Drawn to this film primarily because of the ironic horror film structure premise, I was not disappointed. I love documentaries. And a film that is basically a docuhorror following a serial killer planning his next victims was too fascinating to pass up.
Leslie Vernon (Nathan Baesel, Invasion, CSI) has been approached by a journalist to make a documentary about his exploits. In this world, Michael, Freddy and Jason are all real and the kind of people Leslie looks up to. During the filming Leslie explains in a chilling relaxed tone how he selects his victims and plans their demise; from finding the appropriate virgin to ensuring their friends make a good supporting cast.
At one point we visit his friends, a retired serial killer and his wife. They give him pep talks and offer advice on how to take the next steps with his victim while they chop the vegetables for dinner. These are quite beautiful moments. The performances here are so natural you believe it. You want to believe it! Robert Englund (Freddy Cruiger) plays the Dr Loomis type character and Zelder Rubinstein (Poltergeist) plays a librarian who is just a tool for Leslie to get to his victim. The film crew play an important part here. They are, unbelievably, going along with it all. Maybe they don't really think he will go through with it. Occasionally we switch from the Blair Witch Project type shaky camera work of the documentary and jump to classic film. Once the crew decide to stop filming we switch to this permanently.
There have been comparisons to Scream which I support. I am quite fascinated with the Rules of a horror film. Some find it too predictable but I love to be able to deconstruct it. We all know the Rules are there so why should we pretend they're not as long as we are constantly being surprised by the delivery? This kind of film should be embraced.