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|Index||81 reviews in total|
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Laid to Rest' focuses on a woman (Bobbie Sue Luther) who is actually
thirty, but looks forty, and is trying to be twenty. Throughout the
film she is known simply as The Girl. . . and then Princess (ugh). Why?
Because, after being locked in a casket in a funeral home for an
unknown amount of time, she lost her memory (from trauma or air
deprivation, I don't know) and therefore doesn't know her own name. I
was a bit lost here, though, and it was only about five minutes in. I
just had to ask. . . this steel-faced killer (known as Chrome Skull. .
. seriously) locks his victim in a casket, puts her in a funeral home,
lets her escape. . . then kills the mortician? Why? Why bring your
victim somewhere she can be easily found and risk getting caught? They
try to explain it later, but it still makes almost no sense.
Regardless. . . it was stupid and the dumb-ass Chrome Skull doesn't
even take advantage of the could-be cool environment for any murder.
Anyway. . . The Girl gets to some small nearby town with the help of hick trucker Tucker (Kevin Gage from other mediocre modern horrors like 'Amusement' and 'Kill Theory) and finds out that, uh oh, Mr. Scary Chrome Skull is chasing her down with his not-too-conspicuous metal face and a whole load of MacGuyver-esquire tricks up his chrome sleeves. As Chromey McGee continues to slash his way through any random person he comes across for no real reason, The Girl selfishly allows this rather than giving herself up to this Shredder-wannabe and just ending the murder spree. Also, there's. . . wait, no. . . metal face, annoying old-looking girl, hicks. . . yep, that about covers it.
Technically speaking, the film isn't all that bad. The direction & cinematography are pretty good. However, the story is moronic and the characters are stupid. And I mean really stupid. The characters in this movie make dumb & dumber from 'The Strangers' look like damn rocket scientists. I didn't even understand what they were doing most of the time. For instance, if a girl with bleeding feet and a gaping wound in the back of her head is found on the side of the road ranting about being trapped somewhere and having a killer stalk her down. . . you don't take her home for a nice little heart-to-heart chat! You call 911 and make them come to you, regardless of them being 100 miles away! Or at least drive her to a hospital, doctor's house, or fire house so SOMEONE can help. Jesus! Plot holes were also a problem. . . and this is ignoring any typical slasher plot holes. One of the most annoying was the fact that Sir Chromington was perfectly able to slaughter an entire police department. . . but doesn't have the balls to challenge three mostly unarmed civilians? All he had to do was bump up in his pimped out Chrysler 300M (I'm not kidding, that's what the guy drove) and pull a drive-by on them.
One of the supposed draws of the flick involves the "most inventive death scenes in years" as said by royal suck-up Mr. Disgusting from Bloody-Disgusting.com. Really? A few people get stabbed in various ways but that's it. Man, for a horror-news reporter, I would've expected Mr. Disgusting to have seen more than just five horror flicks over the course of the past few years as that's the max amount you could see and still think this film has the most inventive deaths. Even the mediocre flicks 'Hatchet' and 'Storm Warning' had better kills than this one. I guess some of the super-special stabbings are done in cool ways. . . but, they're ruined by the horrendous effects. The blood is realistic enough, but the during-kill effects are just painful to watch. . . and not in a good way. One glaring example of this serious inadequacy involves the knife-through-the-head scene. It was like watching someone stab a Cabbage Patch Doll. That's how realistic the human prop looked. The effects were so bad that the director actually had to resort to tearing away parts of the image and blurring out parts with camera smudges. Sir, stay within the constraints of your budget and you won't have to resort to lame tricks like that to hide your low-quality effects.
The flick had a good bit of violence, but lacked in the other areas that dumb slashers should excel (including showing more of the fake-breasted heroine and maybe a token black guy?). Overall, it's just not worth the time and basically stands as yet another crappy slasher with just a bit more style and a higher budget than the others we're so accustomed to.
Final Verdict: A very low 4/10, simply for a couple of creepy scenes and the overall violent goodness.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
'Laid To Rest' tells the story about a young woman (Bobbi Sue Luther)
who awakens in a casket in a funeral home, with no memory of who she is
or who put her there. She soon escapes, and finds that the person
responsible is a serial killer who has been abducting and murdering
young women. As she fights for survival and is pursued by the killer,
she teams up with a local (Kevin Gage).
Whilst 'Laid to Rest' is an entertaining DTV slasher movie, I was somewhat expecting more from the movie. Whilst the cast give good performances, there is some great violence and gore and the killer is pretty good, the script could have been better, as well as the characterization (why oh why was the annoying nerdy guy one of the leads?) and those laughably fake southern accents. I also think the talents of Jana Kramer, Johnathon Schaech, Lena Heady and Thomas Dekker were somewhat wasted, considering they all have tiny roles.
