Monday, October 06, 2008
Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon
This one was a random grab off the library shelves, and I was pleasantly surprised. Most of the movie is a mockumentary about aspiring slasher murderer, Leslie Vernon. Even though I'm a big Tap and Guffman fan, I do kind of feel like the mockumentary form has played itself out a bit, so I wasn't expecting much from this. But after about 5 minutes, I realized that they were going at it in a way I wasn't expecting, and I could tell it was going to be better and more clever than anticipated. The key is that they don't go for lots of huge laughs/gags, opting instead for more subtle asides, misdirection, etc. Think Ian Faith in Tap saying: "the Boston gig's been cancelled. I wouldn't worry about it though. It's not a big college town." Or think of the British office vs. the American one. So you won't laugh out loud a lot in this, but you'll have a smile on your face most of the time.
The last third of the movie switches out of the mockumentary style into straight up slasher flick, which is nice because it answers the one question that viewers have by that point: Is this Leslie guy some fraud/fantastist, or is he for real? It's great fun that he's very much for real.
Another fun thing is the cameos by horror film luminaries. Robert Englund plays a psych professor on Leslie's trail. The little Poltergeist lady plays a librarian. Leslie's slasher mentor Eugene also looks really familiar from some horror type role.