Release Date : Oct. 13th, 2006
Film Length : 92 Minutes
Behind The Mask was a horror film that flew under the radar but quickly gained a cult following of sorts within the horror community. Hearing all the praise and hype it received I thought I was in for a treat, however I was not pleased with what the end result was.
We follow a film crew who is making a documentary on a serial killer. Now this isn’t your Dahmer or Gacy but instead this is someone who lives in a world where Freddy, Jason, and Michael Myers are real. They are following an ruthless almost unstoppable killer machine. He gives them his back story, his motive, and even breaks down the forth wall to some point to describe how exactly he kills everyone including the order, how he sabotages the exits, even down to the little cliches you see in every horror movie. We even get the man who tries to just hunt his down (exactly like Halloween).
Now this is a great premise for a story if done right. One problem is that at least the first half of the movie is too slow. I found the build up to not move along at a good pace which lead to a lack of care throughout the movie. Having scenes done through the shakey camera as well didn’t add anything to the film. It felt like a tacked on gimmick. Certain story elements as well were added on in an attempt to almost mock other horror films but it felt like they were almost added to help the film have more a story since most elements it had presented were rather shallow. Having Leslie Vernon show you how he can kill a house full of college kids can only take up so much of the film so they added pointless back and side stories to fill the time.
None of the actors or characters are any good at all either. Nathan Baesel as Leslie Vernon isn’t likeable at all. These films usually have you rooting for the bad guy but I just didn’t care for him at all. His acting wasn’t too great either. Angela Goethals as Taylor who is the lead for the documentary crew plays the most unlikeable protagonist imaginable. Also for a movie poking fun of horror cliches she does quite a large amount of stupid things while commenting on how stupid they are. Horror legend Robert Englund plays Doc Halloran who is obsessed with bringing down Leslie Vernon. As expected he is the best part and role of the film.
Overall Behind The Mask has the chance to be something great. If done correctly the story of a real life unstoppable killer set in the realm of a horror film would be great. Sadly however we get stuck with a lackluster story, bad acting and characters, and just something that isn’t too interesting.