Welcome back to another round of AITH’s Necessary Evil! I hope you all had a killer Halloween and ran into many classic monsters like the ones involved with our last Monster Squad Sequel Necessary Evil. We are sticking with the sequel thing for our latest horror that needs to happen. I’m sure you recall the inventive mockumentary/slasher Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. If you haven’t, seek it out immediately because it’s an ideal homage to the slasher genre (and come back to read this article because there will be SPOILERS). The film became such a cult hit that you’d think a sequel would have come around by now. I know the filmmakers were trying to get a part 2 off the ground, but the buzz has sadly seemed to have died out. Well, I’m here to pull the starter cord and get the sequel notion buzzing again!
IDEA: A sequel to 2006’s Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon.
OUTLINE: If you watched through the credits of the first film, then you know that Leslie Vernon rose up from the coroner’s table after successfully making himself appear dead. Prior to that, he also succeeded in sparking the fuse to create his legendary slasher status by offing a bunch of people at his “birthplace” farmhouse and allowing Taylor, his “final girl”, to survive. That was where we left off.
I say the sequel picks up a couple years later. Leslie has gone into hiding to both plan his next big step and allow his legend to take shape. He wants people to wonder if he is indeed dead and gone before making a triumphant return. Taylor’s journalism career really took off after she survived Leslie’s attack. She is now a famous reporter. The opening of the sequel shows Taylor reporting at the site of Leslie’s farmhouse on the anniversary of his initial massacre. This is where Leslie makes his grand re-entrance to the world. He shows up and kills Taylor! It’s all caught live on camera, alerting the world to his slasher presence
With the world fully aware of who he is, Leslie uses all the advantages that today’s technology offers to take the next step in becoming a uniquely original modern day slasher icon. He sets up his own web series in order to give everyone an even deeper look behind the mask. Leslie films himself while drawing up plans for his next stalking extravaganza. These bits would be a nice callback to the mockumentary style utilized in the first film. His sick ways somehow strike a cord with the public and he becomes very popular.
It is now time for Leslie to put his latest grand scheme into motion. He offers a contest for his viewers in which he will select a lucky group of winners for an opportunity to be his newest victims! You heard right! He is offering a chance to be stalked by the legendary Leslie Vernon! Do they have what it takes to survive a night with the greatest slasher of our generation? He actually gets a ton of eager applications, but narrows it down to a select few that will be transported to a secret location where the stalking shall commence. The idea may seem ridiculous, but Leslie is a crazy genius who has spent years in hiding planning it all. The only thing he could have never planned is… one of the contestants is a relative of one of the people he killed off in the first film and is looking for bloody vengeance!
WHY IT COULD WORK: Behind the Mask is a modern day horror movie classic. It’s smart, funny, and scary. I witnessed the large fan base the film has back when the filmmakers were trying to get a sequel made through kickstarter programs. I still don’t get why it has yet to happen. Leslie Vernon should already be a modern slasher icon by now. I mean, they’ve already made TWO sequels to Victor Crowley’s Hatchet! Vernon deserves the same respect.
CHARACTERS: Obviously, you have to bring back the fantastic Nathan Baesel to play Leslie. No one else could bring the kind of magic he put on display the first time around. I also know for a fact that he loved playing Leslie Vernon and is waiting with bated breath to return. I also say bring back Angela Goethals as Taylor. She was also perfect in the original and deserves to reset the stakes at the sequel’s beginning just like Adrienne King did at the start of Friday the 13th Part 2.
For the rest of the cast, I think it would be wise to get away from the whole “horny teenager victims” angle. Make the contestants a wide range of “Leslie fans”. A nutty collection of young and old people stoked at the thought of being stalked by an icon. Maybe make the vengeful relative a mother so that a new “final survivor girl” can be created? And lastly, I believe it would be nice if Leslie’s Ahab made a return appearance and yes, he’d have to once again be played by Robert Englund.
CONCLUSION: Behind the Mask truly birthed a worthy new legend in slasher horror. Leslie Vernon was a true student of the genre and a joy to watch onscreen. You just can’t get enough of him, which is what sequels are all about! Off the top of my head, I can’t think of a better slasher to come along since. If he was a paradise lost, I’d say it’s high time audiences found him again!
Are you ready for more Leslie Vernon? Does he have what it takes to become a franchise? Or is it too little too late and you think he should remain on the slab? I’ve gotta hear your thoughts, so fire them bullets below! And if you have any ideas that you think should be made into horror reality, let me know at [email protected].