Starring Nathan Baesel, Angela Goethals, Robert Englund
Directed by Scott Glosserman
(Nathan Beasel and the late Zelda Rubinstein)
Behind the Mask is a dark mockumentary film that follows the title character Leslie Vernon on his quest to create for himself the perfect murderous legend. Following him in this en-devour is Taylor Gentry and her film crew, using the filming of Leslie as a means of boosting her standing in the journalism world.
In this film’s universe, all the serial killers of myth and legend (and movies) are real. With these figures being part of actual history in the film, naturally (depending on your views of homicidal maniacs) some people look up to these murderers as heroes and wish to emulate their lifestyles. Leslie is one of these people and wishes to leave his mark on the world with a killing spree of his own. Central to this idea is the finding of his Survivor Girl, a virginal girl who will rise up against Leslie and defeat him in the end. Without this girl, everything Leslie is working towards becomes meaningless.
Throughout all of this, Taylor and the crew follow Leslie to capture his creepy antics. Taylor even occasionally interviews the would be killer, trying to get a feel for what is really going on in the seemingly serious Leslie’s head. The film crew seems to view Leslie as an eccentric goofball throughout their interactions with him; his stalking of his Survivor Girl Taylor and explanations for many of the “traditional” serial killer methods seemingly not phasing the crew for most of the movie.
Really, you have to question the ethics of the mockumentary crew throughout the film as many of Leslie’s activities are borderline illegal and certainly worth mentioning to the police about (stalking being the main one). They are sometimes creeped out, but still they keep filming all of this. Which really is good for the audience because the movie is quite entertaining. Leslie maintains a unique charm throughout the film and is a very compelling character. His back story and interactions with his mentor are especially entertaining. Taylor on the other hand is a good character because of her drive to make her mark in her career field and her continuous evolution throughout the film makes her engaging. Also, there is a very nice performance by Robert Englund (not that the character he plays is amazing, more of the fact that an actor who’s most famous role is a notorious slasher is now trying to stop a new one from becoming created).
Overall, there is a lot to like about Behind the Mask. Its a well crafted and interesting story which delves into the mind a genius who just happens to use his brains to develop a master plan for serial killing. Really, this is Leslie’s show and Nathan Baesel delivers one of the most engaging performances in a horror movie ever. This is one horror movie that really is a can’t miss experience.
Feel free to leave suggestions for movies you’d like to see reviewed or hints on how to make the reviews better. This was a first attempt at this and is my first Tumblr post.