It is a mask known to all and has become an essential face of horror cinema. For the release of “Scream”, return to the origins of the “white head” of the man we nickname Ghostface.
You know this face and its contours, inseparable from the film that made it known. Twenty-five years after Scream’s release, Ghostface’s mask – that’s the name given to the killer – has become the cult item of Halloween parties. In the United States as in France, it sits in the middle of the disguise shelves, before being worn by the little monsters who roam the streets.
In the Wes Craven classic, however, the mask is not just a children’s accessory. It symbolizes the threat that weighs heavily on the people of Woodsboro. For the film crew, it was necessary to find the perfect face that would embody fear. Its origin and manufacture are just as surprising as the cultural phenomenon it spawned.
1996. A few weeks before the start of filming, the entire film crew travels through several cities in California to locate future sets. Near an abandoned house, director Wes Craven finds a box full of objects, lying near a garage. It is in this storage room that he discovers the iconic face of the killer from his film.
Inspired by the famous painting by Norwegian Edvard Munch, The Scream, the mask is made by a disguise company, Fun World. It even has a name: the Peanut-Eyed Ghost – the ghost with peanut-shaped eyes. The filmmaker is convinced that he has unearthed the rare pearl and wishes to buy the rights.
Unfortunately, the company is asking a lot of money from the Dimension Films studio, which refuses to give in. To find an alternative, Wes Craven asks the special effects company KNB EFX to create variations that come as close as possible to the original. In total, more than twenty models are made and all are rejected by the studio. Filming begins and a mask, similar to the final version, is chosen for the killer. Eventually, the company Fun World and the Hollywood studio find a deal. The rights are transferred to the film crew.
A few scenes had already been shot, but several sequences were re-filmed with the new costume to standardize the killer’s look. It is possible to see some shots with the first mask, especially during the opening with Drew Barrymore or during the death of the principal. To recognize it, it’s simple: the shape of the eyes and the mouth is smaller, the face, it more flattened.
To discover the sketches of the different mask proposals that were ultimately rejected, Click here.
Scream is currently in theaters.