What is it about horror that makes it so difficult for a new icon to catch on? There have been so many new wannabe horror icons since Freddy, Michael, Jason, and Leatherface – some halfway decent (Sam from Trick R Treat, the Leprechaun, the Creeper), and most pretty sh*tty (Horny the Clown, Jigsaw, and now Chromeskull). The problem with Laid to Rest is that it comes with certain expectations – the film is doubted as being a pretty big new thing in horror, it has Lena Headey and Thomas Dekker (from Terminator: Sarah Connor Chronicles), and it was feeatured on the cover of this month’s Fangoria.
The reality of it, though, is that Laid to Rest just isn’t very good. While the Chrmeoskull mask itself is very striking, the bald head behind it constantly reminds you that the killer is just a man, and that man doesn’t move like a slasher. You know how slashers walk – intimidating, invulnerable, either slow and hulking or fast and scary. Chromeskull moves like…well, like a regular dude wearing a skull mask made of chrome. Despite some great gore effects and a relatively unique storyline, the film ends up just being lackluster.
Read my full review after the jump.
The setting itself, a rural town in the middle of nowhere, isn’t necessaril bad. However, the suspension of disbelief goes a little bit too far. Literally no one in town other than the grocery store has a phone. And then a computer geek who hangs McFarlane toys on his wall an OLD IBM computer with a dial up modem, a big freakin monitor, prints on a dot matrix printer, and he doesn’t have a phone? How does his dial-up work? And no one in town has gas, apparently, or any gas to get anywhere. Which begs the question…how are they supposed to get to a gas station?
The film begins when a young woman wakes up in a coffin with amnesia. She doesn’t know her name or how she got where she is, but, almost immediately, she’s stalked by a tall bald guy wearing a chrome skull mask. She escapes the funeral home, finding help in Tucker and his wife Cindy, a nice couple who give her a place to spend the night. Chromeskull finds her and they eventually end up enlisting the aid of pretty much EVERYONE in town, seemingly, including the aforementioned computer guy who has to EMAIL the cops. Seriously?
It’s not that the ideas in Laid to Rest are bad. It’s that the execution of the ideas is bad. The film feels about 20 minutes too long, and it’s only 90 minutes long. The actors in it are of a decent caliber, but the only one who put in a decent job was Kevin Gage as Tucker. Everyone else seemed to bring their Z-game to the film, as if acting poorly in a horror movie was their intention. The twist at the end of the film of who the girl is is certainly not worth the wait, and, despite the set up of a more supernatural presence to the slasher, he’s taken out in a very human way (with minimal effort, really) and then…well, the film ends. I just don’t get it … I don’t need an explanation for my killers, lord knows sometimes films work better without them, but this was just bad moviemaking. Either the killer is human or he’s not, but he can’t be both.
Anyway, Laid to Rest comes out April 21st on DVD. Unless you love Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles so much that you need to see everything that teams Lena Headey and Thomas Dekker, I recommend giving it a pass.
Paul’s Awesomeness Score – 4 out of 10!