Despite the fact that Halloween is once again creeping upon us, a lot of users might not even hover over the icon of MotionPortrait’s HauntedFace app, for it is eerily reminiscent of Sadako, from the Japanese horror film Ring. If you do dare to download it, however, you’ll find yourself with an application that transforms your face into something out of a horror story. So if that’s your thing, brace yourself and buy HauntedFace.
To start, you can either use your own photos or the sample one provided of a pretty Japanese girl dressed in traditional wear. For the sake of the review, let’s use the Sadako stand-in. She seems fairly innocuous, if you discount the gritty, faded palette she’s depicted in. However, if you wait long enough, her face will start shifting and stretching in creepifying ways: sometimes it’ll look like she’s straining to get out of the screen, and other times she’ll have demonic eyes. If you tap the screen, she’ll react to your finger’s point of contact with the screen. Shake the device to clear up the monstrosity and return her to normal.
When uploading your own photo for some haunted fun, make sure you have an internet connection, or else it won’t load properly. Once you choose a face that can be detected, the technology will work its magic and bring your photo to ghastly life (I recommend moving and scaling your photo so that the face fills the screen the same way the Sadako stand-in does). The same motion functions above apply to your photo as well, and at any point during the fun, you can save a snapshot of whatever’s crawling out of your screen, email it, or post it onto Twitter or Facebook.
And what’s a horror film without a soundtrack, eh? HauntedFace comes with a variety of screams, groans, creaks, etc. so you can get the full-on haunted house experience. For such a lightweight app, HauntedFace is actually pretty darn impressive, the bulk of which lies with its fancy MotionPortrait technology. It makes the 3D aspect believable, which is disconcerting when faced with ghosts writhing off your screen. The only major problem I see is in usage: HauntedFace is good for a few spins around the block, but once you’ve seen one deforming ghost you’ve seen them all. Perhaps if you want to scare others? This app gets major points for great technology and realistic renderings, but when are you ever going to noodle around with it outside of Halloween?
Here is a video demo of the HauntedFace app on the iPhone
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