View Full Version : Masks or Prosthetics?

10-24-2010, 10:32 AM
I asked this on the other haunt forum a week or so ago, but this forum feels more like home for me. So I will ask here as well :D

Ok guys, when you are either attending or operating a haunt...which do you prefer to see or use? Masks or Prosthetics?

This is a question that I find both interresting, and is also sort of like a poll for me to use as a tool to see which would be better for me to use at my future haunt.

The pro's that I have noticed, just working at a haunt last year was that most of the people coming through enjoy the special FX prosthetics moreso than the masks. I wore a prosthetic for my scene last year, and I stood completely still in my scene, so people always thought I was just a prop, when all actuality I was right there! lol I think the prosthetic was realistic/fake (however you want to look at it) enough to trick people.

I cant really figure out which would come cheaper overall. People say make-up teams and prosthetics and such are expensive, but I would figure that quality masks would start racking up in prices as well.

So what are your thoughts?

10-26-2010, 12:55 AM
I personally always prefer makeup over masks whether it be straight greasepaint or full buildup/prosthetics. However with the advancements in silicone masks...those arent too shabby...but is that considered a mask in the same respect as if you put it against something like a Death Studios or Distortions mask?

thats my thought at least.

Mike "Pogo" Hach

10-26-2010, 09:29 AM
Masks are masks....prosthetics and make-up is prosthetics and make-up. lol

I get what you're saying though. I may do a combo of both.

11-06-2010, 08:59 PM
I like the moving latex masks that are in two parts so that when you talk the jaw moves. An its getting really hard to find those.. whats up with that. Well any way I'm always running around because I'm hyper as all hell in haunts. So normally in about an hour i will sweat off make up and just say f*** it.

11-06-2010, 09:00 PM
WTF.. really, only 2 people say masks !!! You latex fake skin loving freaks!!

11-07-2010, 07:26 PM
This silly poll won't slow me down on making latex masks:p. Actually has me trying harder to compete with make up.

11-07-2010, 08:45 PM
Hell yea, I'm with you on that!!! You know how many times I have broken out with bad acme because of masks clogging up my pores!!! Never, nada, yet to happen !! Make me cool masks!! I pay top dollar!

11-08-2010, 02:30 AM
(shameless plug)

I have some stuff up on FB. Lot 27 fx. I get inot alot of customizing of my masks. I have to get some of them posted from this year. My other page is Massacred Memories. Some mask stuff on there. Loads of lol's

11-08-2010, 07:33 AM
I think both have there place. The main issue to me is safety , i see to many haunted hayrides using regular store bought or non custom mask. This to me is one of the most dangers things you can do , because of loose fit and poor vision. They have there actors running along side of the wagons or jumping into the crowd on the wagon, just not a safe idea. Even in a haunted house it's like wearing blinders, people can come up along side of you and you not see them , they can hit you or you hit them. I think there needs to be a push for a better user friendly mask.


11-09-2010, 07:10 AM
We use silicone masks, latex masks, liquid latex, foam latex appliances, latex appliances, grease makeup, air brush makekup etc... We pretty much leave it up to the actor and what they are comfortable with. If they want to use their own costume we make sure it fits in with the theme and their area. Some actors don't want to deal with the makeup and like the ease of a mask. Others don't like masks as they can get hot through the night. Pretty sure we'll continue in this fashion.

Bradenton Haunted Trail
11-11-2010, 07:03 AM
I think there are places for both in your haunt a que line actor prosthetic, well light seen in your haunt silicone mask, darker areas latex mask are fine.

extreme evil
11-14-2010, 09:00 PM
I'm still new at this but so far (and I like them all) the really good masks are just as expensive as the Prosthetics. Like the other guy said, I leave to the individual actor. We have a cosmotology school here that actually teaches all of this and the girls/guys going to school there get extra credit for working outside the school so it is not too horribly expensive to hire them.

12-02-2010, 05:37 PM
I like makeup better because I am fat
and Fat people get hot in mask.

02-20-2011, 12:45 PM
Wow, it seems that prosthetics are the overwhelming favorite lol.

02-22-2011, 10:41 AM
A few years back I asked this exact same questions and it was a overwhelming MASKS.... never understood it.
personally we have always used as many fX makeup jobs as possible and only used over the head masks for late comers and drop scares.... I think Over the head hi quality latex masks have a place in any haunt on static props, To many times Have I walked thru a haunted house to see some teenager with a latex mask pulled up over his head trying to cool down. This is where foam Latex FX appliances place number one in my book! which is why we developed our line up years ago, but then people wanted cheap over foam, and we started making everything in slip latex form....

02-23-2011, 08:06 AM
They allow for so much movement of the face and it allows for more creativity! So Prosthetics for me

02-26-2011, 09:24 PM
Prosthetics for me always. But be careful and make sure its done right the first time.

Theres nothing worse than doing crowd enterainment and your face piece begins to rub away from your face.

then you have customers commenting on how your makeup is falling apart.

So get it right the first time!

03-03-2011, 02:15 PM
Personally, I think that either can be very effective if done properly. Pulling off the scare is up to the actor, and, even with the greatest prosthetic or mask, if the person donning it isn't pulling their weight, it really makes no difference how spectacular they look. Another big part of it is lighting, or lack of; under bright lights, nothing will come off as creepy as under low lighting. Just my two cents...

09-05-2011, 02:01 AM
I build my face up each night, then pull it off as a 'souvenir' at the end of the evening:http://img708.imageshack.us/img708/8910/faceoffx.jpg

09-05-2011, 04:48 PM
I wish I could use prosthetics, but I simply couldn't afford all the adhesive it would take to use it. Nor am I any good as an artist, and many of the best prosthetics come undecorated. Personally, I think that one of those expensive silicone masks would work just as well, if not better, for me. I'll have to wait until I get enough money to buy one to say for sure, though.

