Over a decade ago, a friend told me about this movie, saying that it was one of the most original takes on the Slasher genre he had ever seen.

In a Slasher film, there’s usually a serial killer who is stalking and killing victims. Sometimes these unstoppable boogeymen are even supernatural and become legendary. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon brilliantly examines this through it’s title character, played by Nathan Baesel. Leslie is a serial killer that agrees to have a documentary crew interview him and film his exploits. But, Vernon isn’t content with being a run of the mill serial killer. He must make a legend of himself, to the point where he appears to be supernatural. Just like his idols. By doing this, the movie reveals that these bigger than life monsters are just humans obsessed with their “craft”. Scott Glosserman does an incredible job dissecting the Slasher genre and what goes into creating these icons. The film never lets go of this idea, to the point where the audience almost respects Leslie Vernon’s dedication. It is also interesting to see is Glosserman’s unique direction. When Leslie is talking to the interviewer, the movie is shot like a real documentary. Once Leslie puts on his mask, the film’s style switches to a traditional horror movie. This creates the effect of Leslie appearing to be two completely different people. The calm and kind gentleman who we are first introduced and the masked killer with a hand scythe. Angela Goethals plays Taylor Gentry, the woman interviewing Vernon. Her performance becomes ever more intriguing as we see her becoming more and more infatuated with him. Scott Wilson appears in the movie as Eugene, an old serial killer who has become Leslie’s mentor. We see their relationship and how much Leslie looks up to Eugene. The movie spends time to humanize these characters, who are supposed to be these terrible monsters, making the audience take a deeper look at these individuals whereas other Slasher movies spend their time focusing on the victims. The next big name in the film is Robert Englund, who’s character Doc Halloran is essentially Leslie Vernon’s Doctor Loomis. It’s really cool to see one of the slasher greats playing the good guy in this. Zelda Rubinstein even makes an appearance at one point, which you can see above. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon has gained a cult following throughout 12 years since its release. There’s supposedly a prequel comic book in the works, but not much else other than that. It’s sad, because I know I’m not alone in wanting to see more of Leslie Vernon.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is available on DVD, Blu-Ray and through Amazon Prime Streaming. Scream Factory will also be releasing a Collector’s Edition this March. Hey who knows, maybe if enough of us buy the collector’s edition Blu-Ray and stream it on Amazon, we’ll finally get another movie.