Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon is one of the great, unique horror movies that has been released in the past few years. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do so in the quickest of fashions. Being an indie horror, many didn’t expect a sequel to come around, but now, thankfully, it appears that interest in a second movie has picked up and writer/director Scott Glosserman and co-writer David J. Stieve have started developing the follow-up.
Behind the Mask tells the tale of Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel), an aspiring slasher killer who has looked up to his predecessors: Jason Voorhees, Freddy Krueger, and Michael Myers. Like Freddy, Leslie has quite the personality to accompany his affinity for painful, unexpected death. Leslie also happens to have a more open side to him, and he decides to share that with Taylor (Angela Goethals), a reporter and her team who follow Leslie around and film a documentary-style piece about all of the work that goes into being a successful slasher killer. Think of the movie like an up-and-coming band or actor trying to make a name for themselves by taking notes from those who came before them and laid the groundwork.
Click over for more, including quotes and the trailer (which may be slightly NSFW) for the first movie…just in case you have no idea what I’m talking about.
David J. Stieve shared the good news with Icons of Fright recently, and then went on to explain how they would avoid the common mistakes made when making a sequel to a popular film.
That’s not what’s going to happen. Things didn’t go the way Leslie wanted them to, particularly in the reaction of the residents of Glen Echo. I can’t give any more details than that, but suffice to say, we find Leslie a little perplexed that he ‘did everything right, everything went exactly according to plan!’ and yet the aftermath of his rampage is a right-turn derailment of what he was expecting. So he, being Leslie, regroups and plays the hand he’s been dealt. How Taylor and the boys get involved is part of the unfolding of his efforts in that regard.
Speaking of Taylor and the boys, the big question was how to bring them and their documentary filming back into play again; or even if they wanted to do that again. Here’s what Stieve had to say about that:
I can tell you that there IS a way we’re blending the documentary and cinematic lenses again. And there is also a manner in which Taylor (Angela Goethals) and Leslie are forced to cooperate with one another, although not necessarily on the best of terms. There’s definitely a perverse love story that must be honored, but then again they did try pretty hard to kill each other. Not exactly a ‘kiss and make up’ situation. There’s a sort of bigger, badder influence that’s threatening everything Leslie’s worked to accomplish, and Taylor may have her own agenda for ‘helping’ him. Or does she?
I’m not someone who’s picky about the slasher-horror genre. I’ve always loved them for how much fun they are, and am a true believer that they’re hard to fail with so long as you follow the recipe. In this particular case, Behind the Mask did make the effort to really add some layers and story to their movie, and it’s exciting to see them approaching and handling the sequel so properly. As it’s known — put the passion into the project, and it will show.