* Prices may differ from that shown
RELEASED: 2008, Cert. 18
RUNNING TIME: Approx. 90 mins
DIRECTOR/SCREENPLAY: Robert Hall
PRODUCERS: Bobbi Sue Luther & Chang Tseng
MUSIC: Deadbox, Black Cowboy & Suicidal Tendencies
Bobbi Sue Luther as 'The Girl'/Princess
Nick Principe as Chromeskull
Kevin Gage as Tucker
Sean Whalen as Steven
FILM ONLY REVIEW
A girl wakes up inside of a coffin, obviously terrified, wondering how she came to be there. She manages to break free from the coffin by moving around violently inside, knocking it from its pedestal. The impact forces the coffin lid open, and The Girl, after making an unsuccessful 911 call, manages to escape into the street.
The Girl is picked up by Tucker, who is on his way home. Tucker invites The Girl back to his house to meet his wife. As The Girl has lost her memory and doesn't even know her name, Tucker declares that he will call her Princess.
Princess knows there is a masked killer looking for her, as she witnessed evidence of his murders just prior to leaving the mortuary where she'd been incarcerated in the coffin. She also somehow manages to work out that anybody she comes into contact with, is also in danger.
Tucker is unable to alert the police due to he and his wife's phone having been cut off, the closest cop shop being several miles away, and there not being enough fuel in his car to make the journey.
Meanwhile, the killer, Chromeface, manages to locate Princess's whereabouts. He has murder on his mind, and Tucker's wife becomes one of his victims.
The following morning, Tucker and Princess decide to take off, and on their way to who knows where, meet up with computer geek Steven, who joins them on their journey to both escape from, and outwit Chromeface.
The first thing which swiped me in the face about Laid To Rest, was the music. The first part of it as the opening credits roll, is so very raucous that I felt as if sections of my brain were being sliced up. The remainder of the film score oscillated between something bordering on death metal, intermingled with an avant-garde synthesised melee of percussive sounds and voices. Some of that avant-garde music was moderately good, but the rest of it grated on my nerves in quite a big way.
One would think that an opening scene of a girl, alive, trapped in a coffin, seemingly with no way out and no recollection of how she came to be there, could create a gripping atmosphere which would make any viewer curious to continue watching, but it didn't grab me at all. It is difficult to put my finger on exactly why, suffice to say that the scene lacked depth and atmosphere.
The blood, guts and gore begin quite early on in the film, with deranged masked killer Chromeface slicing up pretty much anybody who dares to cross his path. He also isn't averse to a bit of self-mutilation. Some of the scenes where Chromeface is on the rampage armed with all sorts of battering and slicing instruments are extremely gory, and way, way too over the top for my liking.
The storyline takes some highly unlikely twists and turns, but not gripping or interesting ones. By the time Princess and Tucker hooked up with Steve, the young computer geek whose mother has just died, I was rapidly losing any tiny atom of vague interest, being treated to some exceedingly dire acting from the whole cast, and a dialogue which leaves pretty much everything to be desired.
With a fortitude which is not normally part of my disposition, I somehow managed to sit through the whole film, cringing at the diabolical acting, my nerves at bursting point from the worst parts of the music and thoroughly bored almost to tears by the weak storyline, lack of characterisation and one of the least inspiring dialogues I've heard in my life.
The character of Tucker has a nice guy side to his personality, but with the limited script and tedious storyline, the cockles of my heart were cooled rather than warmed by his pleasant disposition. Steve the computer geek is laughably unreal, Princess oscillates between badly acted hysteria and a calmness totally inappropriate to her dilemma and Chromeface simply charges around brandishing saws, drills, hammers and knives, wearing a ridiculous mask...never uttering a word.
The blood, guts and lacerated limbs in Laid To Rest is extreme, to say the least, and I am certain the film has been created purely for sensationalising violence, as it honestly has nothing else to offer.
All in all, I found Laid To Rest to be one of those films which is best consigned to industrial land-fill, as it has absolutely nothing going for it at all and the 90 minutes I spent watching it could have been more constructively used. How I managed to stay awake whilst watching, I will never know. Maybe I was hanging on in there waiting for something gripping to happen? As you can probably guess, if you have read the above, it didn't.
I will close by making a suggestion to those responsible for the making of Laid To Rest - please do some research into the behaviour and psychology of serial killers before launching into another film of this nature.
At the time of writing, Laid To Rest can be purchased on Amazon as follows:-
New: from £1.99 to £5.52
Used: from £1.69 to £2.91
Some items on Amazon are available for free delivery within the UK, but where this doesn't apply, a £1.26 charge should be added to the above figures.
Thanks for reading!
~~ Also published on Ciao under my CelticSoulSister user name ~~
Written and directed by Robert Hall, 'Laid To Rest' is a slasher horror about a serial killer called Chrome Skull. He stalks and kills his prey whilst wearing a metal mask, making recordings of the murders on his video camera which he later sends to the police. We learn that he's done this in several states throughout America, and that he's a 30/40 something Caucasian male; that's roughly it though, that's about all the background that we have.
The film starts with our main lady (Bobbi Sue Luther) trapped inside a coffin, and almost from the very second she escapes from the coffin she witnesses Chrome Skull in killing action. She makes her way to the road, and a man named Tucker (Kevin Gage) picks her up, taking her back to his home where he and his wife Cindy (Lena Headey) offer her shelter for the night. She doesn't know who she is or where she's from, all she knows is that there's a killer on the loose in the area, and she therefore wants to get to the police to tell them about it. The station's some way away, and they all intend to make the trip down there in the morning after some breakfast; things don't quite go as planned though, and before long it's time to take off and run again as Chrome Skull has tracked them down.
Whilst watching 'Laid To Rest', I wasn't really too sure what to make of the film at times. The death scenes are pretty gory and gruesome, there's no real substance to the film though, and even when the killer claims another victim there's no real emotional attachment there. The acting quality is okay on the whole, no one puts in a show stopping performance however, and Bobbi Sue Luther is quite weak as the film's leading lady.
Director Robert Hall obviously has a passion for horror, and this is something that comes through here, the 'Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles' makeup artist should perhaps stick to his day job though, as I'm not too sure that directing is really his forte.
If you like your gore then you should be fairly impressed with the death scenes in 'Laid To Rest', the film doesn't build particularly well though, and whilst it may be gory; none of it is hugely memorable. 'Laid To Rest' is lacking in substance, and whilst it's clear that Robert Hall is pretty clued up on his slasher horror films from the past; this is by no means a slasher classic.
If you're a fan of slasher horror then it's probably worth renting 'Laid To Rest' for a one-time viewing, after you've seen it once the chances are that you won't want to be watching it again though, so it's probably best not to invest in this one. I've seen worse at the cinema than the direct-to-DVD slasher that is 'Laid To Rest', and didn't feel that it was a complete waste of 90 minutes; whilst it could be worse it's still no classic though, and not a film that I'm ever likely to be viewing again in the future.
Director: Robert Hall
Genre: Slasher Horror
Runtime: 90 mins
BBFC Rating: 18
Current Amazon.co.uk Price: £7.98