Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

08/27/2015 21:17

Film: Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Year: 2006

Director: Scott Glosserman

Writer: Scott Glosserman and David J. Stieve

Starring: Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals and Zelda Rubinstein



This film starts with a young woman who works at a diner taking the trash out, she is played by Kate Miner. She props the door open with a brick. She thinks she sees someone in the shadows and then the door closes behind her. She flees around the building.

The film then shifts a documentary film crew that we will be following. The woman doing the interviewing is Angela Goethals. The two guys behind the camera in her crew are Ben Pace and Britain Spellings. It should be pointed out that this film is telling us that Jason Voorhees, Freddy Kruger and Michael Myers are all real. They all have killed a lot of people and there is a new man that is going to join them, Leslie Vernon. The crew is doing a documentary on him as he stalks and kills his victim. We finally meet him and he’s played by Nathan Baesel.

There is a legend in this town of Glen Echo. Leslie Vernon was killed by the citizens by throwing him over a waterfall to his death. Much like the other legends, he is back to get his revenge and claim his birthright.

They sit down to do an interview with him to get more information and he is free with it. They ask him a question that he tells them he has to show them. They get into his vehicle and go to town. He explains how he chooses his victim. He looks for a virgin with a group of friends. He wants to have a good mix of tough and easy kills to help his numbers. He tells them though that he has already picked out his victim, or they’d be well behind schedule since it takes so much planning.

They go to look at her and it is Miner. We then see the opening sequence takes place now and Goethals helped Baesel to spook Miner. This also starts his plan with her.

We then learn that there are others like Baesel. He has a friend who is retired. They go to his house and meet his wife, played by Bridgett Newton. They learn that her husband is out back in a chamber, meditating. They dig it up and free him; he is played by Scott Wilson. More information is shared about what he has done in the past, what Basesel will be looking to do as well as what the greats and the hacks in the business have done.

Baesel then shows what the next stage of his plan is and it involves stalking Miner at the library. He has created a fake newspaper article that claims Baesel’s mother was raped by a man who is Miner’s great uncle. The thing is, Miner doesn’t have this uncle, he made it up. The article is left out and she finds it. She then asks the librarian, played by Zelda Rubinstein, for help to find out more. They do just that and Rubinstein tells the story of Leslie Vernon to her. He then shows up, killing Rubinstein. He’s not there to kill Miner yet, but Robert Englund, a psychiatrist, shoots him.

Baesel is beyond excited he showed up and Goethals doesn’t understand why. They go back to Wilson’s and learn that Englund is his ‘Ahab’. This is a reference to Moby Dick, in that they have an adversary that will help his legacy.

As we are approaching the big night, Baesel gives the crew a walkthrough of his plan and everything that he has set-up. The problem though is that Goethals begins to have second thoughts about what they are doing. Baesel kills his first two victims and notices the change in Goethals. He then escorts her back to her van.

Much like he predicted, she gets her crew to return to the house with her and to help them get away. Can they do it? They know Baesel’s plan, but what will he do with the changes and the increases in numbers? Is the plan he told them real or something he fabricated?

I have to say that the first time I watched this, I loved that the film was stating that the many of the horror film legends were real and that they all know each other. On top of that, I love that they all follow a similar plan, which if you look at the films, it would make sense. I wasn’t a huge fan of this film the first time I saw it though, but after a second viewing, I have a much better appreciation for it. Now Baesel isn’t bad as the serial killer for this film. I love that he is nonchalant about everything and is happy to share with the crew. The death scenes aren’t too bad. I also really liked the twist in this film.

I do have some issues with this film though. The first is the stupid kids Baesel is stalking. Now I know they are playing that way, because it is parodying slasher films. It is kind of funny watching them play right into the plan that was made as well. The other part I had issues with is seeing a documentary film crew really sitting by and letting a murderer plan all of this without stopping him. Now when it comes to the climax, they do try to stop him, but still. I could see that they were doing it though, not believing he would really do it.

Now with that said, I would recommend this film if you like slasher films. This one is similar to Scream, in that it breaks down these type of films. The only difference being that the other films makes all of the other ones only movies, where this one claims they are all real. It is fun to see a documentary about someone who is planning to become a mass murderer. The acting is decent, the story is good and the death scenes aren’t bad. There is a pretty solid twist at the climax as well. There is some cheesy acting in there as well. Keep that in mind, but they are doing it to sync up with how slasher films are. If this sounds good, I would say give it a chance.


My Rating: 7 out of 10