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!!!