The Forsaken Crypt
10-03-2011, 10:07 AM
Yeah the silicon masks are an awesome choice. I recently got my Flayed Frank mask from CFX and it is really amazing. It's worth a sum of cash but the time you save applying make up and simply the realism makes it oh so worth it. The only problem is you get unbearably sweaty but you get used to it over time.

Some examples of myself in it.

or here is a video


St. Kevin
07-03-2013, 01:49 AM
Masks, prosthetics, and makeup all have their place. Our shows use a pretty even mixture of them all. Also, I tend to enjoy shows a little less when they don't have a variety of characters, i.e., the actors are all wearing masks or are all painted the same way.

Personally, I like wearing a mask far more than prosthetics. My mask doesn't fall off or peel at the edges when I'm sweating buckets from running nonstop for hours in the Texas September heat.

07-26-2013, 08:19 AM
I like to create custom characters for each room in my haunt soo masks work better then makeup (for me). I feel like I have better control of what the patron sees if in a mask I created and not in a dripping whipped off makeup job. I use very little makeup. Now dont get me wrong Ive seen some crazy makeups and it also depends on how many actors you have cause makeup is faster/cheaper but for me its masks.

Hope everyone is building like crazy!!!

Peter T

04-16-2014, 09:36 AM
We like both.

Rick Crane
05-19-2014, 07:04 AM
Those silicone masks look and move great, but the fact that they are heavy and don't breathe like foamed latex does, makes them un-useable for me.....I use silicone prosthetics in films, but those usually don't cover the whole head...

05-31-2014, 12:36 PM
I quit doing Halloween Horror Night at Universal after being the contractor the first 4 years back in 94 because they wanted to do more masks than make up.
They wanted to move away from paying the actors to sit and have it applied before and removed after. They didn't want to pay the artists to stay late to remove the make up.

Personally I would feel ripped off if I paid to see movie monsters in make up and someone in a mask (that I could see anywhere) come up to me in a muffled "boo".

The face is one of the few things an actor has to work with and by putting a mask on an actor it stifles any creativity they can generate with their facial expression.
Make up augments an actor while a mask is almost insulting to them.

If you want to "make-do" or "get by" or be "good enough" or save money or make excuses for using them then use masks.
BUT if you want to improve your actors performance, lend a unique look to your haunt, show higher production value for your haunt then go with real live moving prosthetics.

Yes silicone masks can look good for a while but they look the same every night, are expensive and are frequently poor fitting, hot, and need maintenance/repair. They are not the solution they may seem to be.

With Water-Melon Prosthetics all you need is alcohol to apply them. There is no foundation, no adhesive, no remover, no latex AND NO SPECIAL ABILITY TO USE.

07-18-2014, 06:51 AM
I personally have always been a much bigger fan of Makeup/Prosthetics against a mask. Mask especially the wrong ones dont move with the actors face and I feel takes away from the scare as the object is not movign as it would if it was real.

08-08-2014, 08:54 PM
MASKS! Why? Make up is not easy to do, it takes a long time, and its expensive ... masks are easy, fast, and in today day and age look incredible.

I'm going to go with MASKS!


Jim Warfield
08-22-2014, 06:58 PM
I look like a creepy old guy. What else do I need when people are possibly "Trapped" with ME in MY House? (Scared yet?)
I have them so discombobulated they commonly think they are in a basement when they go outside. (Makes me chuckle everytime!)
A large part of this entire property lies hidden behind massive vines and a few trees most of the year.
I pay the price for this "effect" I spend maybe at least 2 Hours every week trimming, cutting the greenery here.
I do like to see my October help do make-up or at least some mask.. because they are not and do not seem to be a creepy old guy at all!

Bradenton Haunted Trail
10-08-2014, 10:26 PM
I started in the Halloween crazy when I was a kid doing makeup to get in night clubs on Halloween to win the costume contest. (And did quite well).having done makeup on some small low buget horror movies mostly collage films. So I love good makeup. But it takes time and the cost of make up and a artist. So for Haunts I say silicone masks are the way to go besides camera opportunities for your guests they never spend that much time looking at the makeup. The ease of a high-quality silicone mask and the time you don't have to pay for a actor and a makeup artist the silicone mask Is more cost effective in my opinion.

12-23-2014, 12:30 AM
So, I have a CFX mask, and it's amazing! But after only one season off haunting in it, maybe, 13 nights, it's thrashed. The paint job is thrashed, and one of the corners of the mouth has some separation. I was the only one who used this mask this season. I was planning on using many silicone masks in my haunt, but the wear and tear they endure makes me nervous. It's hard for me to trust that my actors will take care of them... It's a huge investment, as each mask is over $800, so if that lasts only a season or two, I have to question the investment...

How do you guys ensure you get the most life out of your silicone masks?

12-27-2014, 08:23 PM
Every year a haunt owner can change his mind and come up with a different answer. After yet another season I still like the masks because they are faster, easier, and now they look incredible. You can spend thousands on a make up artist, make up, and appliances when you could buy masks which go on in about 1 minutes. By the way some of suggested appliances those can only be used so many times and they are expensive as well. I like the foam latex masks if they can make an entire season great they cost what $300 bucks maybe... you can't put an actor in make up for that cost over the season. The silicon masks are just on a level that would take hours upon hours to create with make up.

I'm staying with masks.


05-27-2015, 07:31 AM
KISS Keep It Simple Stupid. All my actors blow in from other jobs barely making it on time. Now we do step it up a little with some Gore Galore big costumes. But I have people coming from out of state every year to see...brace yourselves...masks they can buy at their local Halloween store as well. (Digging my foxhole now to escape incoming barrage)

Wicked Farmer