Thursday, December 11, 2008

Movie Time: BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON

I finished my Special Edition proposal and am now prepping to write the rest of the first BLOODLANDS book. To get in the groove, I’ve been renting scary movies—mainly C-grade, cheap things because, frankly, I’ve seen many, many scary movies and I’m running out of them.

But last night, I came upon one that was a bit of a gem.

It’s called BEHIND THE MASK: THE RISE OF LESLIE VERNON. The title doesn’t really tell you just how fun this movie actually is: it’s a “mockumentary” about a wannabe serial killer (a la Jason or Freddy or Michael Meyers), and it’s being “filmed” by a naïve crew of university journalists. As usual, I’m not going to go into a lot of details, because discovering them is a great part of the movie. But the killer, Leslie, has studied all the rules and conventions of FRIDAY THE 13TH and HALLOWEEN, and he shows off his preparations to the crew as he leads up to the “big kill” night when a bunch of victims will be gathered in one of those places that movie killers often haunt.

Sounds kind of boring? Yeah, it does, but the execution and, surprisingly, the acting make this movie go places you wouldn’t expect. However, this film will probably be most enjoyed by those who’ve watched hundreds of scary movies—people like me, who have those rules and conventions down cold and can laugh at how they’re utilized in a script that’s pretty clever. In fact, just when you think there’s not going to be a third act, the creators bring one, and it becomes an application of all the lessons the script has just turned upside down. (Okay, you can see the twist coming, but it falls together with everything that comes before, and that makes it a bit awesome.)

Rent with popcorn and company!

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