Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)
Journalist, Taylor Gentry (Angela Goethals), and her two-man video crew follow and interview a would-be slasher/serial killer named Leslie Vernon (played by Nathan Baesal). The fledgling killer shows the young reporter and crew how he sets in motion the devious act he will eventually commit. He discusses how he chooses the victim, sets the stage, creates tension and plants the seed of fear into the victim and in the whole town itself. This is all done with a “nudge-nudge, wink-wink” touch of humor, like an inside joke for fans of the genre. The movie is reminiscent of Scream where the killer discusses the whole horror movie genre but Behind the Mask offers so much more. All during the course of the movie it is as if you are in the mind of the screenwriter creating the perfect slasher screenplay. In the third act, the movie drops the discussion and interview feel and turns into a real entertaining slasher complete with surprise plot twists and character growth.
The film is directed by Scott Glosserman, who is involved with a lot of documentaries, so it is no wonder that this film turned out to be well made. It has the feel of a documentary without the intentionally unprofessional camerawork of a found footage film. To see the ingredients of the plot laid out in such simple and chronological terms, then to have it all gel together so perfectly for the climax and finale of the film is extraordinary. It’s like a magician telling you how he will perform a trick before hand, then he does the trick and you’re still in awe of the way it turned out. I believe horror and slasher movie fans will enjoy Behind the Mask. I give it two bloody, severed thumbs up!!!
Love this. Such a fun and hysterical satire on slasher films. Never watch them the same way. Though the final act when it got a little more serious it didn’t work as well. Still 4/5 from me.
Have you seen Midnight Movie? Would make for a really fun double feature
Yeah, I like that movie too! But I hate Scream, go fugure 🙂
I love the Scream series (except 3. No Kevin Williamson it ain’t Scream). Someday I plan to review them.
But I’m a big fan of the Scream series and like them a bit more than Behind the Mask (except Scream 3, which I rate far below Behind the Mask).
This movie is fantastic!! Great work!
Dude, this is one of my favorite indie horror films. An absolute blast and Nathan Baesal is fantastic!
Heard lots of good things about it but never watched. Nice write up 🙂
I’ve been wanting to see this for a while, but I’m not a fan of found footage, so I was hesitant. Since you said it doesn’t really LOOK like found footage, I’m definitely going to check it out now. Thanks!
Great review, Mike.
Yes, the ‘meta’ story meshes very nicely with the story in the story. It was very well done and I appreciated the ‘docu-drama’ approach that gleefully highlighted the genre elements (for those in the know) while at the same time building the plot structure of the story at hand. Very sneaky so, of course, recommended. Remember, cardio is important!
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