"Father Death" is the in-universe name for Ghostface's costume. Wes Craven had the characters in Scream mention the Ghostface costume is called "Father Death" not as a reference to the angel of death, but rather as a red herring, alluding to Neil, Sidney's father. Neil was the key suspect for Ghostface, but he was merely a red herring to distract from the real killers, Billy and Stu. By naming the costume "Father Death", this was a false clue to the audience that he was the killer.
The mask is based on The Scream painting by Edvard Munch, the cover of the Pink Floyd album, The Wall and the ghostly characters that appeared in the 1930s Betty Boop cartoon. According to Anthony Masi's documentary "Still Screaming", the Ghostface mask was first devised for novelty stores during the Halloween season as early as between 1991 and 1992. The mask's design of a ghost with peanut shaped eyes, an elongated mouth and a white face developed through a collaboration between Fun World employee Brigitte Sleiertin and a Chinese sculptor by the name of Mr. Fok. The mask was part of a series entitled "Fantastic Faces", the mask itself known as "The Peanut-Eyed Ghost" or, briefly, "The Weeping Ghost". The final design was approved by Fun World vice-president Allan Geller. Fun World Licensing Director R.J. Torbert joined Fun World in 1996 and was given the task of naming the mask prior to its film debut, deciding on "GhostFace" with the blessing of Fun World owners Stanley and Allan Geller. Torbert felt it looked like a "ghost in pain", believing it to be a unique design. The Ghostface design and title are owned by Fun World. Since the appearance of Ghostface in Scream, the costume has become the most worn and sold costume for Halloween in the United States, leading to its tagline: "The ICON of Halloween".
Discovery and film use
Producer Marianne Maddalena first discovered the Ghostface mask while scouting for filming locations in California. Craven was walking throughout a possible filming-house, and inside one of the rooms he saw the mask hung on a wall. She took a picture and suggested the mask to Dimension Films and they told him to have the prop department make a mask similar to the mask in the bedroom, as they did not own the rights to the mask. When Bob Weinstein watched parts of the first scenes filmed (rough cuts), he said that the mask used was "idiotic". He asked the producers to film one scene with seven different masks and let him choose the one he liked the most. Producers didn't agree and threatened to shut down production. They told him to wait until the first sequence was completed and then he could decide. After watching it, he happily agreed to the mask used and didn't make another complaint for the rest of the filming. The original Kevin Williamson script said "masked killer" with no specifications to their appearance, forcing Craven and his staff to produce the costume eventually worn by Ghostface as they were shooting. So the cast looked at several different models. The final design was the white mask by Fun World Division. Following the description in Williamson's script of a "ghost mask", Craven and designers had originally intended to use a white-motif, creating a white cloak and hood for the killer's costume. It was the intervention of Maddalena who felt that the cloak would be scarier if it was black, that resulted in the dark costume shown on screen. The cloak itself had to be custom-made for the film as the "Father Death" outfit identified in Scream as that of the killers did not really exist' the Fun World mask being sold as a stand-alone item. The cloak entered into retail markets only following the release of Scream. Each cloak was estimated to cost $700 to hand-produce by a seamstress out of thick, black American Rayon Jersey Knit with reflective threads woven throughout, creating a subtle glimmer. The cloak was created to help conceal the identity of the killers by covering most of their visible body, as it was believed that otherwise audiences would be able to guess which character was involved by their clothing and body-shape.
The costume contains the mask with a cover made of cotton cloth-like material, a hooded-robe with faux-tatters draping from the arms and a spiked-trim to the base of the outfit. Despite its appearance as a solid piece of material, the robe is put on like a jacket, fastening with velcro-attachments down the front of the torso.
Masks such as the Scream 4 variety that are limp and look nothing like they should or that have been flattened and not pushed out, can be easily fixed with some simple, common tricks.
To reshape a mask you can warm it up with a hair dryer for a few minutes and reshape with your hands, keep trying until you are happy with it. This method is dangerous to the PVC in the mask, though, so be careful with it and be sure that it doesn't melt. Another method for reshaping the mask, particularly the mouth, is to stick crumpled plastic bags into the mouth crevasse and let the bags mould the mask back to its natural shape. If the mask's eye mesh is torn, black pantyhose is often used. You can cut some out and glue it into the eyes.
