The Mask

A young archaeologist believes he is cursed by a mask that causes him to have weird nightmares and possibly to murder. Before committing suicide, he mails the mask to his psychiatrist, Dr. Barnes, who is soon plunged into the nightmare world of the mask.


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  • ★★★★ review by Mangloid on Letterboxd

    While most parts in this obscure Canadian psychedelic horror are pretty average. The scenes involving the mask are anything but. Very trippendicular indeed! Also a interesting metaphor for drug addiction.

  • ★★★½ review by smellington on Letterboxd

    PUT THE MASK ON NOW -Dr. Alan Barnes believes the Mask is a gateway to the sub conscious, something forgotten long ago and wants to study the mask in order to discovery ancient knowledge / insight. When the doctor puts the mask on, the viewers are treated to some of the cinema's greatest horror imagery. The Mask serves as an allegory for drugs or really any escapism (including cinephilia), but who could really blame the doctor (even if the Mask is driving him insane) when the rest of the film is so drab so PUT THE MASK ON NOW.

    I watched this on Fandor. The Mask scenes were not in its original 3-D format. I originally saw The Mask when I was in grade school. Television channels would occasionally show 3-D movies as a minor event where you pick up your 3-D glasses at a local convenience store. The Mask features suicide and undercurrents of sexual perversion, and I would feel uneasy about showing my grade school aged daughter. I guess my parents were cooler than I am. Other 3-D movies watched back then included: Gorilla At Large, House of Wax, and of course Hondo.

  • ★★★½ review by Austin Wolf-Sothern on Letterboxd

    A psychiatrist gets a mask from one of his patients who committed suicide because of it. When worn, the mask causes amazing, scary, 3D hallucinations. The doctor gets hooked on putting it on and tripping out, and when people tell him he shouldn’t wear it anymore, he’s just like “Somebody stop me!” and continues on his strung out path. It’s pretty good, but really only stands out for the creepy 3D sequences.

    Hoop-tober Film #25: Bonus/Screening

  • ★★★★ review by Devon Green on Letterboxd

    Missed a screening of this two years ago during Spectrefest at Cinefamily and haven't stopped thinking about it- Until tonight!...

    Finally seeing this I do have to admit it is a little slow in set up but once the mask finally goes on I'll be damned if this doesn't become a hallucinatory masterpiece. It is a creepy and anthropologically rich vision of hell that repeatedly touches upon some truly bold imagery, including a great sequence where the psychiatrist protagonist stumbles upon his own analyzing couch mid mask-induced vision, and slowly beholds his prior incarnation manifesting slowly for examination, only to disappear except for for a pair of ghostly hands. Weird, confusing, and haunting, this is among many moments competing for status in the underrated horror shot hall of fame (also of note- the canoe ride through the river Styx with the floating skulls in the background and all the mask/skull with eyes dissolve montages)...

    Apparently the critical consensus seems to view this as a metaphor for addiction, which I can honestly see though I'd argue this dives in way farther than metaphor, quietly becoming a barrage of eerily personal symbolism and otherworldly atmosphere. I felt more than once like I was watching an adaptation of The Tibetan Book Of The Dead by way of Herk Harvey, which is about the highest praise I can imagine giving. Check this out if you like horror of the cerebral variety, or if you just want a fast and easy head-trip during your next horror marathon.

  • ★★★½ review by Jason Alley on Letterboxd

    Enjoyable, highly bizarre horror film about a mask that drives anyone who wears it insane through disturbing hallucinations.

    The first Canadian horror film AND the first (only?) Canadian 3D film, I had the pleasure of watching it on a 3D TV and it was a lot of fun. The real-life sequences are not in 3D, but whenever a character puts on the mask, the narration subtly cues you to put on your 3D glasses. Just kidding, it's not subtle at all. "Put the mask on...NOW! Put the mask on...NOW!"

    The 3D sequences are a marvel to behold. Truly creepy, visually stunning, total surrealism not unlike what you'd see in UN CHIEN ANDALOU, ALTERED STATES or something directed by David Lynch, and the "put the mask on!" participatory aspect of the film is great fun.

    The hallucination sequences easily get 5/5 stars, but the non-hallucination stuff accounts for the majority of the film and it can be a little dry; there's a lot of filler just killing time until the next dream sequence. Still, the running time is short (83 minutes), and it's a very worthwhile watch even if just for that remarkable imagery, especially if you can watch it in 3D.

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