Face Off

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Face Off TV Poster Image
Special effects competition includes some gruesome faces.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 9 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

The series underscores the importance of good workmanship and skill when it comes to working with special effects makeup. But it also plays up the competitive aspect of the show, highlighting personal differences.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The contestants are creative and passionate. Some reveal some competitive behavior; the judges are not always constructive with their criticism. 


Many of the characters created are bloody, grotesque, and/or frightening.


Some challenges require the use of nude models; no nudity is shown.


Curses like “s--t” are bleeped.


Winners receive a year's supply of makeup from Alcone.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Drinking (wine, champagne, mixed drinks) is visible.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this reality competition series, which features special effects make up artists competing for a career-launching prize, include some bloody and grotesque images that could frighten young children.The show also includes some bleeped curses (like “s -t”), some occasional drinking (wine; champagne), and some bickering among contestants.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 7 and 15-year-old Written byDeanballoonatic April 29, 2013

Behind the sceens.

Now I know my kids weren't raised in a normal environment. They lived this show for every Halloween as I've made my family's costumes for almost... Continue reading
Parent Written bytreat02 February 18, 2012

good, for mature people

there is some language, but most very bad things (language) is bleeped out. Some of the faces they make is scary for some, it has scary horror episodes televise... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymoviewatcherII November 23, 2014

fantastic game show

Language: 1/4 The bickering uncludes wordes like @ss and bit©h. Sex 1/4 During a nude model episode, a woman's exposed rear is uncovered. In the water chal... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bymoviewathcer September 13, 2014

fun to watch game show

Most curse words are bleaped out except @ss and bit©h. Models are often nude but nothing is usually shown. In one episode, a women's rear is not covered. I... Continue reading

What's the story?

FACE OFF centers on the imaginative world of special effects makeup. Hosted by McKenzie Westmore, the series features 12 aspiring special effects artists competing in a variety of challenges that require them to use molds, prosthetics, paint, and other tools to transform models into characters like aliens and horror villains. They reveal their finished work to a renowned panel of judges, including Academy-Award winner Ve Neill, make-up effects artist Glenn Hetrick, and creature designer Patric Tatopoulos. Those who manage to demonstrate good technique and creativity to stay in the game, while those failing to impress are eliminated. The winner of the competition gets $100,000 and a year's supply of professional makeup.

Is it any good?

The series offers an interesting look into the work and artistry that goes into the special effects make up that is featured in today’s film and television. But the show’s focus is really on the competition itself, which often leads to some mild bickering among the contestants and some snarky comments from the judges.

It’s not as edgy as other reality competitions, but the challenges featured here are interesting. Those looking for in-depth discussions of make up effect technique and design won’t really find it here. But viewers interested in this kind of work will still find it entertaining.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about special effects. Is there a movie or TV show that has special effects that you find particularly impressive? What kinds of things can special effects create? Hide?

  • Does this show exaggerate the personal differences between competitors? How do the show's producers edit and augment the show to make it compelling?

TV details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love reality television

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