face to copy the emoticon.

Why It's Magnificent:
We just can't stop staring at it - it's both grim and disturbing.

Valerie and Her Week of Wonders (1970)

The Mask: A weird, rabbit-like monstrosity that's worn by a demon thing in order to make him slightly less unattractive.

Why It's Magnificent:
Frankly, anything that covers that terrifying mug is nothing but good in our books.

Illuminati - Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

The Masks: Venetian masks as worn by the Illuminati members during their promiscuous get-togethers.

According to writer Carolin Ruwe, masks are the prime symbol of Eyes Wide Shut.

Why They're Magnificent: They're ornate, obviously really expensive, great-looking, but also really creepy.

Who wants to have sex with somebody who's wearing a mask, anyway?

Scarecrow - Batman Begins (2005)

The Mask: Scarecrows are meant to be scary, right?

Well, this one definitely gets the job done, looking every bit like a sack as hacked to pieces by a total mentalist. Cillian Murphy wears it well.

Why It's Magnificent: Not only is this mask scary generally, it gets even scarier when you've inhaled the Scarecrow's fear toxin - cue creepy-crawlies and bat-chomping galore. Nightmares for us, then…

Maximus - Gladiator (2000)

The Mask: More of a helmet, if we're getting technical, but it also covers Maximus' face, so in our view that counts.

This helmet-mask is donned by the one-time warrior as he goes into battle in a coliseum.

Why It's Magnificent: It's exactly the kind of helmet you'd want to wear if you'd been forced to become a gladiator - not only does it do the job of protecting your noggin, it also makes you look like a total badass.

Nuns - The Town (2010)

The Mask: A mournful-looking nun mask (replete with habit), as donned by Ben Affleck and his band of merry bank robbers.

Why It's Magnificent:
Well, they're worn during bank heists.

There's a perverse pleasure in watching nuns do naughty things (hence nunspoiltation), and this is no exception.

Miner - My Bloody Valentine (2009)

The Mask: Now here's a canny notion for what a serial killer should wear while carrying out his horrific crimes - how about a miner's breathing apparatus?

Functional AND fashionable.

Why It's Magnificent: It turns something boringly practical into something that we should all be terrified of.

Plus the glass plates covering the eyes are spooky, particularly when they catch the light.

Josh Winning has worn a lot of hats over the years. Contributing Editor at Total Film, writer for SFX, and senior film writer at the Radio Times. Josh has also penned a novel about mysteries and monsters, is the co-host of a movie podcast, and has a library of pretty phenomenal stories from visiting some of the biggest TV and film sets in the world. He would also like you to know that he "lives for cat videos..." Don't we all, Josh. Don't we all.