Meet the faces behind the horror
IT IS that time of the year again when thrill-seekers flock to Resorts World Sentosa for an annual test of bravery, willingly submitting themselves to blood-curdling screams and heart-stopping scares.
But as the brave-of-heart partake in what is becoming a Halloween ritual here, in a room tucked away from wandering eyes are the orchestrators of the multi-million-dollar Halloween Horror Nights 3, which is being held at Universal Studios Singapore (USS) from now till Nov 3.
The close-knit teams of five make-up artists and six costume specialists have been creating 3,000 prosthetic pieces over the last six to eight months, to be used on 400 scare actors for the event.
Heading the two teams are head of make-up June Goh, 33, and senior costume specialist Kiranjit Kaur Sidhu, 27.
They told My Paper that there is more to special-effects make-up than meets the eye.
"A lot of people do not realise the time and effort that go into making a prosthetic piece," said Ms Goh. "We are very misunderstood sometimes."
Those who think that the prosthetics used at the horror fest were bought off the shelves could not be more wrong. Every thing - right down to each scar and wound - is created in-house by the costume and make-up teams.
The mould for a generic wound can take up to two days to create, while a more complex goblin mask can take up to two weeks and cost about US$1,000 (S$1,240).
Ms Goh, who has been in the make-up industry for 12 years, said special-effects make-up is much more tedious to apply than regular make-up. Instead of foundation and eye shadow, she uses products like gelatine, cement and silicone.
"It involves hammering, sawing and even hacking. I felt like a construction worker at one point," she said.
Ms Sidhu, who started as a dresser eight years ago, said that it is the research and search for inspiration that take the longest - a process that has led her to numerous horror-movie screenings.
She said: "Sometimes, you watch a certain movie and you see a goblin or a monster and you go 'oh gosh, this is it'."
The pair will be leading a 40-strong team on event nights, with just 11/2 hours to get 400 scare actors ready.
Polytechnic graduate Rubaiya Amin, 23, who is back as a scare actor for the third year, said it only gets more fun each year.
She said: "We don't get to celebrate Halloween in Singapore because it is not part of our culture, so this is the best way that I can experience Halloween - albeit without the candy."
The third instalment of Halloween Horror Nights will last for 10 event nights instead of seven, each running six hours - up from four hours last year - to give visitors more time to get their horror fix.
There will be three scare zones: Attack of the Vampires, Convention of Curses and Forbidden Forest, and three haunted houses: Adrift, Songs of Death and Possessions.
Ms Rubaiya is playing the role of a goblin at the Convention of Curses, and will be wearing numerous facial prosthetics, such as a protruding forehead and an elongated chin.
While it might get "a little uncomfortable" due to the humidity and perspiration, she said it will be bearable with regular rest times between show times.
Ms Goh and Ms Sidhu said pulling off Halloween Horror Nights 3 would be their biggest achievement yet.
Ms Goh said: "I think we will be hugging each other in tears when this is all over."