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In The Season 10 Finale, Face Off Gets Possessed

Possessed by some short films that aren't all that interesting to watch, that is. Zing!

Recapping Last Week

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Normally I have very little patience for watching a show describe what happened in an episode, because I already watched that stuff once. But I like the way they do it here, with the designers hanging out in the patio that's replaced the fancy house they used to get to stay in. It's stagy but enjoyable.

OMG My Family Is Here

Oh, look! It is the loved ones of the final three.

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Okay, look. Call me a monster if you must. But I honestly believe I am capable of going away for a few weeks without bursting into tears at the sight of my loved ones. This pretty much just eats up time, and it doesn't even feature any dramatic revelations. I propose that this sort of thing be restricted to either shows where people are legitimately at their breaking points (say, Survivor after Episode 6 or so), or situations where there's a good chance of some drama breaking out (RuPaul's Drag Race).

More Sculpting

I freely admit that I was expecting a third look to be added to everyone's requirements. That didn't happen, so people just work on the stuff they were told to work on last time.

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Rob has the most to do, so he has Anna work on a new version of his possession victim's face while he resculpts his demon face so that it doesn't have a big dumb horn in the middle.

Melissa is also reworking her victim, and she's having Yvonne put the demon symbol in the middle of his face.

Walter is in a good place, because his director didn't have too many complaints. He doesn't have to resculpt anything, so he gets to work with Mel on a full torso demon piece while Robert does teeth stuff.

This segment is worth watching, but it's over very quickly, considering that it's the content that usually takes the most time in a non-finale episode.

Melissa's Shoot

Those first three segments only ate up a total of seven minutes. So they weren't really "segments" as the word is usually understood.

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When Melissa gets to her set, the show really gets going. The place looks like a real film set, possibly because there are three different short films being shot here, all basically at the same time.

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Melissa's first scene is her possession victim in a tent, which she watches from a different tent as she and her director sit in front of monitors. (I think it's a little weird to have the director shout "Action" from a different room.) Melissa gets two takes, which lets her add some extra shininess. The director hustles people along after the shot, possibly because the director of this episode of Face Off wanted things to get done in a timely fashion.

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The cyclops demon looks pretty cool, but I don't like the lighting at all. There's a swinging light immediately above it, so it's mostly in shadow at any given moment. I'll jump ahead to mention that, in the final product, that symbol on the forehead is going to glow, which is a neat effect.

Ve likes the cyclops a lot. Glenn mostly likes that the director liked it, which doesn't sound like he agrees with the director. Although being able to make the director happy is arguably a very important skill, so it's still worth calling out.

Rob's Shoot

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During his time in the makeup trailer, Rob demonstrates the tubes he'll be using to make his demon appear to "cry" oil. The director is a lot more enthusiastic about things than he was during the screen test. That's not hard, since he had a lot of complaints before, but he seems genuinely excited. He also directs from right next to the camera, which I like more.

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They do their demon first, and the oil crying may or may not work. It's hard to tell, since the light is swinging very quickly.

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Rob's possession victim looks much better. Especially if you like Japanese horror movies.

Walter's Shoot

This is extremely straightforward. Walter and his team apply prosthetics and paint and mildly worry about having enough time.

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Walter's victim is okay. It doesn't really look like someone turning into a demon, but it does look like someone being strangled by sentient tree roots.

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And that's always fun, right?

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Syfy

Walter's demon looks the best, in my opinion. But it also looks pretty much the same as it did last week, except for having cooler teeth. Glenn accurately describes it as "rad." He also insists on making a "lichen" pun when Ve says she's "liking" it. Good work, Glenn, you colossal nerd.

The Final Judging

Oof. This is a big batch of boring, and it takes up about half the episode. After we've said hello to the three directors, the judges, and guest judge Jason Blum, it's clear that timeliness is no one's priority here.

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See how they're staged, with a few spots of interesting things and a lot of empty space? That's basically this episode.

Each designer gets to briefly describe his or her creation while the judges praise them up and down. Whichever director they work with will also talk about how great they are. We don't get the nitpicking that usually makes the judging interesting, so it goes very quickly and it doesn't feel like it matters.

We do get to see the three short films. And they are BORING. For a show about special effects makeup, there is way too much time spent on characters who are completely non-demonic. We're only here for the makeup, and we've already seen that.

In each of the films, a a young heterosexual couple moves into an old house, finds something spooky, and gets attacked by a demon. In Walter's, there's a mysterious symbol in the barn, which gets put through a "Symbol Identification Website." This already seems like a bad idea, but the website also has a button you can press to make it start spouting Latin incantations. Guess how that works out for everybody!

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It doesn't help that the spooky symbol is basically the green mana symbol from Magic: The Gathering.

The best demon is Walter's, and the best victim is Rob's. (Rob's demon is barely in his short film, because the director cut around it really aggressively.)

This segment takes up almost half the episode, and it never gets all that interesting. Everyone loves everything, which is nice but undramatic. The closest thing to a criticism anyone gets is that Melissa "did a great job...doing what the director wanted." And even that is still a compliment, and it's one we heard earlier in the episode.

Anyway, Here's The Winner

It's Rob.

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We don't get any explanation, because there's no time left. I don't think his demon was as good as Walter's, but Rob's victim was great. This seems like it might be an award for consistent quality throughout the season. It's announced weirdly flatly, and I guess I appreciate the lack of stalling. Except for that commercial break right in the middle of the announcement, I guess.

Verdict

Well, watch the first half of the episode. Once all three finalists have done their shoots, you're done. You do get to see some nice shots of the makeup in action, but it's all buried in very boring films.

Season Verdict

Hey, the season's done! I think this year's crop of designers was noticeably less experienced than previous seasons, but the show's still great.

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