Saturday, May 7, 2011

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon (2006)

His name is Leslie Vernon, and his reign of terror is about to descend upon the unsuspecting town of Glen Echo... That is, of course, if he can catch up on his cardio and finish booby trapping the house before his teen victims show up! Taylor and her film crew have come along with Leslie to document his "comeback" as the next big Slasher icon, riding beside him as he stalks his "survival girl" and waxes philosophical about the importance of his "work."

Scott Glosserman takes the same cinéma vérité format found in MAN BITES DOG and adapts it to the Slasher film in a brilliant piece of Deconstructionist Horror that plays against each of the standard clichés and conventions of the genre. His sharp and witty script dives deep into the psychology behind these movies, from the psychosexual links inherent in much of the phallic imagery, to the fundamental need for an evil force to counterbalance the good in society. Nathan Baesel puts in a smashing performance as the title character, whose quirky behavior and slightly sarcastic tone work to bring out Glosserman's humor perfectly. Baesel truly becomes the Leslie Vernon, and embraces his darker half just as well as he does the more dramatic and comedic aspects of the role. BEHIND THE MASK also takes a unique approach by jumping in and out of the mockumentary style and entering the world of the Slasher film, where Leslie Vernon and his victims truly come to life and act out his demented vision on screen.

For anyone that may have missed it, BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON is one of the most intelligent, original, and entertaining entries in Horror in the last decade, and its underground following continues to grow as more and more fans discover it for themselves!

Rating: 9/10.

If you liked BEHIND THE MASK, check out:


  1. Great movie. Though I watched it with a friend who totally didn't get it. His statement afterwards "I wish they'd just make a real movie of him."

    I could just shake my head sadly.

  2. Fun movie. Sometimes I think it tried a little too hard, or seemed to aware of itself. But a fun watch and one I have been meaning to sit down with again.

  3. TS - check out the three rec's I listed above along with THE LAST HORROR MOVIE when you get the chance, all equally awesome! Joe I will agree to the self-awareness, it is almost unavoidable in a film like this but it is certainly apparent. I will be attending a BEHIND THE MASK reunion next weekend, cant wait!

  4. Carl - Hope you have a blast! Take pics!

  5. One of the best horror flicks of the 00s by far.

  6. JV have you got your hands on LONG PIGS yet?

  7. Honestly, I wasn't too 'wow-ed' by the part I saw of this (about forty minutes or so). I do intend to watch the rest of it with an actual rental in the future (my first viewing was on streaming).

    As a side-note, I watched 'Hatchet.' It was...alright, I guess. The cameos were super-pointless though. I'll see if I'm impressed by the sequel though.

  8. Good luck with the sequel, "It's the best Slasher sequel in 30 years!!" -- according to Adam Green

  9. Yeah, I didn't really care. It was gory, stupid and full of retcons.


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