captive

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Face Off Season 9 Finale Part 2: Short Film Frenzy!

Published October 29, 2015 by vfdpixie

After waiting a whole, long week, we finally got to see the second part of the finale.  A third character was added to the three short film scripts the artists chose from last week.  Along with the added character came extra help from former contestants Libby, Jason and Ricky.  The finalists were stressed but they were pumped to work on a film set and rose to the occasion.

Evan added Libby to his team, and Patrick added a mutated infected character to the film Quarantine Zone.  That meant Evan had to rework his infected captive so he wouldn’t look so far gone, and bump up the mutant so he looked grotesque.  Patrick liked the concept for the mutated infected, and they made giant mutant arms for the makeup.  Working on a film set was Evan’s dream, and this challenge was fulfilling it for him.

On set, Evan and his team worked well together to get the mutant painted and finish all the makeups.  When Patrick saw the wanderer, he wanted to remove the coat she was wearing, so Evan had to go in and cover her exposed skin with makeup to make her look dirty and camera-ready.  The judges said they loved the captive’s veins, the mutant arms and how on the ball they were as a team.  Glenn liked how well Evan worked with Patrick.  Ve loved the paint jobs and cohesive characters, and Neville liked that he rethought the characters and managed to pull off the looks.

The cast of Quarantine Zone

The cast of Quarantine Zone

 

Ben added Jason on his team and they had to create a sacrifice victim that seduces the creature.  She needed to be beautiful and more human-like.  They had lots of pieces to apply, but there was some trouble with the victim.  The edges around her mouth lifted, so they added blood to make the flaw look like a wound.  Ben pre-painted most of the pieces, and although Jason was freaking out about the female character, Ben was happy.  This night shoot was really dramatic by the light of a fire, and the priest and creature got a lot of praise for their cohesiveness and forms, but the judges did notice the issues with the female victim (no victim picture available).

A shot from Ben's short Resurrection

A shot from Ben’s short Resurrection

 

Nora added Ricky to her team.  She had to create a giant ally for the prey in order for them to trick the hunter.  Nora was really psyched to get her makeups done.  She did a great job controlling every detail, and drew the best out of her team. On set, she had to water proof the makeups due to a last-minute directing decision, but she took it in stride.  Neville loved the giant and thought he was badass, and Glenn loved how the mud and water worked well with the makeup.  It was a great shoot, and Nora got emotional over the whole experience.

The cast of The Prey

The cast of The Prey

The winner was Nora!!  They loved how she worked well on set and how cohesive the giant and prey were.  She wins a Fiat 500, $100,000, and a VIP trip to one of Kryolan’s international locations.

Hats off to all the finalists, and congratulations to Nora, winner of Face Off Season 9!  I’m sure she’ll blaze a trail in the movie makeup world.

I’ll see you here in January when Face Off comes back for a 10th season!

Sleepless Nights with Goodnight Mommy

Published October 2, 2015 by vfdpixie

goodnightmommy

Goodnight Mommy (2014, 99 mins.)

 

Moody twins, cornfields, and an isolated house in the countryside are all ingredients for instant terror in my eyes.  I found it all in Goodnight Mommy, the 2014 Austrian horror that wowed audiences for its disturbing visuals and spiralling story.

Twins Elias and Lukas have to reconnect with their mother after she returns home from extensive surgery.  Her face is obscured by bandages and swollen features, and they are uncertain how to approach her as she seems distant and cold; forgetting sentimental details that make them suspicious.  The boys question her identity, and what should have been an idyllic summer for them turns into a cat and mouse game of shifting realities and sanity as they set out with lethal determination to get their answer.

What this film gives you is precision in its beauty and visual detail.  Each scene is so pleasing to the eye, so well-aligned that you drink in the settings before focusing on the action.  The lush, almost Middle Earth feel to the surrounding forest gives the film an enchanted, fairy tale look, contrasted with the family’s modern and sleek Ikea-on-steroids home that serves as a prison of sorts.  There is a ton of symbolic imagery from tunnels to blurred photographs and crucifixes; and obvious themes of beauty, decay (especially with the children’s odd choice of pets) and renewal, but they never get fully realized as the story takes fun house ride twists of what is real and what is imagined.  I was also disappointed with a reveal that happens far too early in the film.  One thing I enjoy with a horror film is the guess-work, and the mystery aspect was taken away with this one glaring detail.

There was some redemption with the cringe-worthy torture and body horror which worked well as the dynamics switched between mother and sons.  It came hard and fast without lingering too long on excessive gore. Performance-wise, I kept thinking of Michael Haneke’s Funny Games and Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In as I watched.  Like the characters in these films, mother and sons were all uncomfortably and, for a brief moment elusively, left of center, leaving you wondering what their next move would be. The harshness conveyed by Susanne Wuest as the mother and Elias and Lukas Schwarz as her calculating sons provided lots of tension and suspense.

To sum it up, I liked Goodnight Mommy.  A lot.  I just wanted more exploration, especially with the imagery that became a dead-end, and perhaps a touch more back story (for example, an answer to why the boys seem to be home alone when their mother returns from the hospital).  What you will get from directors Severin Fiala and Veronika Franz is a beautifully filmed and creepy psychological/body horror that is worth a watch even though it lacked some clarity and streamlining.

 

Here is the Goodnight Mommy trailer that the masses were supposedly terrified over.  I would say it is well crafted but misleading…

 

 

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