Face Off: Judgement Day – Four Horsemen (Review)

Face Off - Season 9

The Face Off challenge this week started off in what appeared to be either an abandoned film set or a military  training  mock up of an Afghani village complete with bombed out cars, and this was the contestant’s place for inspiration.  The competitors had Judgement Day as the theme with the models to be turned into the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

The episode started with the remaining contestants talking about The Gauntlet which was very intense. Nora talks of how tired she is and Evan says how scared he was at the bottom, but winning the last challenge has boosted his spirits.

McKenzie Westmore (looking brilliant in a blue leather jacket) and Glenn Hetrick meet the artists at the site and explain what is required. Two “teams” with individual creations of the four horsemen who (the contestants decide) have a common thread. Each competitor had to pick up a survival kit with the name of their character on it; War, Pestilence, Famine and Death.

Hetrick, who did the makeup for the 2010 film Legion outlined what the judges would be looking for and provided the group a few tips on how to be effective with their choices. Here is where each artist begins their process of creating a character, in this case an apocalyptic “horseman” and what they will bring to the table once sculpting starts.

It is interesting to see how each  person follows through with their vision.  Nora, after her initial enthusiasm “Hell to the yeah,” gets lost, as she puts it, in her own head. Evan actually comes over and re-vitalizes Nora by telling her that what she is doing looks pretty awesome and cool.

Face Off - Season 9
The judges agree with Evan’s assessment of Nora’s Horseman.

As the competitors work on the initial part of the process, sculpting, Michael Westmore comes around and makes suggestions and offers pointers to help the artists to work toward perfecting their creations.  Each step toward the actual application to the models shows how each artist handles the pressure of “forced” creativity.

Speaking of the models, each artist reacts differently to the “real” models who ultimately become the creations. Nora, Stephanie aka Stevie, and Meg aka Cupcake Meg, all have a very personal touch. The men vary but Evan appears to be pretty dismissive of his models.  Nora, for instance, thanks her model “Thanks buddy, you’re awesome.” A nice human touch.

After her initial stress-out, Nora settles in and it is then Evan’s turn to worry. Stevie starts to panic at the amount of time her chest piece is taking to construct on day two and Kevon changes his mind about where he is going with his version of Pestilence. While he is pleased with the direction it turns out that he went too far.

Face Off - Season 9
Stevie and that chest piece.
Face Off - Season 9
Kevon with his version of Pestilence.
Face Off - Season 9
Ben’s War almost costs him dearly.

At the end of the show all of the horsemen are looked at by the judges and  Meg, Stevie,  Jordan and Scott are saved. Nora, Evan, Ben and Kevon are left as the “best and the worst” to explain their thought processes.

Ultimately Evan and Nora were the best, with Evan winning the challenge. Ben came close to being sent home but it was Kevon’s horseman who did not fit the theme.

Face Off shows all the creative processes of the contestants along with their enthusiasm, doubts and fears. What makes this “reality” show work so well is exemplified in this week’s challenge. Evan, who won the competition this week, was plagued with self doubt about his paint work. Repeatedly going back and adding, highlighting and “trying to save” what he thought was not good enough.

It worked and he won.  While there are firm favorites, (the three women on the show are all this viewers favorites) all the artists come across as talented and nice people. Each one has their own skills and learn to enhance others as they go along. All support one another.

Kevon’s departure did not result in a long face on his part. The young man viewed the whole experience as a learning one and went away with a smile on his face. Face Off is entertainment of a different color, almost classifying as “edutainment” for those cinephiles who adore all the “behind the scenes” type of information shared by this show.

Face Off - Season 9
The judges examine Meg’s horseman.

The show airs Tuesdays on SyFy and it is hard not to fall in love with these talented and creative competitors a little.  It is also hard to imagine a nicer group of judges than these three professionals who, each week, show the contestants an incredible amount of compassion and empathy. Tune in and be amazed.



Author: Mike's Film Talk

Former Actor, Former Writer, Former Journalist, USAF Veteran, http://MikesFilmTalk.com Former Member Nevada Film Critics Society

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