Thursday, July 9, 2009

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

"Behind the Mask" is half mockumentary and half slasher film.  

A group of college students are doing a documentary on Leslie Vernon.  Leslie is a serial killer in the spirits of Jason Vorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers.  The documentary follows him as he prepares for his next batch of killings.  Preparation, training, and stalking are some areas that he goes over with the crew.  Once the killings begin, the documentary crew realizes that they need to stop him.  They can't let him get away with murder.  The mockumentary style then comes to an end and it turns into a straight slasher film.  Now the documentary crew is on the run from the wrath of Leslie.

This is one of the most original and funny horror movies I have ever seen.  It is brilliantly written and excellently directed.  Going in and out from mockumentary to slasher film is genius.  It is very funny and interesting to go inside of the mind of a serial killer and see the things that he does to prepare for a night of killings.  Leslie goes over every single slasher movie cliche and explains why it is necessary and how it is done.  He shows how he sabotages everything that a victim can use to get away.  As the director of the mockumentary says, it is kind of like cheating, but that's the world of a famous serial killer.  They need to help themselves out when they can.  After all they have a lot of victims to get to.  It is hilarious, especially when you picture characters like Michael Myers doing all of these preparations for his night of terror.

Leslie is a great character.  He is lovable throughout the entire movie, even though we know he is a bad guy.  Nathan Baesel who plays Leslie has great comedic timing and he is really great in this film.  Since you have gone inside Leslie's mind and really have developed a relationship with him, it is a real shock when the mockumentary ends and he starts going after the documentary crew.  He can not be reasoned with.  He can not be talked to.  He is a genuine, insane serial killer.  

There is a great scene where Leslie goes to visit his friend who has retired from the killing game.  This guy gives the documentary crew insight to what it was like in the old days to be a serial killer.  He says it was all about the numbers in the past, but thanks to people like Fred, Jay, and Mike, the business has a higher level of originality and creativeness.  It is funny to hear him talk about characters like Jason, Freddy, Michael, and Chucky as real people.

"Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" really is an incredible film.  It is funny, scary, and all out entertaining.  It is a shame that it is not more widely known because this is the kind of movie that really gives the horror genre the boost that it needs.  Lately horror movies have not been original, but if more movies like "Behind the Mask" come out, I have high hopes for the future.


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