Wednesday, 20 July 2011


"On the surface, Leslie Vernon seems like your average, small-town, nice guy. He has goals and ambitions like the rest of us - aspirations to follow in the footsteps of his long time heroes. Sadly, the men he worships happen to be Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees. Yes indeed, Leslie wants to be the world's next great psycho-slasher, and he’s so confident he’ll succeed he’s even allowed a documentary crew to film him.

Filmmaker Taylor Gentry and her crew are given exclusive access to his life as he plans his reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo, deconstructing the conventions and archetypes of the horror genre as he goes along. Listen as he explains why he can’t simply move back into his hometown; be surprised at his harsh training regime, teaching himself simple tricks like making it look like you’re walking when everyone else is running; be amazed by the tricks of the trade – how does he make the door slam behind the potential victim when he’s hiding in the shadows? Why are all the weapons our protagonist uses so bloody useless? It’s all explained here...

Behind The Mask is a genuine surprise. Not only is it bracingly reducible to physics but its original and amusing, with a final act helped by a decent twist that allows director Scott Glosserman to break all the rules. The performances range from impressive (even if Nathan Baesel’s killer presses the Jim Carrey button a little too often) to poor (it’s hard to tell whether Kate Lang Johnson’s heroine Kelly is supposed to be so terrible), and although the bloodshed is disappointingly absent throughout, its black humour and interesting premise keep you hooked.

Completely aware of how ridiculous it is, Glosserman’s self-parodying debut keeps it straight-faced even with the pleasing cameos from Robert Englund and Zelda Rubinstein. Movies may not exist in this world, while some of the gags don’t quite hit the spot, but the majority strike harder than Ghostface ever could (whether it be sabotaging weapons, a reluctance to smash windows or simply chopping veg), and Leslie Vernon certainly stays on his feet longer, resulting in a rise not to be missed."

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