Horror films are meant to scare the life out of people. They incite fear and irrational behavior. One element that normally makes a horror film hard to watch is having an actual serial criminal or bloodthirsty monster that we can see and imagine haunting us one day; someone or something that lurks in the night and has a realistic element to them. After we are scared out of our wits and trying to think of only good thoughts, many of us go home and google the cast. In an effort to lower that high level of fear that’s felt we try to find out who the person behind the mask is. We humanize them in an effort to relieve us of all that panic and fear. Most of the time we are surprised to see that the person behind the mask is normal looking and not scary at all. Why we would assume that they were hideous and creepy is beyond us but, it’s great to see that they are totally relatable and not at all like the characters they have portrayed. If you love the fear that horror films instill in you but still need that buffer of safety, we have compiled what you need right here. The people behind the scary AF masks that haunt your dreams are just like you and I.
15 Kane Hodder – Jason Voorhees
Jason was the camp kid who died because his counselors were all teenagers who were too engaged in explicit activities to properly supervise him. He drowned in Crystal Lake, but he didn’t go silently. Jason came back film after film to torture the crap out of the campers and the counselors. Even the campers and counselors years later that had nothing to do with his death. So, who was behind that creepy Jason hockey mask? His name is Kane Hodder. He played Jason in 4 of the Friday The 13th Films. He was so into the character that in 1989 he appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show in character. The interview was quite intriguing. He has also appeared in a few other non Friday The 13th related things. Seriously, he always seems to be working on something. He’s one of those actors that is not recognizable but gets steady work.
14 Andrew Bryniarski – Leatherface
Leatherface has terrorized God knows how many people since he first appeared on screen in the '70s in Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Leatherface wielded a chainsaw and chased people at a pace faster than most would expect from a man of his size. He continues to scare the hell out of people who come across that creepy house of his. Andrew Bryniarski isn’t the original Leatherface but he is the most current one, the one that film fans know now. He was in the 2003 remake with Jessica Biel and the 2006 version with Jordana Brewster. When he isn’t terrorizing people, he has minor roles in film and television and is a professional bodybuilder. We can only assume he has to be fit in order to play the burly and seriously strong Leatherface.
13 Jonathan Breck – The Creeper
“Jeepers creepers where’d you get those peepers”. Actor Jonathan Breck is way too good looking to have to hide behind that scary AF Creeper costume. It’s hard to imagine someone that looks like that being in a film where his moneymaker is covered. He is the only person to have played The Creeper, and he most recently played the character in 2017. The scarecrow looking thing that hangs on a wooden cross in an open field is something to be afraid of. Fortunately, he is more than the Jeepers Creepers franchise, he works steadily in Hollywood, usually taking on small roles. Regardless, it’s steady work and what else can one ask for in Hollywood? Some people get no roles. However, we can’t help but wonder what happened, he has great bone structure; how has his career not taken off?
12 Kip Weeks – The Man In The Mask
The Strangers is one of the scariest horror films out there. It is so realistic, and no one can say that after watching that film, they didn’t double check the locks on their doors. Kip Weeks played The Man In The Mask. He was so frightening that he didn’t even have a real name. He walked around with a burlap sack on his head terrorizing Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman. If this film taught you anything it was to not take vacations in remote locations. Since the film’s release Weeks hasn’t done anything noteworthy, mostly shorts and small parts in shows or films that we are sure many people haven’t heard of. His only high profile role is The Strangers and he didn’t even get to show his face in that one.
11 Muse Watson – Ben Willis/The Fisherman
Before Muse Watson was killing it on Prison Break as Charles Westmoreland and in NCIS as Mike Franks, he was Ben Willis on I Know What You Did Last Summer and I Still Know What You Did Last Summer. He tortured the likes of Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Brandy and Freddie Prinze Jr. as an old man with a hook for a hand. He wanted revenge for his daughter’s murder and his attempted murder. He went on to play some pretty awesome roles and have a steady and exciting career in Hollywood. He gets a lot of roles which is awesome for someone his age in a business like acting. He even has a few things lined up for 2018, there is clearly no stopping this guy.
10 Glenn Jacobs – Jacob Goodnight
Glenn Jacobs had the responsibility of playing the huge and very intimidating Jacob Goodnight in See No Evil. Jacob Goodnight takes it upon himself to punish those whose souls are not pure. How does he know that their souls are not pure and kind? He looks into their eyes and if they have sinned, well, they no longer have the luxury of using their eyes. So who is that big guy wearing whatever kind of mask that is? His name is Glenn Jacobs, or as most people may know him, Kane. When he isn’t playing Jacob Goodnight he is wrestling in the WWE ring as Kane. Most of his acting credits are wrestling related and the film See No Evil is one of his only film acting credits.
9 Robert Englund – Freddy Krueger
Robert Englund is one of the more popular people on this list. He plays the burned, melted face of Freddie Krueger. He has been playing Freddie Krueger since the first A Nightmare On Elm Street film in 1984. He made the nation fear sleep and dreaming. The thought of not waking up from a dream haunted us all. Englund hasn’t done a lot of notable work but his face is a familiar one because he constantly makes the rounds at functions like Comicon and Sci-Fi conventions. He has made a career out of the character of Freddie Krueger appearing in costume at many places off-screen. He has played in roles outside of the scary film that made him famous but let’s be real, he will forever be associated with the striped shirt, clawed nails, dream haunting murderer.
