Day 11Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is an excellent example of horror deconstruction in the 21st century, up thereBehind the Mask with other recent cinematic examples like All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, and literary examples like Joe Hill’s “Best New Horror” (DAY 8!). When I find myself talking about the film with others, inevitably the Scream trilogy is mentioned by others for comparison. And while it’s easy to lump Wes Craven’s franchise with Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon, I’d argue that the former spent more of its energy desperately trying to convince a new generation that horror is, like, cool, whereas the latter simply reminds the rest of us why we loved horror in the first place.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon tells the story of a documentary crew as they follow the mysterious and charismatic Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel), a man who is skillfully preparing to follow in the footsteps of Freddie Kreuger, Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers (all real killers in this particular universe). Vernon, it turns out, is especially charming and funny; and more importantly, he’s accommodating and upfront about his plans, explaining away the details of his impending killing spree with ease. In fact, Vernon candidly answers a lot of the questions that have perplexed horror fans for decades. Why does the killer set up the corpses to be discovered later? Why does the weapon the victim inevitably takes from the shed break so easily? How is it that no matter how slow the killer walks, he can keep up with his frantically running victims? 

Read more about my thoughts on this movie over at Where the Long Tail Ends.

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About Christian A. Dumais

Christian A. Dumais is an American writer, humorist and public speaker living in Wrocław, Poland. He has published fiction, journalism, and academic articles in several magazines and journals such as GUD, Shock Totem and Ha!Art. His first collection of short stories, Empty Rooms Lonely Countries, was published in 2009. He also created, edited, and contributed to Cover Stories, a euphictional anthology of 100 stories inspired by songs, which was published in 2010. His most recent book is SMASHED: The Life and Tweets of Drunk Hulk.

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2 thoughts on “PUFF-TOBER-WEEN: Day 11: BEHIND THE MASK

  • Brian

    That’s really funny I had never thought about it before, but you have young fit adults running for their lives yet somehow the nasty slasher is right there with them or actually waiting for them when they arrive. Add to that they can see everything in almost complete darkness and hear every single breath their victim makes. Poor guys don’t stand a chance.