Laid to Rest (2009)

If you’re in the mood to watch a He-Man villain chase three buffoonish horror characters around deserted locales, eternal night, and a dull as day old bread funeral home, armed with a camera that seemingly never runs out of tape or battery power, then step right up to “Laid to Rest.” I can’t believe I waited anxiously for my chance to see this movie and wanted to welcome the new horror character to the slasher fold while enjoying the creative hook all to be welcomed with nothing but endless bickering among characters, a killer who doesn’t do much of anything unless the plot conveniently calls for some scares to keep audiences awake, and fifteen minutes involving three people trying to find the password to a cell phone to call police.

If that’s not enough character Tucker has no idea what a computer is nor does he have any idea what e-mail is when character Steve offers to contact police over the internet (actual line: “Send them one of them mail things”), but he’s more than able to understand what a password is on a cell phone and why it’s needed. And if that’s not enough Lena Heady has a very small role here lending some star credit as Tucker’s ill-fated wife who bickers with him about Bobbi Sue Luther’s character and is mercifully offed before the action starts. The rest of the film involves The girl (as the credits identify her by) trying to piece together her origin she can’t quite remember, her strange draw to the funeral home, and the Chrome Skull killer trying to find her and kill her for reasons never quite explained.

She jumps from new locale to new locale meeting some of the most obnoxious characters imaginable all of whom suffer grizzly deaths (thankfully) while the director struggles to find something for his slasher to do beyond hiding in shadows and walking very slowly. For a movie revolving around a horror character, it’s sad how the writer can never seem to know what to do with him. Meanwhile we’re in no short supply of shrill survivors who scream and moan and bicker pulling off some of the most illogical and asinine actions and one-liners imaginable. Bobbi Sue Luther is one of the most shrill final girls in horror movie history, shrieking and serving little purpose beyond a plot device that ultimately means nothing to the whole of the narrative. Meanwhile Hall’s direction is sloppy relying on grainy shaky cam and choppy editing that brings us out of the story quite often.

The ultimate identity of the girl is rather anti-climactic and a realization that the audience has wasted their time, all the while Chrome Skull’s fate is hysterically laughable. “Laid to Rest” is a god awful movie dripping with potential and a villain that can be absolutely iconic if implemented creatively, and it wastes it no pure nonsense from the minute the overwrought opening credits cease. While Chrome Skull is an appealing and creepy slasher villain, “Laid to Rest” is a tedious and awfully terrible movie with horrible acting, vapid characters, a story that goes nowhere and painful direction. Currently it’s a proposed franchise in the works, but I don’t think I want to spend anymore time seeing where Chrome Skull ends up and how he comes back from the grave.