Face Off: Sinister Showdown Part 2 (Review)


Face Off - Season 10

The “Face Off” season 10 finale “Sinister Showdown Part Two” proved a brilliant point; specialist makeup only  really works as part of a whole. Certainly the look, on its own, is impressive and does look “real”  in the flesh, so to speak.  However, the entire concept of the show is “movie” makeup and the last challenge, the actual filming of the creations, manages to show this brilliantly.

It is how the characters look in the final product that counts. While the judges normally look at the finished creations up close in the earlier challenges, they see them on-screen for this last effort.

The three finalists all created great demons and possessed characters as mandated by the challenge.  Each team’s effort looked brilliant, both in the screen tests and under natural light as they walked to the sets.

“Hellhole,” the basic title of each short film, used three different directors for each vision. The script came from a Blumhouse Productions book of stories from a short story by Christopher Denham.  Jason Blum, the chap who puts the Blum in Blumhouse, provided the script source material and judged with the series panel of regulars.

Face Off - Season 10
(l-r) McKenzie Westmore, Glenn Hetrick, Ve Neill, Neville Page, Jason Blum

Last week, “Sinister Showdown Part One” saw the directors, Bryce McGuire, John Wynn and Ryan Spindell spend time with their respective teams and work on concept and then perform a screen-test on the creations.

Out of the trio of artists left, Rob had feedback from his director, McGuire, that resulted in enormous amounts of work to fix the problems. Walter’s creation was loved on sight by Spindell and Wynn wanted very little to be changed on Melissa’s characters.

Rob historically performs better under pressure.  While all the creatures looked brilliant, it was the youngest contestant’s demon and possessed character that leapt off the screen in the final product. The series judges watched the movies as they were being shot and all the entries looked spectacular “in the process.”

Walter’s huge vine creature was impressively scary, as as Melissa’s cyclops creature,  but it was Rob’s horned demon and his “Japanese-type” possessed female (term coined by Glenn Hetrick) that won at the end of the day.

Face Off - Season 10
(l-r) Rob Seal, Kaleb Lewis
Face Off - Season 10
Anna Cali

The fun part of the “Face Off” season finale is the artists and their reactions to being part of the movie-making world. This is, after all, their main motivation for competing, over and above the awards; the money, car and makeup.  The enthusiasm is infectious as is the excitement felt by the contestants.

All three were ecstatic about seeing their work being filmed and then watching the final product with all the CG  as well as  FX and cohesive storyline and dialogue.  It is this part that proves just how essential the entire package of lighting, atmosphere, camera angles and direction are to the characters created by the artists.

Walter, Melissa and Rob created impressively scary creations and all looked  brilliant during the filming portion. However, it was the magic of the seemingly picky McGuire that made Rob’s “less is more” creations literally “pop” off the screen.

Face Off - Season 10
Rob Seal, Melissa Ebbe, Walter Welsh

Walter’s creature lost something in the CG heavy short helmed by Spindell. The ‘B’ movie  FX and overly bright lighting  took away from both his characters effectiveness despite his demon being terrifying in the final shot.

Melissa’ creation was brilliant but camera angles let the side down here.

It was Rob’s perfect makeup combined with McGuire’s spot on lighting, camera angles, framing and focus on the minimal; a look Bryce  asked for after the screen test, that sold the artist’s work.

Rob Seal won this challenge not just for his superlative makeup work, but also for getting a director who understood how to marry up the entire sum of parts to make a brilliant whole.  Great season 10 finale “Face Off.”

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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