But the worst part of the movie were the plot holes:
-Why is a couple driving around in the early hours of the morning just to tell someone that her husband is cheating on her? This is never mentioned again in the script.
-That's right, watch your wife get slaughtered outside your bedroom window, return to the scene of the crime later and find out you had a gun stored in the bedroom.
-Police station is supposedly 100 miles away. A few scenes later, you're walking into one. Hmm.
-I have internet access, but I don't have a working phone. Let's just email the cops instead, only for them to send us an email saying they can't help.
-The killer gives the lead girl a working phone, and even sends her a text, yet she doesn't bother to call the cops?
-"The killer's behind you!" Why not believe her when you were talking to the killer (and made him really mad) seconds earlier?
-A barn full of caskets and the girl is in one of them. Instead of her calling out to us or us calling out to her, let's just open each one up!
-Walk with a walking stick and limp throughout the movie, but when it comes to trashing a bedroom and fighting the killer, the limp has disappeared!
There were more of these plot holes littered throughout the script, and they could have easily have been fixed, as I found them distracting and annoying. Some may argue that it's a slasher movie, but come on! Some of these plot holes were just stupid, and some of them were just lazy writing. However, the movie was entertaining and delivered good performances, a good killer and some good gore and violence. It's just nothing great and could have been better, but is worth checking out...but with all the plot holes in the script, you will have to throw all logic and common sense out of the window when viewing this, and remember that dialog may be contradicted several scenes later. Decent effort.
There are very few original slasher movies these days, let alone
original ones that are good. Most of the ones to hit theaters are
remakes such as Friday the 13th, My Bloody Valentine, Halloween, hell
even House on Sorority Row and April Fools Day got remakes! Of the
original slasher movies of recent times, very few have been anything to
write home about, though Behind the Mask: the Rise of Leslie Vernon and
Hatchet both come to mind as exceptions. What Laid to Rest does that
these don't do though, is take itself seriously. Behind the Mask took a
completely Scream-eque deconstructionist approach to the slasher genre,
and Hatchet went in more of the Snakes on a Plane or Shoot Em Up
direction and was completely campy and over the top. Both of these
movies were very humorous, and that was their strength.
Laid to Rest, on the other hand, was a visceral, frightening slasher movie with a killer as potentially iconic as the Shape himself. The basic idea of the movie is that this girl with amnesia wakes up in a coffin. She busts out, and is soon part of a cat and mouse chase with Chrome Skull. That's about it. She meets other characters on this road that is seemingly in the middle of nowhere (though it can be identified as Maryland by the Natty Boe posters later in the movie). People are picked off one at a time, and it ends with a climactic encounter.
Chrome Skull takes the idea of a guy in a mask (something very cliché') and breathes new life into it. The mask is applied to his face with medical glue, and he wears a black business suit. Actually, he looks a lot like the Batman villain, Black Mask. He reads on screen more like Patrick Bateman from American Psycho than like Jason Voorhees, and that is a very good thing. On top of this, his body language suggests a certain air of cockiness that works all too well. He is silent, and you get the sense that he is silent not because he is incapable of speech, but more so because he is smart enough to know that if he lets people hear his voice then he might be able to be identified. He communicates with the heroin through text messages at one point in the movie, and it turns out a lot more chilling than it sounds. This is a new kind of slasher, someone smart and lethal.
The kills are also a high point in the movie. They are gory as hell and they don't pull any punches, though the CGI looks awkward in certain places. They probably could have done some of those effects on set for cheaper that would have looked better. Other downsides include the dialogue occasionally. I'm not sure if amnesia would really cause you to forget what a coffin is called, though I've never had it so who am I to really say.
All things considered, see this movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Not Boo as in "I scared you" but Boo as in this movie was a huge disappointment. I have two good words about this movie...Kevin Gage. Thankfully, he was in most of the movie. The movie begins with a girl in a coffin. She doesn't know who she is or how she got there. She has a basic understanding of the human language, so we guess she sustained a head injury. As the mortuary attendant starts to free her, he's killed and we get our first glimpse of the killer. Kevin Gage becomes her hero, trying to keep her safe and stop the bad guy, even to his own detriment. The lead actress was a poor actress and her character was very one dimensional. She remains dumb throughout the movie, not acting in ways that a normal person in her situation would act. It was more like she was in cahoots with the killer setting up victims for him. We never find out who the killer is or why he does what he does. His knife is awesome and very effective. The special effects were very well done. If I didn't love Kevin Gage and his acting abilities, I would have turned this movie off after the first 30 minutes.
