When it comes to simulating the human form in animated movies, robotics, wax figures, or in any other realm of human mimesis, artists need only remember two words: the "Uncanny Valley," a term used to measure how people react to various human facsimiles. Slate writer Clive Thompson sums up the idea pretty well:
In 1978, the Japanese roboticist Masahiro Mori noticed something interesting: The more humanlike his robots became, the more people were attracted to them, but only up to a point. If an android become too realistic and lifelike, suddenly people were repelled and disgusted.
Over time, the term has been used to describe a number of ill-fated projects (Polar Express, anyone?), but that hasn't stopped artists and producers from creating human-like products that are positively creepy. Case in point: celebrity masks. Sure, some, like the Tiger Woods mask, are meant to caricature their models. But a number of rubber replicas are positively too close to human for comfort.
We searched the Web for some of the creepiest masks we could find--many of which seem to have fallen into the Uncanny Valley with no hope of return. What do you think? Do these masks fall into Uncanny Valley territory, or are they Uncannily Awesome?