Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon Movie Poster Image

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon



Slasher film spoof has some clever twists.
  • Rated: R
  • Genre: Horror
  • Release Year: 2007
  • Running Time: 92 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

College TV crew follows a serial-killer-to-be in order to get a story; serial killers discuss their methods and goals; teen victims act stupidly; the Survivor Girl does the right thing.


Lots of bloody, visceral violence in the last third of the film (before that, plenty of discussions of and preparations for said violence). Weapons include knives, guns, and farm tools. Retired serial killer appears briefly in a sensory deprivation tank (like a coffin) buried underground. Serial killer wears scary makeup and mask and well as torn, bloody clothing, then appears repeatedly in shadows, posed to look frightening. Hacking and stabbing at victims (most of the murders are fast but very close-up). Girls scream, run, and fall.


Conversations about sexual behavior (trying to figure out if victims are virgins); a brief sex scene at the end shows a naked girl from the back and as she turns around (breasts visible and in motion); brief mention of the serial killer being "pro-life and a chauvinist."


Favorite swear word here is "f--k" other profanity includes "s--t," "bitch," "ass," "hell," and "goddammit." Phrases include a derogatory charge: "You guys stand here holding your balls."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens drink and smoke marijuana.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film includes the usual slasher-style violence -- stalking, stabbing, shooting, hooking with large farm implements -- as well as brief nudity and sexual activity (since sexually active teens are standard victims in such movies). There are lots of conversations about methods of killing people and the uses of "fear" in culture, some basic spooky scenes (dark shadows, creaky doors), and some jump scenes. Many bloody effects (dismemberments, bodies hidden in closets) and frequent profanity (mostly "f--k").

Kids say

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What's the story?

In Scott Glosserman's slasher parody BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON, Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel) explains himself to a college TV news crew, including intrepid reporter Taylor (Angela Goethals), who keep asking questions about why Leslie and the monsters he emulates -- Freddy Krueger (A Nightmare on Elm Street), Jason Voorhees (Friday the 13th), and Michael Myers (Halloween) -- feel the need to target nubile teens who scream and run and fall down in the dark.

Is it any good?


Older teens may be interested in this slasher film spoof, which isn't as goofy and action-packed as the Scream franchise but plays up the same idea. According to Behind the Mask, Leslie's desire to kill anonymous teens could be a sign of psychosis or a symptom of the culture that offers up imagery as entertainment. Wanting to be famous like his idols, Leslie manipulates the TV crew for maximum effect, understanding the interlocking of violence and media, spectacle and spectators. Clearly, Behind the Masks's shrewd parody is geared for viewers familiar with TV forensics lessons, Nancy Grace, and torture as (unacknowledged) wartime policy.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the uses of parody. Does making fun of fears serve a different or similar purpose to acting them out straightforwardly, as in regular horror movies? How can you be scared and laugh at something at the same time? Families can also discuss the basic dynamics of the slasher movie formula. How do the predetermined character types -- the Survivor Girl, the Ahab, the Killer -- come together to make the scary formula work? Is this movie a successful spoof? Why or why not?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 16, 2007
DVD/Streaming release date:June 26, 2007
Cast:Angela Goethals, Nathan Baesel, Zelda Rubinstein
Director:Scott Glosserman
Studio:Anchor Bay Entertainment
Run time:92 minutes
MPAA rating:R
MPAA explanation:horror violence, language, some sexual content and brief drug use.

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Adult Written byjhh379 April 9, 2008
Adult Written byChuck Reid March 15, 2012

One of the best horror movies!

This movie is cool and action packed! Its SO awesome! Its a must see for any horror movie fan!
Adult Written bywonder dove October 17, 2013

Not for me...

This movie wasn't how I thought it would be. I was expecting a fun, scary slasher flick but half of the film featured talking mainly and not much action until around the end, which I didn't care for either. The acting was bad. It sort of felt like a stage play the whole way through and definitely not scary one bit! The only likable character was the female reporter, Taylor. If you're looking for something fun and worth watching, skip on this one. It's quite boring. Language was strong like any R-rated film with plenty of f-words and more. Violence has weapons used, stabbings and shootings mainly in flashbacks. A serial killer likes to terrorize girls for fun. Lots of discussions about violent acts. Sexual content has a teen girl on top when people walk in on them, some sex talk throughout. Some drinking and drug use. This is not suitable for kids or teens under 16!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking