Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Critics Consensus

A smart mockumentary that presents a gory, funny, and obviously affectionate skewering of the slasher genre.



Total Count: 41


Audience Score

User Ratings: 15,168
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Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Photos

Movie Info

On the surface, Leslie Vernon seems like your average small town, nice guy. He has goals, ambition and aspirations to follow in the footsteps of his long-time hero Freddy Krueger, Michael Myers and Jason Vorhees, and be the world's next great psycho-slasher. A true self-promoter, Leslie gives documentary filmmaker Taylor Gentry and her crew exclusive access to his life as he plans and executes his next great reign of terror over the sleepy town of Glen Echo, all the while deconstructing the constructions and archetypes of the horror genre for them.

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Nathan Baesel
as Leslie Vernon
Angela Goethals
as Taylor Gentry
Robert Englund
as Doc Halloran
Zelda Rubinstein
as Mrs. Collinwood
Kate Lang Johnson
as Kelly Curtis
Ben Pace
as Doug Johnson
Travis Zariwny
as Dr. Meuller
Teo Gomez
as Stoned Guy
Matt Bolt
as Slightly More Stoned Guy
Jenafer Brown
as Carrie the Virgin Girl
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News & Interviews for Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

Critic Reviews for Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (14)

  • A deconstructionist horror comedy that owes a debt to Scream and the 1992 Belgian film Man Bites Dog, Mask nevertheless has enough pitch-perfect wit to lay claim to its own patch of postmodern, movie-loving snarkiness.

    Mar 22, 2007 | Rating: B
  • About two-thirds in, the movie shifts gears disastrously. Made me want to haul someone into the cutting room for revenge.

    Mar 16, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • The script's laughs are too widely spaced. Even before the plot takes a third-act turn into the land of kill-by-the-numbers slasher movies, the jokes drip when they should be gushing.

    Mar 16, 2007 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • If Scott Glosserman's witty slasher spoof had celebrities, it would probably be a success like Scream or Scary Movie. As an indie, it's more apt to be a cult fave. Either way, it's a must for those who like thrills laced with humor.

    Mar 16, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • There is a lot of cleverness at work here, especially when the movie switches from the Blair Witch-style shaky camera to more accomplished and atmospheric low-budget lensing.

    Mar 16, 2007 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • [Director] Glosserman can't match the wit of Scream, the fright of The Blair Witch Project or the satire of journalism seen in Series 7.

    Mar 16, 2007 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon

  • Jun 04, 2014
    An interesting take on the classic tale. What if you could film a documentary from Freddy Krueger's point of view. The killer ends up being not as maniacal as one would think and this is perhaps the true drawback of the film. He seems like just a big pushover with a mask.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2013
    Behind the Mask is a brilliant low budget Slasher film that reinvents the wheel and offers genre fans something truly original to watch. Successfully combining traditional genre elements with Black Comedy, this film is a refreshing take on a classic genre of the horror medium. Filmed as a mockumentary, it follows a film crew that is documenting Leslie Vernon, a murderer who plans his revenge for what the town did to him years ago. Using Clichés to his own advantage, director Scott Glosserman crafts a movie that is an absolute must see for die hard horror fans. The mix of comedy and horror work extremely well and complement each other effectively well to create something truly memorable. The cast do a fine job in their performances, and the strength of the film lies in the fact that it can go from being pretty funny to a dark, nasty horror film that delivers the goods. That's rare for a filmmaker to do such a thing, but Glosserman does it effortlessly. The first act of the film succeeds at establishing the humor and legend and dreams of Leslie Vernon as he wants to join the greats of Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger and Michael Myers. There are plenty of funny moments to be had in the first thirty minutes of the movie, but towards the end, the film takes a different approach and travels familiar ground and becomes a straight up Slasher film with plenty of effective kills to delight genre fans. Any fans looking for something truly original ought to check out this low budget gem, it is sure to become a classic in the genre and it brings some much needed originality to a somewhat stale genre that is overdone with remakes. Behind the Mask joins the likes of the Hatchet films and Laid to Rest movies as standout features that bring a modern twist to a classic genre.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2013
    Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is one of the best mockumentaries I've seen. It's very realistic, natural and satirical. Leslie Vernon has a big dream: To become a movie serial killer in the hall of fame as the popular slasher villains, in order to achieve his dream, he invited a group of film students to document his every move, from preparation to unleashing his killing spree. Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon parodied the genre to a maximum state, I love every single reference in the film and all the characters. It is the finest horror film in this decade.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 15, 2012
    While the motivations of everyone for much the film seem muddled or exist solely to further the plot, I found myself becoming more invested in what was going on as the story moved from meta commentary to an actual horror film. I don't mean to suggest that the observations made early on are not worthwhile and intriguing . . . quite the opposite actually.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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