My first reaction to the first few minutes of Laid to Rest was that it
was a cheap, no-budget horror film typical of the direct-to-video
nonsense that you so often see populating the new release wall at the
video store. Well, that I remember seeing on the new release wall at
the video store, anyway. It's been a couple yeas since I've lived in
the states and even longer since Netflix left me with any reason to
ever visit a video store, but back in 2004 or so I used to have that
monthly no-limit rental service at both Blockbuster and Hollywood Video
and for a brief period I tried to keep up with ALL of the new movies,
which included this horizonless stream of train wrecks that seemed to
come out of nowhere.
And in many ways, that's what Laid to Rest is, but in some interesting other ways, it's not. Yeah it's true that the story is a prime example of mind-numbing pointlessness, but it would be a mistake to relegate the thing to the dark world of bottom shelf obscurity. Sort of. You see, there's not a scrap of originality or significance to the movie, but it is a perfect example of something bigger that is happening around us in the movie world at large.
80 years ago, movie-going audiences would have been shocked out of their chairs to see a man and a woman kiss on screen. Hell, 50 years ago they were still pretty uncomfortable with it. 10 years ago, even the most brutally violent horror movies more often than not showed the KILLER during the kill scenes, as movie blood sprayed all over them. Then Scream came along (by the way, true story just this second I mis-typed "Scream" and it accidentally came out "Scarem." Interesting.) and we saw the hugely famous Drew Barrymore get stabbed in the chest in the opening scene. No cutaway or anything, remember that? The movie briefly goes into slow motion and audiences the world over were shocked that we were actually looking at this knife going into this girl's chest. I'd been watching scary movies for years by that point and even I was pretty amazed. Strangely, to this day it is still a scene that makes me a little uncomfortable.
Now, on the other hand, such a thing is as tame as those monster movies that had people jumping out of their chairs in the 1950s, so we get movies like Laid to Rest which, if you were to show it to some of those audiences, would probably flood the theaters with heart attack victims. There is no cutting away here, man. Not by a long shot and it's going to be a pretty good idea for you to be well aware of that before you start watching it.
Such a movie could never be released in wide theatrical release, you understand, but that's the huge shift that's taking place in the movie world right now. Making movies is getting easier, nearly to the point where any jerk with a camera and a computer can get a movie made as long as he can find someone to distribute it. Of course, it's to be expected that these movies are almost uniformly awful, and Laid to Rest is a prime example. It's pretty bad, but these things are getting better and they're only going to continue to get better as people learn to make better and better movies with simpler equipment, at which point the direct-to- video market will grow and improve, and the important thing is that all of this will happen beyond the grasp of the censorship-happy MPAA.
The result, of course, is that we get movies like Laid to Rest which feature nothing but the grotesque developments of pushing the violence envelope, which is really all that this movie does. Like literally. The movie has absolutely nothing to it except violence, which is why all this stuff about the MPAA came to my mind.
There is no backstory to the killer in the movie whatsoever, or really any backstory to the story itself. Some big-breasted brunette wakes up in a closed casket, no idea who she is or why she's there. She manages to knock the thing over and escape, but before she gets out of the funeral home she witnesses a man wearing a chrome skull mask brutally kill another man, and then the killer comes after her.
Why does he want to kill her? Who knows? Who cares? Any explanation would just waste time. We understand that this is a slasher movie, and this particular slasher movie has no interest in such time-wasting things as character depth or coherent story structure. The important thing is that for the rest of the movie he relentlessly pursues her, viciously killing anyone who gets in his way with a serrated, double-edged knife.
Gore hounds will be highly impressed, as the movie is astonishingly and graphically bloody. We get sustained shots of the killer sawing away at various body parts, and one scene where we the central cast pops the lids off of a succession of coffins, revealing some of the killer's past kills, which he has taken the time to save, for future reference, let's say. I won't go into any details about the state of the victims in the coffins, let's just say that they are one of many reasons that the movie is not for the faint of heart, or the squeamish, or really anyone who, for example, would feel some hesitation at taking up the opportunity to do a little dissecting work on a human cadaver. But the rest of you are going to love it
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Out of all movies in general, I would only rank this around 5 or 6. However, compared to most of the underground / extreme / independent horror films I see, this is one of my favorites. I'm the guy who sat through all "SAW" movies in a row without flinching, but that scene where the guy's wife get knifed in the head, or when the screaming girl gets her head sawed off on camera...man oh man. I want that knife so bad. Never showing the killer's face, never revealing the girl's name, they pulled that off successfully. Unlike other films of its kind, "Laid to Rest" had a lot of effort put into it. It wasn't really scary, more like mysterious in a creepy way.
Come on, folks! It's a low-budget horror movie that actually delivers
the goods. The kills make you cringe, only a few of the characters are
Chrome-Skull fodder, and the plot isn't that bad. Robert Hall has been
in the SFX business for quite a while, and its great that he's finally
behind the lens, because he is a good director. Tell me of a good B
movie without a couple of plot holes(I know of many A-listers).
Taken for what it is, its a good clock-killer if you're willing to turn off your brain for 90 minutes. I think that was what the film-makers intended. I didn't expect an experience like when I first saw "Friday the 13th", but the villain works in this movie; he's in control of matters and intends to put "The Girl" in her place-literally! The ending doesn't suck either; which was something I didn't expect. How many films this year had 60 minutes of promise followed by 30 minutes of dirt stupidity? Well happily, not Laid To Rest.
Strengths: Good, original content. Nice atmospheres/settings (Funeral home scenes reminded me of "Phantasm". Solid characters that drew me in to a piece that was skillfully assembled. Photography and editing kicked up a notch, surpassing other low budget fare like "Leslie Vernon" and old school "Hatchet". Awesome "Monster on the Box" killer/mask. Very graphic, but satisfying resolution. In the "making of" doc, even the crew was groaning. I, a seasoned horror pro, almost puked. Weaknesses: The score. It often tried to hard to manipulate you into an emotion when it absolutely did not have to. The film also suffered from a benign sound mix/sound FX job that made audible scares limp. In short, I would totally rent the sequel, and watch "chrome skull" wreak more havoc.
Most of the horror movies i have watched over the the last year or so
have lacked many things , all of which i have covered extensively in
the past but the blindingly obvious one is Gore . When i was much
younger, horror movies were renowned for their gory shock value . The
Evil Dead films being the best example .
Many of Horror directors today ,cheat by fobbing off the audience with cheap , substandard CGI gore and they seemed to have made the art of genuine horror make up a thing of the past. Although" Laid To Rest " wont be classed a classic movie ,director Robert Hall has made a film that has enough realistic looking torn flesh and ripped tendons to fulfil the most blood thirsty horror fan.
"Laid to Rest," is the terrifying story of a young girl who wakes up in a casket with a traumatic head injury and no memory of her identity. She quickly realizes she was abducted by ChromeSkull , a metal-masked serial killer with the money and means to emulate the 1980s Slashers.
Isolated in an unfamiliar rural town, "the Girl" and those who have come to her aid must survive the night and outsmart the technologically inclined murderer who video records his vicious killings and is determined to finish his masterpiece tape featuring "the Girl."
My first impressions of " Laid to Rest" were that this was going to be a low budget , straight to DVD kind of movie . The one you see at the Rental shop that's sits on it's own on the bottom shelf amongst the other Turkeys.
I was wrong.
Although the " The madman on the loose" plot is not very original , this had something about it that i really liked. I'm not sure if it was a deliberate ploy by the director to give this a B movie feel or if this is genuinely a B movie?( What is the criteria for a film to be called a "B" ?) but either way it has a charm about it that's undeniable. The acting is pretty wooden as you would expect but that seems entirely appropriate for this film and it's also funny.
It helps having a gorgeous actress like Bobbi Sue Luther playing the lead . Not the most accomplished performance i have ever seen but perfect as " The Girl" Her character acts as the eye candy factor which helps counteract the extreme violence.
The make up and special affects are outstanding. The gore is of the highest quality and is certainly not short in quantity.
What i like is that this film requires no though process whatsoever ( just a gag reflex!) and is a perfect 90 minutes release from the real world.
Not a film for the squeamish but i recommend it for fans of real gore.
7 out of 10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just caught this film at The Festival Of Fear in Toronto. It was fantastic. Lot of blood, lot of violence. Not much nudity, but that was OK. The characters were pretty well developed and the villain was really nasty and brutal. One of the best slasher films I've seen. I recommend this highly. It is highly underrated on IMDb. Give this one a chance. Go and get the DVD. I wish that Hollywood would take a look at this kind of a picture more often, instead of making SAW after SAW. The effects were top notch and gory as hell. Very nasty bit of business, but I felt for the characters. Kevin Gage was especially interesting as the lead hero. He really put some heart into his performance. I also enjoyed the little bits of humor thrown in. All in all I give it 10 out of 10.
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