Today I watched Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, I got it from Netflix this weekend in hope it would not be a horror movie that would disappoint me, because recently I watched Drag Me to Hell and The Descent and their endings disappointed me. So I took a game on a more indie horror film in hopes that it would not disappoint and WOW did it ever NOT disappoint. This movie was impressive. As a fan of horror and slasher flicks this movie was just what the genre needed. Its a movie that is aware of its genre. Later I will go into spoilers but for now I will just give overall impressions of the film.
The film is really enjoyable, it gets a little dull at one point in the film but picks up really quickly, the dull point almost acts like a quiet before the storm. Like Scream, it goes into the stereotypes of previous slasher films but instead of being from a victims point of view, it goes over those stereotypes from the killers perspective, something that in thought is very difficult to do on film but this film does it in a very different type of storytelling for a horror film, combing documentary look along with typical movie look, and switching between the two.
From here on out I will be discussing plot details and spoilers so this is your SPOILER ALERT. I don't completely giveaway the plot and ending, but I make reference to a few things that are better left secret until you watch the film.
The films lead actor is really great as Leslie Vernon. He seems so relatable on the surface despite the fact he is a serial killer his personality is so friendly, like someone you would go hang out with at the bar. But he still takes his job very seriously and understands his purpose. And the fact that he has a mentor who is a retired slasher killer himself is hilarious and just genius.
The half documentary half cinematic way of storytelling is executed very well in this film, when explaining it to people I can just imagine it will sound so weird but when they see they will totally understand but when telling a story that is just an giagantic homage to all the classic slasher films, it makes sense that they would choose such a non-traditional way of storytelling for a film. In a world where slasher films seem so predictable and overdone, this one takes the genre and makes it fresh by putting a new twist on things and truly telling it from the killers perspective in how we see the preparation and how a killer stays in shape and even complaining about difficult it is to stay in shape to be able to chase people all the time.
The storytelling in this movie I will admit is not perfect and even gets dull when Taylor, the female documentarian pokes her nose where it don't belong by going to the diner where Kelly, but slowly the movie picks up when Leslie's big plan is put into motion, and all heck breaks loose when it is Leslie was playing certain people a fool all along. That part is so brilliant because if it had not been for that the movie would have gotten boring real fast, but Mr. Vernon is such a clever one now isn't he?
Overall I loved this movie and it really shines in an age where most horror films are either the same ol same ol or are just out there to gross you out. In a way it refreshes and re-invents the slasher genre into something new and original that horror fans haven't really seen before. The character of Leslie Vernon is a different slasher killer that is aware of the precedent left by Michael Myers, Jason Voorhees, and Freddie Krueger and knows what it takes to be up there in their ranks but can still be his own character and do his own thing. The film is an homage to horror movie fans but tries to take the slasher genre into a new age and certainly accomplishes it. I Highly Recommend checking it out.
Until Next Time...Stay Safe