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Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

3.8 out of 5 stars 199 customer reviews

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(Jun 26, 2007)
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

You know legendary maniacs Jason Voorhees, Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger. Now meet Leslie Vernon, the next great psycho-slasher. Nathan Baesel of INVASION stars as Vernon, a good-natured killing machine who invites a documentary film crew to follow him as he reminisces with his murder mentor (Scott Wilson of IN COLD BLOOD), evades his psychiatrist/nemesis (Robert Englund of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET), deconstructs Freudian symbolism, and meticulously plots his upcoming slaughter spree. But when the actual carnage begins, where do you draw the line between voyeuristic thrills, mythic evil, and good old- fashioned slasher movie mayhem? Angela Goethals (24) and Zelda Rubinstein (POLTERGEIST) co-stars in this ingeniously twisted and awardwinning shocker that Film Threat hails as "a masterpiece…".

If Christopher Guest turned his satiric eye to the horror genre, the end result might be something like Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. An amusing and affectionate nod to slasher-movie franchises like Friday the 13th and A Nightmare on Elm Street, Behind the Mask purports to exist in a world where Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers are not just movie icons but real individuals--and a huge influence on aspiring maniac Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel). The epitome of the "nice young man" turned homicidal maniac, Leslie is also possessed with a working knowledge of horror movie conventions and stereotypes, and bends them to his advantage as he stalks his prey. Writer-director Scott Glosserman's enthusiasm for the subject matter is palpable, even if his gags don't always work, and there are tongue-in-cheek cameos from Robert Englund (channeling Donald Pleasance in Halloween), Zelda Rubenstein (Poltergeist), and a particularly funny Scott Wilson as Leslie's serial killer mentor. Extras include several deleted and extended scenes (which can be viewed with Glosserman's commentary), behind-the-scenes featurettes on the film's production and casting, and commentary from Baesel and other cast members. The original script can also be accessed via DVD-ROM. -- Paul Gaita

Special Features

  • Commentary from the cast
  • Making-of
  • Casting "Behind the Mask"
  • Deleted & Extended scenes
  • Trailers

Product Details

  • Actors: Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
  • Studio: Anchor Bay Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 26, 2007
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (199 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,843 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
With every horror film I've watched recently, I've had my reservations. I wasn't quite sure what to expect but my partner warned my that it wouldn't be like anything we'd watched together thus far. I laughed through the whole thing. The documentary feel to the beginning of the movie REALLY worked for me. Our killer has a sense of humor, a personality, and seems like such a sweet guy. When he jumped out of the closet to commit the murders, my jaw just kinda hit the floor. I guess I knew he'd go through with his plans but it was still kinda shocking... I LOVED IT!
The music was well done, it was just spooky enough at the end. The juxtaposition of the two moods were perfect. It wasn't a gradual change which made it even more noticable.
Basically, I thought it was well done. Great characters, great mood, great everything on this one. I definately recommend this one with a solid two thumbs up. :-)
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Format: DVD
One evening I decided to pick out a Horror title at the store. The criteria was to pick something that I have never heard of. I picked up Behind the Mask. This resulted in finding one of my favorite movies of all time!

The movie starts as a Documentary about the next "Supernatural Serial Killer." They mention Jason, Freddy, and Michael Myers. Now...Leslie Vernon. This movie is truly made for the fans. They cover every cliche in the Slasher sub-genre. Leslie Vernon is so funny and charming. The documentary crew follows him as he sets up his own legend. They interview him about all of the tricks of the trade. It is wonderful dialogue and acting. You learn about how a supernatural serial killer makes it look like he is walking but somehow keeps up with his victims. They even talk about all of the symbolism that occurs as the lead girl becomes the heroin. Absolutely brilliant!

The movie actually changes tone drastically at a certain point. I will not spoil it for you though.

Like I said, the movie is for the fans. Someone accused this movie of being unoriginal and cliche. I must say "yes, it is." That is the point! They created a movie about the cliches in Slasher Films. Therefore it is original. Watch this movie and have fun! It is truly amazing if you watch it carefully, you find all sorts of throwbacks to Friday the 13th, Halloween, and Nightmare on Elm St.
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Format: DVD
This is one of those movies I wound up watching just to try to see what all the fuss was about. I was incredibly happy that I did. "Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon" is an incredibly inventive mockumentary/slasher flick. Most of the film is from the point of view of a group of a grad student named Taylor Gentry who is filming a documentary about Leslie Vernon, an up-and-coming slasher hoping to make his name along with the greats like Krueger, Voorhees and Myers. Leslie is far from your typical slasher, though -- he's clever, funny, charming and extremely pleasant. It's not until he puts on the mask that his slasher persona takes over.

In the "film within a film", Leslie details for Taylor exactly how he goes about constructing his "legend," choosing victims and even stages his murders in meticulous detail, all the while keeping that good-natured charm. The movie is funny and disturbing at the same time: funny because of how carefully the filmmakers parody the conventions of the slasher genre and disturbing because of how genuinely likable Leslie is even as he's explaining how he's going to slaughter innocent teenagers.

The few weak points come towards the end, after the film within a film is dropped and we go into the real slasher parts. While the writing is still just as smart and clever, some of the effects are a little weak. Still, this is a lot of fun and well worth it for fans of slasher movies looking for the next Freddy or Jason.
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Format: DVD
This got overall good reviews so I thought I'd give it a shot. I wasn't disappointed but I wasn't thrilled either.

Here's the scoop. Leslie Vernon wants to make a name for himself as an iconic serial killer. He knows the tricks of the trade in regard to his predecessors Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger, et al. He trains and works hard to set scenarios up so he can work them just like they do in the movies. He hires on a college film crew to document everything but not everything is as it seems.

I was of two minds while watching this. It certainly is a clever idea. They poke fun at the genre and it's cliches. The mockumentary style is handled well with the use of two hand held cameras. The viewer does get the sense of being there with these people. What bothered me was that, not only were these people Okay with the idea of Leslie killing people, some of the characters were thrilled. I didn't believe it and it kept me from enjoying it fully. I doubt anyone, serial killer or not, is thrilled with what they do.

What really works is the hairpin turn in the story. When this shakes loose things begin to light up. As clever as most of the movie is, this really works. Things turn dead serious and I liked the way it was handled and the resolve. The acting was generally decent and the production values were good enough. Overall this was a good effort. It's maybe more three and a half stars as opposed to the three I gave it. I can recommend seeing this. It's a good movie. It just might not be THAT good.
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