Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

4.0 2
Director: Scott Glosserman

Cast: Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Robert Englund


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A small-town serial killer with a curious penchant for self-promotion unleashes a blood-soaked frenzy of terror in his violent effort to become the best-known slasher in horror history. On the surface, Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) is just your average, everyday guy whose lofty dreams for the future drive him to excel at his chosen


A small-town serial killer with a curious penchant for self-promotion unleashes a blood-soaked frenzy of terror in his violent effort to become the best-known slasher in horror history. On the surface, Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) is just your average, everyday guy whose lofty dreams for the future drive him to excel at his chosen profession. But Leslie's chosen career path is a far cry from that of your typical middle-class wage earner; his ultimate goal is to follow in the footsteps of his mentor, notorious serial killer Eugene (Scott Wilson). He's not shy about his malevolent ambitions either. In fact, in order to better document his impending murder spree, Leslie has offered budding filmmaker Taylor Gentry (Angela Goethals) and her dedicated crew unprecedented access to his life as he sets into motion a plan designed make to make the formidable feats of Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers look like a mere warm-up for the homicidal hysteria that's about to unfold. Along the way, Leslie will even be so cordial as to teach Taylor and her crew the tricks of the trade while candidly deconstructing the many myths and archetypes of his murderous occupation.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Jason Buchanan
Start with a solid base of equal parts Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, and Halloween, throw in one portion of Man Bites Dog, a liberal sprinkling of The Blair Witch Project, and you've pretty much got the recipe for Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. A film that takes place in a universe where the relentless killers of slasher cinema truly exist, Behind the Mask follows a group of ambitious graduate-student documentarians as they convince the next legendary serial killer to let them capture his cunningly planned first rampage on camera for posterity. What follows is a fun, knowing deconstruction of genre clichés with plenty of horror in-jokes, lots of morbid humor, and a revealing look at just how these unstoppable killers work around the clock to get their targets exactly where they want them. Horror fans will no doubt have a blast with the opening two-thirds of this film. In addition to detailing the psychological journey of the "Survivor Girl," as she makes her way through the darkened forest and towards her final confrontation with the killer, screenwriters Scott Glosserman and David J. Stieve also explore the relationship between the killer and the perpetual "Ahab" (i.e. "pursuer" -- in this case none other than genre-icon Robert Englund), who will not rest until he has caught his man, with surprisingly effective results. Here in the post-Scream era, cinematic self-awareness and hip irony have made it increasingly difficult to find a more effective means of scaring an audience and getting them to laugh at the conventions of the horror genre at the same time. Though Behind the Mask does walk this fine line with an impressive swagger early on, the closer it moves toward the credit scroll the more predictable it becomes -- eventually devolving into your typical run-of-the-mill slasher flick. It's a bit of a disappointment given the quirky energy displayed at the onset, and the attempt at combining mockumentary-style satire with slasher-style thrills grows increasingly cumbersome as the film becomes more predictable. It's not entirely a wash, though, and many fans of the genre will still get a thrill of spotting keen film references and seeing how the potential victims attempt to throw the madman off balance by turning the tricks of the trade against him. As far as performances go, Nathan Baesel is malevolently endearing as the killer who longs to establish himself as a true slasher icon, Angela Goethals shines as the morally conflicted filmmaker who begins to have her doubts once the blood starts to flow, and Robert Englund is no doubt enjoying himself as the doctor who has sworn to prevent his former patient from executing his diabolical plan. While more forgiving slasher fans will likely find cause to pardon director Glosserman and co-screenwriter Stieve for eventually falling back on convention given how much fun Behind the Mask is for the first few reels, others who have weathered genre parodies dating back to 1981's Student Bodies will likely just walk away viewing the film as little more than another missed opportunity -- a noble failure made all the more disheartening due to the fact that it came so close to hitting the mark.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
Sales rank:

Special Features

Widescreen presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 tvs; Audio commentary with actors Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Britain Spellings and Ben Pace; The making of Behind the Mask; The casting of Behind the Mask; Deleted and extended scenes; Trailers; DVD-ROM: screenplay

Related Subjects

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Nathan Baesel Leslie Vernon
Angela Goethals Taylor Gentry
Robert Englund Doc Halloran
Scott Wilson Eugene
Zelda Rubinstein Mrs. Collingwood
Kate Lang Johnson Kelly
Britain Spellings Todd
Ben Pace Doug
Bridgett Newton Jayme

Technical Credits
Scott Glosserman Director,Producer,Screenwriter
Corley Executive Producer
Gordy Haab Score Composer
Raquel L. Jaffe Costumes/Costume Designer
Andrew Lewis Executive Producer
Eugene Musso Executive Producer
Jesse William Rolf Nordhausen Sound/Sound Designer
Jaron Presant Cinematographer
Sean Presant Editor
Bart Rosenblatt Executive Producer
Marisa Ross Casting
Matt Skrobalak Casting
Zack Smith Art Director
David J. Stieve Co-producer,Screenwriter
Aaron Walters Asst. Director
Travis Zariwny Production Designer
Travis Zariwny Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
1. Chapter 1 [5:47]
2. Chapter 2 [5:06]
3. Chapter 3 [6:04]
4. Chapter 4 [7:28]
5. Chapter 5 [7:53]
6. Chapter 6 [5:30]
7. Chapter 7 [2:32]
8. Chapter 8 [5:41]
9. Chapter 9 [5:59]
10. Chapter 10 [4:44]
11. Chapter 11 [6:26]
12. Chapter 12 [2:07]
13. Chapter 13 [6:45]
14. Chapter 14 [6:32]
15. Chapter 16 [8:26]
16. Chapter 17 [3:50]


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Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I read about this movie online and well before it came out and the story idea sounded like an interesting concept. It was more horror-comedy then I thought it would be but a great watch regardless. It was a fun flip on the standard traditions found in most horror movies as you watch Nathan Baesel's character explain all the work that goes in a good teen massacre.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago