Laid to Rest begins within a box. Our protagonist, the nameless Girl, played by Bobbi Sue Luther, awakens inside a coffin and, after freeing herself, soon learns that she is being targeted by a knife-wielding psychopath in a skull mask. Oh, and she’s also lost her memory . . . and the ability to speak without sounding like someone playing Pictionary with a blind person.
See, the poor Girl has suffered a head injury; so, fine, she’s having trouble forming coherent sentences, but the script makes her sound mentally challenged and her oblique way of describing everyday objects quickly wears thin. This isn’t Luther’s fault, she gives it a good try, but the script just doesn’t give her much to work with. Given this, it’s a little tough to feel worried for our marble-mouthed heroine.
There isn’t much tension here until Tucker, played by Kevin Gage, comes around to our Girl’s aid. He takes her home and it isn’t immediately clear if he actually wants to help or is himself a creep intent on taking advantage of the woman’s condition.
For the most part, though, Laid to Rest is short on real tension or scares; what it does provide are some undeniably cool kills and a healthy dose of gore. Those looking for eye candy of the blood-red and bone-white variety will not be disappointed. I’d bet, too, that the majority of the budget went into the practical effects; they look great.
But, hell, the one meting out the kills looks pretty damn good as well. Called Chromeskull, the killer here wears a mirrored skull mask over his face and a video camera on his shoulder. What he does with the footage isn’t made clear, but he’s amassed quite a collection during his cross-country travels. The camera work on the movie is hit-or-miss (dialogue scenes are wide misses), but Chromeskull always looks cool.
I’ll give the filmmakers credit for integrating a little modern technology into their script—things like a cellphone and the aforementioned shoulder-cam serve to further the plot—but I’m not yet convinced the Laid to Rest series (Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 came out in 2011) will prove notable, historically-speaking.
So, in the end, is it worth a watch? If you’re into atmosphere, slow tension, and solid scares, absolutely not; but if all you want is a fairly badass killer who makes his kills brutal and bloody, yeah, sure, try it on.
Length: 90 min