RECAP! Face Off: Sinister Showdown Part 1

We’ve finally made it. The last challenge. The big one.

After all this, it’s come down to Walter, Melissa, and Rob. Only one will be crowned the Face Off Champion. Any guesses yet?

The three remaining contestants are brought to an oil field, which is very strange. McKenzie meets them, and introduces the special guest — producer Jason Blum. She explains that this final challenge will be horror-themed, and each artist will create two (only two?) characters who will star in a horror film.

This is essentially the same final challenge as last season, which was a huge success. Previous finales have always involved some kind of practical performance element – dancing, fighting, appearing at Universal’s Halloween Horror Nights. But there was something really intense about last season’s film challenge. It was the most real-world application, working with a director, with lighting and cameras. If an artist can do that successfully, they really can make it in the professional makeup world.

This season, the film was inspired by a short story titled “Hell Hole,” involving a family buying a house that’s possessed by a demon. Each artist will work with an “up-and-coming” director (all males, btw. What’s up with that? Come on, Face Off, you couldn’t find one female horror director?), each with HIS own specific take on the script and what the demon should look like.

McKenzie introduces the directors, and it appears as though they were all asked to dress as identical hipsters – dark skinny jeans, blue shirts, same height, dudes. Anyway…

As is often reality-competition tradition, some former contestants have returned to help the finalists with their task. It’s nice to see the familiar faces of Kaleb, Yvonne, Mel, Anna, Johnny, and Robert.

Before they break, McKenzie also reveals that Mr. Blum will also be a guest judge for this final challenge.

Each team gets their version of the script, and they narrow in on the descriptions of their respective demon. Walter’s script uses “gourd” and “sinewy,” which is a little disappointing to Walter, who doesn’t like doing the tree thing. His director, Ryan, goes into more description, talking vines, dirt, etc. Team Water decides that their demon is half pumpkin/half tree and their possessed victim will have vines around and through her.

Team Rob has “massive horned figure” to work with, which is a little vague. Director Bryce also uses “of the earth,” and suggests dry, cracked, and white (white?). Kaleb asks how he feels about a goat. Bryce is not pleased with the goat suggestion. No, he wants something new. Their possession victim will be the “basic possession makeup” with some oil dripping.

Over on Team Melissa, their script is oozing with specifics: “a chupacabra mashed with the face of the hatchetfish and the teeth of goliath tigerfish.” Oh, and it’s a Cyclops. There’s also a doll named Mr. Sticks. That’s a lot. Melissa is initially worried about mimicking her previous Cyclops makeup, but that was so unique, I don’t see why she’s letting it get to her.

In the lab, Rob is unhappy with his idea for his face sculpt.

Melissa decides on doing a Cyclops creature without the eye, a bold choice.

The Westmores appear — but they are not alone — Mr. Westmore reveals a surprise guest – none other than the lovely Lois Burwell! They make their rounds and offer lots of advice, of course, with Lois asking lots of questions.

Day 2 and Rob has decided to completely start over on the face, sort of using a mole, then a rhino as inspiration. It sounds a little weird, but he seems happy.

Walter has in insane amount of detail on his demon’s face.

Team Rob is having a major issue – half of the cowl is locked, and the three team members are desperately trying to pop it out. Rob is coming to terms with the fact that they might have to break the mold a bit in order to get it out.

Day 3 and the artists examine their pieces. Rob’s demon cowl is in rough shape, but at this point he has no choice but to make it work.

Melissa recognizes Johnny and Yvonne’s application talent, so she lets them have at while she prepaints.

Walter is having Mel apply while Robert is casting the other model’s teeth, and now I’m having panicked flashbacks of the orthodontist.

Rob is also prepainting while the others apply.

And before we know it, we roll into Last Looks before the camera test.

Team Melissa and her characters are looking pretty gnarly in a good way. When she heads over to set, she’s super excited and nervous. The director gives some suggestions about the chest piece and some coloring, but ultimately, the demon comes off well. No resculpting there. But the victim needs some work. Okay, she’s got some work to do, but it’s not a total disaster.

Team Walter: In Last Looks, Mel is trying to salvage her paint job. By the end of the hour, Walter is fairly confident. As they walk to the soundstage, it’s apparent how HUGE the demon is, both the model and the makeup. It’s a little intimidating. The director loves what he sees initially, and only has minor notes on the demon. Mr. Westmore also has some advice, but again, minor, which is a good sign for Walter. On the possessed makeup, the director asks them to take it down a notch. Over all, Walter is in a good place.

Team Rob: Rob is having issues with the face sculpt sliding under the weight of the cowl. When they get to the soundstage, the director loads up on notes. More pale, more claws, different horns, different nose, different color, more natural elements. Rob pulls the old “worst case scenario” line, but this might really be it. The director is essentially asking for a whole new makeup. I’d be curious to know what Mr. Westmore thinks of this, but we don’t get to hear from him. The victim, who can do an impressive backbend, doesn’t fare much better with the director. He wants A LOT less.

At “To Be Continued…,” it’s evident that Walter is in the best position right now, with minimal changes. Rob has a massive amount of work ahead of him, and Melissa is somewhere in the middle.

Overall Thoughts: As a Part 1 – this was enjoyable.

— Surprising to see Rob flounder so badly, but I blame the director, in part. We didn’t see their full discussion early on, but Rob is usually much clearer with his ideas.

–It was kind of disorienting to hear the Last Looks music three times over, but that’s not a complaint. I love that music.

— There seemed to be a few elements missing – did the finalists get to Skype with their families? Will that be next week? Also, what about the “last minute” challenge – an other character, or a change in requirements? Two characters seems a little easy given that in the past, they’ve had to do three, even four characters.

Beauty in Words:

“She’s just so cute and British.” – Rob

“Is there a way to make the ear hole more of a hole?” – one of the dude directors.

Sadly, Neville did not appear in this episode, so we are left without a #Nevilleism.

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