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

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. 

Violence

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

Sex

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

Language

Curses like “s--t” are bleeped.

Consumerism

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, 13 years old Written byBianca Becerra February 5, 2011
THIS SHOW IS SO COOL!!!
Teen, 14 years old Written bysteph/vampire July 13, 2011

if you like art and makeup this is for you

im 14 and i loved the first season so if they have another one i bet id like it to!

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

For kids who love reality television

Our editors recommend

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality and learning potential.

Learn how we rate