Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Behind-The-MaskThis is great news! As some of you may remember, I recently attended the Toronto After Dark Film Festival. The absolute highlight of the festival for me was the screning of Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. It is seriously one of the best, funniest, and most creative projects I’ve seen in a long long time.

Right after I got home from seeing the film, I instantly wrote to people I knew at Fox, Paramount, Lakeshore and a few others to tell them that they HAVE TO PICK THIS FILM UP! But it looks like they either passed… or got beat to the punch by Anchor Bay Entertainment (lucky bastards) who have set a limited release date of January 5th for the film.

My friend Todd gave this great summary of the film:

Set in an alternate reality where Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, Mike Myers and all the great slasher icons of yore are real, actual people Scott Glosserman’s debut feature Behind the Mask introduces a new icon to the mix: Leslie Vernon. A troubled soul with a horrific past Vernon is in training to join the ranks of the great slasher villains. His mythology is in place, the setting is chosen, the target has been selected. Vernon lacks only one thing: publicity. And so the aspiring mass murderer invites a documentary crew to visit him and chronicle his training regimen, the night of his assault and, ultimately, the rise of his legend.

Behind the Mask begins as a viciously smart deconstruction of the slasher film, a nuts and bolts breakdown of the formula that made the genre in the first place, all presented to the audience by Leslie Vernon, a friendly, funny, eminently likable young man who just so happens to want to kill people. But as the film progresses it slowly warps and mutates until it ceases to be a meta-film about slasher films and becomes a ripping slasher picture itself. In Leslie Vernon writer-director Glosserman has created such a strong, iconic character that by the time Robert Englund — that’s the real life Freddy Krueger, for you neophytes — turns up, he’s just icing on the cake.

The ending of the film is a touch weak, but all the rest more than makes up for it. It is funny as hell, and makes great commentary on the whole slasher genre. It’s sort of what the scream movies tried to do… but Scream isn’t even in the same leauge as Behind the Mask. This film is just plain wonderful. Make sure you get out to watch it when you have the chance. See the trailer below.

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