21_Face Off - In the FleshIt was quite a surprise when my phone rang mid-week with an urgent assignment. However, when assignments involve amazing times at Orlando’s premier Halloween event, you drop everything and run. As a result, the 2014 edition of Pauloween continued this weekend, with a special “Face Off: In The Flesh” media event held at Universal Studios Orlando Resort.

For those unaware, Universal has always used scare zones as supplements to their haunted houses at Halloween Horror Nights. Scare zones keep the guests feeling creepy as they traverse one section of the park to another. Over the last couple of years, Universal has experimented with roving scare zones and set scare zones all set to the same intellectual property (last year’s The Walking Dead theme). This year, Universal has a mixed bag of ground up (self developed) set scare zones (Bayou of Blood & MASKerade) and partnerships with intellectual properties “The Purge” and “Face Off”.

SyFy’s “Face Off” provides a perfect synergy for Halloween Horror Nights. “Face Off” is a reality based tv show, which pits contestants against each other in a timed environment where they must develop new creatures based on the supplies that they are given. While the show is currently approaching the end of its 7th season, many of the contestants have honed their skills while working at Universal Studios.

Season 5 winner (also season 3 finalist) Laura Tyler is an excellent example of someone that has come full circle by starting her career at Universal Studios performing airbrush makeup and then was able to apply her skill set to becoming a series champion. When I spoke with Laura, she indicated that felt her chances at winning at “Face Off” were increased by her background working at Universal Studios.

Universal Studios Orlando includes 10 of the characters from “Face Off” (5 in each rotating 45 minute set) with one of the creatures developed by Laura Tyler. Additionally, one of the creatures, “Axe Girlfriend” is featured from the current season of the show. While the showcases invite guests in to take pictures with the famed characters, be forewarned that additional creepy creatures are lurking about and are sure to give you a scare when your focus is diverted.

As part of the media event, we were invited to watch other “Face Off” contestants (and Universal employees) David “Doc” O’Connell and Eric Garcia get 2 scare actors ready for the night’s event. The amount of detail is painstakingly amazing and needs to be seen in person to fully appreciate. As Laura Tyler explained to me, “Face Off helps the artist focus not only on the makeup, but on the details for the entire character from head to toe”.

If you attend the event this year, be sure to allocate time to hit this scare zone twice as the shift changes every 45 minutes and each shift contains 5 different creatures (10 in total). My own personal favorite is Scarecrow from season 2. If you’ve attended the event this year, be sure to leave a comment below with your favorite character from the “Face Off” scare zone.

Check back tomorrow for my final 2014 house rankings!

There are only two weeks left! Halloween Horror Nights 24 runs through November 1st on select nights. Check http://www.halloweenhorrornights.com/orlando/ for details on dates and pricing.

Kyle writes for IoM as our Orlando “Man on the Street” and has a fantastic vlog over at View From The Cheap Seats, where he visits theme parks, concerts, and more in Central Florida. Check out his YouTube Channel here.


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