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cheeseboy33
02-09-2010, 05:25 PM
Hello everybody, the owner of the haunted house where I act and design is thinking of getting rid of masks and forcing all actors to do make-up. Many of us feel that this will cause a huge loss in scare factor. So please let me know what your thoughts and comments are.

Allen H
02-09-2010, 05:53 PM
It depends, I think the best approach is a mix of the two...all things in moderation.
If an actor has to speak to guests, they should be in make up so they can be understood.
There are things that are simply beyond the effective scope of what make up is good for. A good example is a werewolf type character, the form is different enough from the human head that a mask is just a better choice.
Trying to do Michael Myers or Jason with Make-up would be silly.
This debate has gone on forever in the haunt world. Successful haunts use both, All masks and your creatures are impersonal because there is no real eye contact or expression (Fear should be personal) thats why diseases are scarier than godzilla, a disease directly affects you, and godzilla may miss you as he is so big you can escape his notice.
If your show is all makeup then the guests can relate to all of the actors and it gets harder to scare them as they see you are actors not monsters.
I think a 50/50 mix is the way to go.
Another factor to consider is overall physicality. If an actor has on make up they rely on their facial expressions to scare the customers. in the dimly lit halls and rooms of a haunt those subtle changes can go unregistered in the audience. Actors in Masks know that they have to use body language and physicality to get their point across. With all make up the physicality is often less intense.
What is your theme? If you have a theme that is obviously populated with humans then make up may be the way to go if it is the best choice in all rooms and areas.
Allen H

cheeseboy33
02-09-2010, 06:02 PM
Each room has it's own theme so it makes the whole debate a little more complicated with the owner.

The Doctor
02-10-2010, 07:19 AM
I have to agree with Allen, masks and make up are tools. You would not use a hammer to turne a screw or vice versa. Of course masks and make up should be up to doing the job as well, nothing steals the thunder of a good haunt like cheap masks and make-up. Putting both masks and make up in your haunts tool box just makes you better able to provide the level of entertainment your guests are going to demand.

Jim Warfield
02-10-2010, 09:18 AM
I noticed" human face" was not on your short list.
To many people there is nothing scarier than someone's real face making goofy expressions because there is no automatic fall-back of" well he's trying to scare me in a haunt sort of thing."
Next time you are out in public just begin twisting your facial features around for no reason and check the reaction that you will get!
Even stick-up men wearing a mask have to usually be holding a gun to be scary!
(Always carry a dis-claimer card from your psychiatrist, you know, the one you have at home locked in your basement)