The mask used in Scream is made of soft, thin PVC with blackened eyes, nose and mouth. The mask is stark white and depicts a caricature of a ghost screaming and crying at the same time. The eyes are elongated and resemble peanuts. The mouth is elongated as well. Designer Sleiertin stated that the mask displayed different emotions, "It's a horrible look, it's a sorry look, it's a frantic look". Scream 2 features a slightly redesigned version of the mask from the "Fearsome Faces" line, possessing slightly-altered eyes and an indented chin. Following Scream 2, the Ghostface mask became part of the "Ghostface" line of masks featuring several variations of the design including glow-in-the-dark models. The plain, white version of the Ghostface line mask is used in Scream 3 by Bridger. Around this time, the franchise spawned its own line of masks, dubbed the "GhostFace mask". Around this time as well, the sudio began franchising the likeness of the Father Death costume, making numerous other pieces of merchandise around the character. Another edition of the mask was developed, dubbed "The Deluxe Edition Mask" for use by Ghostface in Scream 4, again similar to the original Ghostface design but constructed of thicker PVC with a more pearlescent finish. The Deluxe Edition mask is also made with thick cloth rather than silk-like polyester fabric.
Most of the masks come with a light vanilla smell.
The Father Death costume has also featured new designs. To commemorate the release of Scream 4, the filmmakers decided to release a small line of commemorative masks based on classic horror remakes recently released. Some of these masks were sent to the set and are visible on extras during the Stab party scene. Occasionally, masks with certificates of authenticity come to the market. There are two varieties of this release, the "Zombie" Ghostface mask and the "Scarecrow" mask, along with the unpopular "Mummy" type. Both the "Zombie" and "Scarecrow" styles have very dark eye mesh, making it difficult to distinguish who is behind the mask. Most Father Death Ghostface masks do not have this convenient feature. The Zombie style even has extra rubber on the eyes to make it even harder to see. The Zombie variety is meant to be similar to the new Michael Myers mask from the Halloween remake, made to look like decayed, cracked latex. The Zombie variety also has a deluxe edition which features more decay on the mask, including yellow spots of mold. The mask is also available in a Collector's Edition, which feature a dark gray finish, more rigid rubber mask and a cotton hood. Despite having fewer cracks and mold spots, the Collector's mask does more closely resemble a zombie.
The Scarecrow variety was made with an entirely new costume. The Scarecrow mask is made from very rigid, hard plastic with a texture of rough burlap. The hood is made from actual burlap. The Father Death robe itself was also redesigned, made from brown polyester. Close examination of Scarecrow variety masks from 2011 and 2012 will reveal that the ones from 2011 contain actual burlap on the face, whearas the ones from 2012 use plastic. The 2012 masks do have a darker pigment, which makes it look more weathered. The Scarecrow edition is meant to be a throwback to Friday the 13th Part II, where Jason Voorhees wore a burlap flour sack over his head to hide his deformed face. Friday the 13th recently saw a remake as well, which incorporated the flour sack and the hockey mask, despite the hockey mask not appearing until Part III. Oddly enough, the new brown robe of the Scarecrow Father Death costume resembles the brown robe Mickey Altieri wore when tormenting Sidney during the Greek play rehearsal in Scream 2. Neither the Zombie or Mummy varieties have their own costumes, yet the Scarecrow version does. The costume features the mask, a brown polyester robe, a rope belt, and two gloves with pointed fingers. This creates an entirely new version of Ghostface previously and currently not seen in the Scream films.
There is also a much rarer and less publicised type, the "Ghostface Mummy", which features dark wrinkles and has an appearance of bandages. The Mummy type is extremely unsuccessful, however, and are usually only seen with children's costumes.
Various colors have been seen over time. In the "Fantastic Faces" line, colors offered were white and bright orange, pink and green. Further down the line in 2003 we had "Metallic Masks" these were Red, Blue, Purple and Green and rare now. In earlier years of Metallics the colours were the same but with two more added, a "Vibrant Red" and a "Silver" mask, described as "Gold Hen's Teeth" as these were last made around 8 years ago. molds of these masks were recently the same as the normal Black/Red GhostFace® tag, but also "EU" and "MK" molds were used for Metallics. If you have any of the colored masks then you are lucky, not as many metallic masks were made as other versions, although some were re-produced in recent years, including 2013. However, only 4,000 neon masks were made in 2010, making them signifigantly rarer than other masks.
