'Happy Death Day' Killer Nearly Wore Completely Different Mask

A horror movie franchise is often only as strong as the presence of its villain, with Happy Death Day depicting a murderer who disguises their identity with a creepy baby mask. Director Christopher Landon recently shared that, before deciding on the baby mask, he originally toyed with a pig mask.

“When I was in early early pre-production [on Happy Death Day], I was trying to figure out what would be that sort of iconic mask,” Landon shared with Entertainment Weekly. “I feel like all great slasher films have that very memorable mask and at the time my partner and I we were pregnant with our first child. I think I had baby on the brain. So, I went to our mask designer, Tony Gardner, and I pitched him the baby. I pitched him actually two things. I pitched him a baby and I pitched him a pig."

With the events of the film taking place on Tree's birthday, the baby mask, and the film's repetitive nature, had a thematic justification, as it was like Tree was re-born after every death. Landon noted that the pig mask also would have represented the main character, but his instincts led him to settle on the baby mask.

"I thought that Tree’s character, she was a bit of a selfish pig, so I thought that could be funny. But when I received the prototype for the baby, I knew that was it," Landon pointed out. "It kind of struck the perfect balance of it being creepy, weird, slightly funny, but ultimately scary. And so it seemed to fit the tone of our movie better than anything else.”

Pig masks have been used in other horror films, such as Motel Hell and the Saw series, allowing Happy Death Day's baby mask to stand out more successfully. As Landon pointed out, the silly look of the mask also reflected the series' sense of humor, in addition to its tamer PG-13 tone.

The memorable mask returns for the film's sequel, which is now in theaters, and was directed by Landon.


Jessica Rothe leads the returning cast of Happy Death Day 2U, the follow-up to Blumhouse’s (Split, Get Out, The Purge series) surprise 2017 smash hit of riveting, repeating twists and comic turns. This time, our hero Tree Gelbman (Rothe) discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead.

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