I first watched Behind The Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon about three years ago and I wasn’t exactly bowled over by it. I recently noticed that a majority of the online reviews it had were pretty impressive – so I decided to sit through it a second time for the purposes of my own review.
The film follows a movie copycat killer named Leslie Vernon and the documentary crew that are following him…
After re-watching the first half an hour of the film I suddenly remembered the reason I was not so keen on it the first time around – humor!
It’s probably just me but I like my Found Footage to be as straight as an arrow – I want it to be serious so it can provide me with some sort of atmosphere.
Behind The Mask has it’s serious side but the majority of it seems to rely on black humor which dulled the experience a little for me. Don’t get me wrong – it was good humor and it was intelligently thought out.
I just couldn’t shake the feeling of a ‘silly’ undercurrent running throughout the film.
The film is set in a world where famous movie killers such as Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Jason Voorhees are very real.
Leslie Vernon is the new kid on the block in the ‘mass murder game’ who has granted a student film crew permission to film his grizzly exploits. He takes them with him everywhere he goes and allows them in on his pre-killing preparations.
The more time the film crew spend with Leslie the more they warm to his fun nature and witty personality. Surely he’s not going to go through with this…right?
Movie Copycat Killer
The film very cleverly plays on the cliches laid down by slasher movies from the 70’s and 80’s. It sort of covers all the bases much like the first Scream movie did.
We get to learn how the killer walks while the victim runs and still manages to fall prey, why a car never starts when a victim is being stalked and why torch batteries fail in the most perilous of situations.
The film isn’t totally dominated by the Found Footage camera shots either. I was surprised to see a few of the ‘murder scenes’ switch to a more typical slasher movie shot.
These types of scenes were actually quite impressive and stuck to the more traditional format with style and grace.
I suppose I should start by saying that this really isn’t a bad film at all – don’t let my views put you off.
As I explained earlier on in the review – I like my Found Footage to stick to a more serious format because that’s what creates the overall atmosphere and realism.
In my opinion, the film pokes too much fun at the genre it belongs to and this became a little tiresome. I feel that the first Scream film covered all these bases many years ago and we didn’t need to revisit them in a Found Footage effort.
The strongest part of the film’s makeup was definitely the cast – the quality of acting was top notch compared to a majority of other Found Footage efforts.
Nathan Baesel ( who plays Vernon ), Angela Goethals and Scott Wilson all gave near enough perfect performances and there was even a cameo role for the awesome Robert Englund.
I suppose it will appeal to both horror fans and an audience that does not usually enjoy horror – it had that crossover appeal. It just didn’t appeal to me as much as I hoped it would.
An original and unique Found Footage offering that failed to impress me as much as it impressed others.