8 Doug Jones – Pale Man/Fauno
Pale Man, also known as Fauno, is that creepy looking thing from Pan's Labyrinth. He has no room on his face for his eyes, so whenever he wants to see, he pops those gooey eyeballs into the palm of his hands and looks around. He is played by Doug Jones, who has made a career of playing weird creatures. He was Abe Sapien in Hell Boy, Bye Bye Man in the film Bye Bye Man, Deadbolt in Arrow, The Ancient in The Strain and Saru in Star Trek: Discovery. Really the list is endless, and his career is one that will probably go on forever and ever. He has played so many memorable characters and you wouldn’t even know it unless you did a little research on him. He even has a few things coming up for 2018 as if he wasn’t busy enough.
7 Craig Conway – The Humanoid Crawler
The Humanoid Crawler is almost indescribable. They live in the caves that Sarah, Juno, Beth and their friends get stuck in, in The Descent. They are terrorized by these creatures that look like they are only half-formed. They live off of blood and bones which is pretty gruesome. Craig Conway is a British actor who has gone on to be a part of some pretty great things, a few mini-series and small roles in already established TV shows. He works pretty steadily and doesn’t seem to be hurting for roles. But, we will always associate him with a Humanoid Crawler just because that image freaks us out like nothing else. The movie as a whole was so creepy and different that there is no way we could get that thing out our minds.
6 Gary Busey – The Gingerdead Man
In 2005, an already creepy and weird Gary Busey starred in a film called The Gingerdead Man. It is a film about a gingerbread man who goes around murdering people. Before this, we all know that Gary Busey once had a great career, great enough to not really have to work again. But then he decided to do this cheesy horror flick that grossed everyone out. It has become a cult classic but the real scary thing about this film is how much the Gingerdead man actually looks like Gary Busey. Under all that makeup and special effects, you can see signs of Busey and it's creepy AF. Busey couldn’t stomach to reprise his role for the 2nd and 3rd film, but he played the original and he will always have the title as the original Gingerdead Man, whether he wants it or not.
5 Warwick Davis – Leprechaun
The Leprechaun was a mean little bastard who just loved to torture and end the lives of as many people as he could. To be fair, all he wanted was his pot of gold back, but he didn’t HAVE to kill all of those people. The evil little leprechaun was played by Warwick Davis. If that name sounds familiar to you, it should, because he is a serious actor. He has been in so many successful things the Harry Potter franchise, The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy, Merlin, Jack The Giant Slayer and he even had his own show called Life’s Too Short. That’s not even half of his amazing credits. Davis played the leprechaun in all of The Leprechaun films. Even after all of his success he reprised his role in the final film in 2003.
4 Rie Ino’o – Sadako Yamamura
Rie Ino’o may not sound familiar but you know the character she made extremely famous. She starred as Sadako Yamamura in Ringu and Ringu 2. The American remake The Ring made the original film even more popular. No one can get that image of Sadako Yamamura out of their heads as she climbs up from that creep AF well and right through the TV screen. Ino’o didn’t work much afterward except for in one other film that we found to be pretty obscure after some research. Seeing as she starred in the film at a young age, she probably did what many child actors do and tapped out while she was ahead. Or maybe that film scared the crap out of her like it did everyone else and she couldn’t face it a third time around.
3 Tim Purcell – The Babadook
The film The Babadook burst onto the scene and left a big impression. It was a film made on a very low budget but ended up gaining a lot of attention. The film's budget was so small that they had people playing dual roles. This was the case for Tim Purcell who was initially a prop maker on the film but ended up playing the role of the Bababdook. This worked out seeing as the Babadook isn’t actually seen all too often in the film, just a few glimpses. This seems to be Tim Purcell’s only acting and set work. He didn’t move on to other work. There is no surprise here. A lot of people volunteer on film sets or work on film sets for extra cash they end up loving it or hating it. Maybe he is one of the people who hated it.
2 Dane Farwell – Ghostface
Ghostface is one of the more recognizable horror film monsters. He graced us with his scary face in 4 Scream films. The man behind the mask is Dane Farwell, and he isn’t a traditional actor. In fact, he isn’t an actor at all. He is actually a stuntman who got the opportunity be a part of a classic horror film franchise. Farwell hasn’t stopped since then, and Scream wasn't even where he started his career. He has been a stuntman since the '80s and doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Every year since the '80s, he has been in at least one thing but usually more. Besides the Scream franchise, he has done stunts for a few amazing films and has even graduated to a stunt rigger in films like Guardians Of The Galaxy, War Dogs and Fate Of The Furious.
1 Bill Skarsgard – Pennywise
The latest horror film obsession is the remake of Stephen King’s It. Many people were shocked to find out that the man behind the mask of that creep Pennywise was Bill Skarsgard. If his name sounds familiar it's because he comes from an acting family that includes brother Alexander Skarsgard, and his father Stellan Skarsgard. Bill has been in a few great things besides It like Hemlock Grove and Atomic Blond. He has also signed on for chapter two of It. His career shows no signs of slowing down which is great, however, we are more concerned with how they made someone like him look so darn creepy. We have to give it up to the magic of makeup, people underestimate its powers all the time.