Magic behind Halloween Horror Nights 5 makeup and mask

We’re down to the last three days of Universal Studios Singapore’s Halloween Horror Nights 5 (HHN5) this weekend! Today, we’re sharing the secrets behind the making of the realistic-looking ghouls and monsters at HHN5.

Thanks to the Makeup and Costume Tech teams, the characters at HHN5 look like they’ve walked out of a nightmare (in a good way).

For HHN5, we have 150 makeup artists who prepare our scare characters for the night. There’s only a 2-hour time slot for our makeup artists to work their magic on the 400 performers.

The length of time to prepare for a scare actor’s makeup depends on the difficulty of the character. Some characters take 10 minutes while others, like zombies, take three hours to get ready.

Special effects for Halloween Horror Nights 5

Behind The Screams Tour: Make up transformation

To create the realistic effect, our makeup artists use three forms of prosthetics–latex, foam latex, 3D prosthetics–and two types of mask–latex and silicone.

Each prosthetics takes four days to design, eight days to sculpt, three days to mould and all in, four months to produce enough prosthetics for the event.

Besides giving a realistic look of a wound or extra body parts, prosthetics adhere to the scare actors’ skin and wouldn’t fall off even if they sweat or accidentally wipe at their “wounds”.

Considerations that go into designing characters

hhn5 behind the screams makeup

Makeup for HHN characters is not just about making the scare actors look scary. There’s also the backstory of the character to consider when it comes to “prettying” up the scare actors.

Take this Makcik character from Sentosa Gateway Block 50 for example, prosthetics are used to create her bloody look.

Since the contamination at Sentosa Gateway Block 50 started from the drinking water, the makeup artists created wounds using prosthetics and makeup around her mouth to show where the infection started. That’s also how you tell that she wasn’t infected by a zombie bite.

Masks at Halloween Horror Nights 5


For more elaborate characters, masks are used. If you see a scare character with warped features, it could be a mask.

This year, all of the masks at HHN5 have been made in-house by the Costume Tech team. You can see many of their handicrafts at Beast Club on the half-human characters that come out to play during party time.

Beast Club HHN5

Creating masks for Halloween Horror Nights 5

The process of making a mask takes a long time and involves many steps since each mask is custom made to suit the scare actors.

Here’s Mark demonstrating how the Costume Tech team creates masks for our scare actors by creating a mask of the Mutant Mother from the conTERMINATED scare zone.

First, the team sculpts a bust of the scare actor using clay. Since the bust is customised for each scare actor, the scare actor would have to sit for a face-cast session to create the bust.

Halloween Horror Nights 5 mask

The clay bust is used to create the mould for the final mask. To make the mould, the team mix a silicone mixture and cover the bust with the mixture.

Halloween Horror Nights 5 mask

Halloween Horror Nights 5 mask

Next, they wrap wet bandages over the silicone-covered bust to create a cast which will give the mould a firm hold. When the cloth is dry, the team take the bust out so that the blue silicone is hollow inside.

Halloween Horror Nights 5 mask

The next step is to pour another silicone mixture into the mould to create the final mask that is worn by the scare actors.

Halloween Horror Nights 5 mask

When the final silicone mask is dry, the mould is broken up to retrieve the mask.

Halloween Horror Nights 5 mask

After examining the mask, the team will painted over it to create the realistic-looking skin tone you see on the characters.

Halloween Horror Nights 5 mask

Now that you’ve learned the magic of makeup and costume for Halloween Horror Nights, try to see if you can spot what our scare actors are wearing during HHN5.

Let us know which your favourite character is this year.

Check out all Halloween Horror Nights 5 blogposts on RWScoop

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