Glow-in-the-dark masks are also popular. Older glow mask types are often defined by the tag having a yellow star however, on the 2010 tags the star is missing now, but another way of finding out what version it is can be by looking at the picture of the mask on the tag, some have a green tint on it, others don't. The Non Glows are without the tint and just have a white mask picture, other times it is vice-versa, but the only sure way of know is by holding the mask under a blacklight and seeing if it goes green.
The early Fantastic and very early Fearsome lines all had "Fun World Div" on the back of the chin, meaning an old mould mask. All other newer versions from 1998 onwards will have "Easter Unlimited inc, Made in China" Depending on factory some may have (T) (MK) (EU) (HN) (TD) below the text. The Mask's known to fans as the Re-Shoot or Walgreens' types all had the (TD) mark. Masks around different times have different marks:
- (MK) Normally a mask around 1997 or 1998 time (Early Metallics used this mold type too)
- (HN) An alternate mold around the late 90's (Basically an alternate Fearsome) as well as the 'RDS' mold.
- (T) Another alternate mold type around since 1997 onwards. Recent T versions are still seen today with new Scream 4 masks.
- (TD) Seen after the time the Black and Red tags were everywhere. Normally Re-Shoot types and kid's masks.
- (EU) basically meaning 'Easter Unlimited'. Common as ever now, raised stamps now exist in many masks.
The Bleeding mask, which featured a plastic mask with a clear plastic seal, was out in around 1997 or 1998 which featured a heart that pumped fake blood down the inside of the mask. Later on came a version with Glowing Blood, and 2010 saw the release of another version, The Bleeding Zombie, same overall design just with a rotting style white mask inside. The mask features a nylon hood, but with rougher fabric. Foam padding is added inside the plastic mask for comfort. Other versions had glow-blood in green or red too! This design would later serve as the primary basis for the "Deluxe Edition" masks produced for Scream 4.
Ghostface knives have also been produced with fake blood inside the plastic blade. They come in hunting knife and machete varieties, despite the fact that Ghostface never used a machete.
"Fantastic Faces"The original Ghostface mask, available in several colors and valuing over $200, Fantastic Faces masks are generally viewed as the 'holy grail of Scream masks'. A key deciding point in identifying a fantastic faces is its eyes. Since they were hand cut out, the eyes look different than the Fantastic faces mask. The eyes are almost the same as the fearsome type, with each eye not being the same exact shape. Left eyes always look slightly more thinner than right eyes. The nose appears slightly smaller and further up past the mouth than other versions. Fantastic masks are 33 centimeters in length and feature three indents in the mouth, two above the chin, one on the chin. The hood should be made of a thick cloth material, similar in texture to the fabric from a t-shirt. The mask is very thick and is tight, hugging the face quite well.
The stamp reads: "Fun World Div." on all models. If your mask says this behind the mouth, it's a Fantastic model.
The so-called KNB mask or "funny mask" appears only in two scenes. It is seen briefly (in two shots) during Casey Becker's death scene and when Principal Himbry tries it on after confiscating it from a disrespectful student. Seven KNB masks were produced for the film, three of which were used on screen. KNB masks were made before the final mask was created for the film, and a few rough takes were filmed with the KNB mask during Casey's death scene at the beginning of the film. However, once the KNB mask was deemed insufficient for production, they
created the current Ghostface mask and replaced the KNB face. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough time to reshoot Casey's scene with the correct mask, so they left it in. The mask was later featured during Principal Himbry's scenes, because the filmmakers decided to make good use of the KNB molds. The mask is notable and easily identified because it features long, thin eyes, a very small nose and a narrow chin.
The KNB masks are extremely rare collectors’ items among "screamers" today, and there are opportunities to purchase replicas through specialized forums. It can be assumed that the KNB models are cheaper replicas of the Father Death mask by other companies, as they are seen carried by students, as they resemble the Father Death mask.
