Top 10 Horror Movie Unmasking Moments

Written by Laura Keating A good mask can make a horror movie great, but the killer's unmasking can often be the most powerful moment in the film! WatchMojo presents the Top 10 Moments Where Horror Movie Killers are Unmasked! But who will take the top spot on our list? Jason Voorhees from 'Friday the 13th Part III', Leatherface from 'The Texas Chainsaw Massacre', or Billy Loomis and Stu Macher from 'Scream'? Watch to find out! Watch on WatchMojo: Big thanks to mac121mr0 for suggesting this idea, and to see how WatchMojo users voted, check out the suggest page here: WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top+10+Horror+Movie+Unmasking+Moments

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Let’s see who’s really under there! Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Horror Movie Unmasking Moments.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the pivotal moments in horror movies where a villain or threatening character has his or her identity exposed by means of unmasking - whether or not it's literal. As unmasking is generally a big finale, or at least a surprise, a spoiler alert is now in effect.

#10: Polite Leader
“The Purge” (2013)

In this world, for one night of the year, every crime is legal – including murder. And on the night of the Purge, it seems there are a lot more people out there who feel inclined to kill, rather than just loot or deface public property. For the Sandin family, the smart thing to do is to hunker down in their bomb-shelter of a house. However, when the doorbell rings they see a group of Purgers through their cameras. The leader politely requests to come in, and to show the seriousness of his request, he removes his mask. His chillingly innocent smile lets the audience know that he loves this night more than a kid loves Halloween.

#9: The Masked Man
“Hush” (2016)

In this inventive and suspenseful film, a woman is stalked in her home in the woods. To make matters worse, she is deaf, and can only rely on visuals when trying to keep the killer at bay. In a moment of desperation, Maddie pens a message to the killer, letting him know that he can still just walk away, she hasn’t seen his face, and she won’t call the police. Apparently amused, the killer casually removes his mask, making the point clear that it doesn’t matter to him if she sees him or not: to this killer, she’s already dead.

#8: Sam
“Trick ‘r Treat” (2007)

Throughout this mid-aughts horror anthology, there’s one little character tying them all together: Sam. The physical embodiment of the spirit of Halloween, this child-sized goblin enjoys a good scare, spooky stories, and - of course - candy. With his face hidden beneath a burlap sack for the majority of the film, it’s not until the final installment that he’s finally exposed. And, while he may look like a little kid from the outside, this is a face not even a mother could love.

#7: Tomás / Simón
“The Orphanage” [aka El Orfanato] (2007)

After Laura buys and moves back to the orphanage where she grew up, her young son Simón makes friends with a boy named Tomás – who may or may not be real. But soon after, Simón goes missing. What’s weird is Laura herself begins to see the “imaginary” friend, who hides his face with a mask. That’s why she believes it’s her missing boy, OR the ghost of a social worker’s son who drowned. Her search finally leads her to a secret basement where she finds a body, which she originally thinks (or just hopes) belongs to Tomás. But sadly, when she removes the mask, she sees it’s actually her son. It’s a heartbreaking moment in an otherwise chilling film.

#6: Lamb Mask
“You’re Next” (2011)

Having dinner with your dysfunctional family is bad enough - especially when they could be your future in-laws - but throw murder into the mix and it’s a whole new nightmare. When masked killers begin to pick off the feuding fam one by one, it seems there’s no stopping them. But when Erin begins to fight back, it becomes clear that the attack wasn’t so random after all. With each killer hiding behind a different animal mask, it’s finally revealed that the man in the lamb mask is a hired assassin, and that the younger Davison brother is responsible for the whole plot.

#5: Dr. Hannibal Lecter
“The Silence of the Lambs” (1991)

Having bargained his way out of the Baltimore State Hospital and into the care of the Memphis police, the suave Hannibal the cannibal makes his bid for freedom. Alerted by gunshots, the officers below rush to the fifth floor and make a grisly discovery. With Hannibal escaped, Officer Boyle gutted, and Officer Pembry horribly disfigured, they rush Pembry off with paramedics as they initiate their hunt for Lecter. However, en route to the hospital, the audience is given a glimpse of just how far this cunning criminal is willing to go to get free.

#4: Michael Myers
“Halloween 5: The Revenge of Michael Myers” (1989)

Talk about a one-track mind. Back at his quest to kill off the remaining members of his family, Michael sets off to finally kill his niece Jamie, having failed the previous year. The girl seeks refuge from her crazed uncle in the attic, but when he finds her, the fact that he’s about to kill his own flesh and blood seems to hold him back. In a moment of pity, Michael takes off his mask, and is revealed to be crying, suggesting that he’s struggling with his inner demons and perhaps even feeling remorse.

#3: Leatherface
“The Texas Chainsaw Massacre” (2003)

Few horror movie antagonists are as viscerally frightening as Leatherface. And he’s not hitting up the local Walmart for a rubber mask – he’ll take yours… as in your face, that is. In the 1974 classic, while we get a load of the rest of the family, we never get to see the mad butcher’s actual face. But in the 2003 remake, we finally get a glimpse of the chainsaw-wielding cannibal. This classic horror villain is so-named because of the – ahem – “leather” he uses for his mask, so it’s safe to assume that he needs to change that mask semi-frequently. It’s while he’s sewing himself a new “leather face” that he briefly takes off his old mask in order to don the fresher one.

#2: Billy Loomis & Stu Macher
“Scream” (1996)

This classic 90s horror flick from the great Wes Craven leaves everyone guessing until the very end, in large part because of its brilliant twist. Turns out it isn’t just one killer stalking Sidney Prescott and the other teens of Woodsboro high school, but two. The joke is that, in horror films, it’s “always the boyfriend” … but it never is. Well, in this self-aware scare-fest, it ACTUALLY is – that catch is he’s been working alongside his best friend under the guise of Ghost Face. Together, they even fake Billy's death in a great twist that helped set the standard for modern horror. Frequently imitated, never duplicated, this was the (figurative) unmasking of the decade.

#1: Jason Voorhees
“Friday the 13th Part III” (1982)

One of the most famous masks in the cinematic horror canon belongs to one Jason Voorhees. However, it wasn’t until the third installment of the “Friday the 13th” franchise that this mask was introduced – before that; he just used a cloth sack to hide his features. Following events of “Part 2,” Jason is back to finish off Chris Higgins. Donning the hockey mask to conceal his deformed face, he hunts down Chris and her friends. Ultimately, it’s during a fight to the death in the barn, when Jason needs to free himself from a rope that’s become tangled around his neck, that he unmasks and reveals his deformed face.

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