Thursday, February 7, 2008

Film Review: Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

No. I haven't seen anything new yet. I have either been snowed in or at work. Adding to all that I have a cold.

So once again, I have to fish in my pile of movies to find some entertainment. What did I find? Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.

Who is Leslie Vernon? Why, he is the heir apparent. The next Voorhees, Myers, and Krueger all in one. He is a pyscho with a sense of humor and a high respect for the business of mass murder.

Leslie Vernon (played flawlessly by Nathan Baesel) invites a documentary film crew to follow him as he stalks his latest victims and plots his next slaughter. He is meticulous, thoughtful and fun to be around. Until, the actual killings begin. Then, he is all business.

The movie also stars Robert Englund as Leslie's gun toting pyschiatrist Doc Halloran. Englund's character is reminiscent of Donald Pleasance as Halloween's Sam Loomis and is a person who must stop Leslie at all costs.

Also starring Zelda Rubenstein (Potergeist) and Angela Goethals (of TVs 24) with a cameo by Kane Hodder, this film perked my spirits, and made me laugh. The performances in turn are necessarily over the top when certain situations call for it.

I enjoyed the Documentary style beginning, and how we are drawn into this character's world as a casual observer. We don't find a scarred, demonic, meglomaniacal indiviual in Leslie Vernon. He is just like everyone else. His whole point in life was to provide a counterbalance to all that is good and pure. He is not crazy or posessed. It is his choice. Sad, and demented, but true. He found his path and is walking it with pride.

As creepy as that observation sounds, the film is funny and entertaining in the way that the Scream Films were. The viewer is put into the position of watching a train wreck slowly happen before there eyes and being unable to stop it. Most slasher films are like that. This one takes things a step further as you are able to imagine what it is like to be in Leslie Vernon's shoes.

I mean, at one point, before the carnage, the guy is actually crying with tears of joy because he is about to realize his dream of becoming this mythic horror icon.

So what do we need in order to become a psycho killer:

1. Virgin. The Virgin is necessary. She is the one that gets away so your myth can go on.

2. Ahab. Just like the mythical white whale Moby Dick, you must have someone obsessed with stopping you. He/she knows you like the back of there own hand and they are out for your blood.

3. Cardio. A good killer is a fit killer. A guy has to work out if he is going to just walk after someone who is running a million miles away from them.

4. no one gets away (with the exception of the virgin).

5. Just watch the damn movie. I highly suggest it for my film school friends who are writing this blog with me. They will have more to say about it than I would.

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