"Fearsome Faces"The Fearsome Faces version, like the Fantastic, is still highly sought after by many fans, and averages a price of 30 to 50 dollars. Its main identifiable feature is the eye difference, the right eye always has a straight diagonal line on either side of it, where as the left eye will be curved. There is a noticeable crease in the mouth and a small indent just above the chin. The Fearsome is 33.5 centimeters in length, just slightly longer than the Fantastic. It also is larger and less cartoonish, allowing for a larger and more realistic looking face. The stamp usually read the normal "Easter Unlimited inc, Made in China" or the 'HN' mark. Early versions have the same stamp as the Fantastic Faces, "Fun World Div." The hood is made of silky polyester instead of cloth, a trend which would follow for the rest of the mask replicas, save for Collector's Editions. The main difference between the Fantastic and Fearsome, other than the stamp and size, is the mouth. The mouth on the Fearsome is much wider than that of the Fantastic's. Fantastic models also came in white, orange and green.
An "EU" type Fearsome was also available at the time, this mask differed slightly, the eyes were spaced further apart from each other, this can be seen in the background of the opening scene in the cinema, also it has a Nickname of "RDS", because it was used in 'Randy's Death Scene' in Scream 2.
"As Seen In Scream"
In the process of going from Fantastic, then Fearsome in named lines the name "GhostFace®" was wanted next, and the name was merely dubbed the "97 tag asis". During the process of having the GhostFace® name trademarked, and because it takes over a year to get government approvals on registrations, the name could not yet be used on growing up ghostface until it was officially registered.
So this tag stayed out there until all was official, over the years fans nicknamed this the "97' Tag, or "ASIS" mask, simply for (As Seen in Scream). It was used in Scream 3. The "Deluxe" masks really aren't so deluxe after all because they are notorious for being the thinnest and floppiest of all the masks in the series, often appearing smooshed and ruined, although the mask can be fixed.
"Walgreen's Reshoot Mask"
The primary mask seen in Scream 4 is the Deluxe Ghostface mask. All Deluxes had a New Dwarf type hood and shroud, and was more of a solid mask compared to its thinner Softer PVC made predecessors, The “Walgreens/Re-shoot” style mask has a thinner look on the downward shape of the mouth and eye differences, being slightly thinner than the Deluxe, also the back of the chin cuts off more than the Deluxe, giving the Walgreens its distinctive shape letting us identify it more easily. The wide and deep jaw of this mask let the audience know what scene is a reshoot.
"Based on Ghostface Masks"In 2017, R.J Torbert, the creator of the Ghostface mask posted an image of two new masks that everyone thought was Ghostface. However to avoid confusion with the Ghostface line, his company has given their own copyrighted names for those individual masks; Devil-Face and Skele-Face. The Devil-Face is a mask that resembles Ghostface. However, it is made of a hard plastic, is bright red and features devil style horns. The Skele-Face mask is made of the same plastic. However, it is designed to look like a smiling skeleton. These masks were released on September 2017. They are not part of the official Ghostface line. There are two different versions, one of them with the shroud and the other with a "bib" which comes only with the costume. They are sold in a pack of 3 which includes "Devil-Face", "Skele-Face" and a new design of "Ghostface" which is the same as a normal Ghostface mask except it is made out of the hard plastic that Devil-Face and Skele-Face are made of. This is the Ghostface mask that will be used in the third season of the television series, Scream.
- Scream (Fantastic Faces mask, KNB type)
- Scream 2 (Fearsome Faces mask, Fearsome Faces EU type)
- Scream 3 (GhostFace mask, '97 tag as is' type)
- Scream 4 (Deluxe Edition mask, "Walgreens" type)
- Scream (TV Series) - Season 3 (2019)
- Lorgnette mask
- Colored masks (green, orange, pink)
- Neon, metallic masks (ilver, red, green, blue, purple, red)
- Bleeding masks (Zombie variety also available)
- "Scarecrow" mask ("deluxe edition" also available with cloth hood)
- "Zombie" mask (Bleeding and collector's editions also available)
- "idiot mask (quite rare and unpopular, usually only seen with children's costumes)
- Collector's Editions
- Horror Nights mask
- Scary Movie parodies (Killer Mask, includes tongue and laugh varieties)
- GhostFype. (only 1,000 made)
- Foam mask
- Thin, plastic mask
- Ultraviolet light up mask
- Battery powered eye lights
- "Flip-up" type (exceptionally rare)
- Color changing version