Killer Portraits is our series where we showcase the faces of our favorite murders from slasher flicks and other forms of terrifying cinema. Make sure to keep a wide eye out for our future installments. You’ll definitely want to see them coming.
“What’s your favorite scary movie?” may be the most ominous question ever uttered in a film from the ‘90s. This foreboding line of inquiry comes from the first Scream (1996) movie, during the opening scene, in which the short-lived Casey Becker — played by Drew Barrymore — receives a flirtatious call while making popcorn one evening in her parents’ house all alone. The conversation quickly turns south, as the unidentified voice on the other end starts to toy with her and eventually threatens to “gut her like a fish.” Then, Ghostface — the masked killer seen in all of these tattoos — finally appears on screen, disemboweling Becker’s jock boyfriend before chasing her down, stabbing her repeatedly, and hanging her corpse in a tree.
The reason that Ghostface’s question resonated so strongly with American audiences back then and still does today is not because of the gore — the thrill of watching Barrymore run desperately for her life — but more so because it speaks directly to our deepest desires and insecurities. Sure, we all have our favorite scary movies, but really, it’s the horrifying reality that we all live in that enthralls us most. Scream taps into the way that society breeds killers through the mediocrity that it imposes on their lives. It shows how the most dangerous thing known to man is a disillusioned imagination run wild, especially when it’s got an eight-inch hunting knife in hand.
Because the town of Woodsboro, California, the setting of Scream, is a such a perfect analogy for American culture at large, it makes having a tattoo of Ghostface almost like wearing a cautionary tale. A portrait of the stab-happy prank caller, whoever may be behind the mask, on your body informs everyone around you that you’re wise to the societal ills that turn everyday people into monsters. It shows that you know to never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, say “I’ll be right back."
To see more killer portraits of characters from movies, make sure to stop by all of these artists’ Instagrams. Should you want to show how films inspire you to do the unthinkable, consider having one of them tattoo Ghostface on you. And don’t worry, guys, we’ll be right back.