Slasher Summer Camp: ‘Laid to Rest’

By Anthony Crabtree, Guest Blogger

“Laid to Rest,” written and directed by Robert Hall, 90 minutes

There’s a new breed of slasher icon attempting to work its way into the hearts of horror fans. Starting in the mid to late 2000s, Anchor Bay Entertainment began releasing original horror films that were not sequels or part of a franchise.

They were entirely original concepts that ideally would become franchises of their own. Although the king and most popular of those would be Victor Crowley, who is the slasher villain in Adam Green’s “Hatchet” franchise, the film covered in this review is “Laid to Rest” featuring Chromeskull (Nick Principe).

Unlike the other Anchor Bay releases, “Laid to Rest” simply suffers from having nothing to differentiate itself from any other slasher film. It begins with a woman (Bobbi Sue Luther, who also a producer on the film) waking up in a coffin in the middle of a morgue. She gets out of the coffin, but finds herself being pursued by the villain, ChromeSkull. We are never exactly privy to why he wants to kill her, or why she was put in a coffin alive, but we do know one thing: the villain is named Chromeskull because he wears a skull mask made out of chrome.

The Girl (referred to as such because she’s never given a name) has lost her memory and in the film’s most annoying moments can’t quite remember certain names for certain things. She refers to a coffin as a death box and the morgue as the place where the dead people are. It grows old fast, yet continues throughout the entire film.

The plot has little to it and this is the film’s main problem. It’s a chase between The Girl and Chromeskull, who go to the same three locations over and over again, and he murders anyone who tries to help her. Nonetheless, Chromeskull is a fairly cool villain, wearing a nice, tailored black suit and having a sturdy silver suitcase filled with a variety of weapons. Unfortunately, his moments on screen are far too little, with the majority of the film being dominated by The Girl.

The upside is that there are some great actors featured in supporting roles. Lena Headey, Thomas Dekker, Johnathon Schaech and Sean Whalen (the Oneders fanboy from “That Thing You Do!”) all make appearances that are too brief. They do what they can with the dialogue that they have been given and manage to make it work.

Even with the neat new villain and the good supporting cast, the film fails because of its blandness. Writer-director Robert Hall gives it his all to make something out of nothing, but it doesn’t quite work. The sequel to “Laid to Rest” comes out in September, and we hope it will bring something different to the slasher genre.

Grade: C-

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