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Laid to Rest (2009)

Robert Hall's Laid to RestReviewed by Heather Wixson

Starring Bobbi Sue Luther, Kevin Gage, Sean Whalen, Lena Headey, Johnathon Schaech, Nick Principe, Thomas Dekker

Directed by Robert Hall

Distributed by Anchor Bay Entertainment


The truth is slasher movies are one of my favorite sub-genres of horror (almost as much as zombie films). I’d been hearing a lot of great buzz on this new project called Laid to Rest but was a bit skeptical after being burned before by these so-called “slashers for a new generation.”

There was recently a screening of Laid to Rest at AFI, and let’s just say that my skepticism has been (excuse the pun) put to rest. That evening we were introduced to ChromeSkull, and this guy is definitely ready to play in the big leagues. I haven’t been able to say that since watching Hatchet almost two years ago.

Laid to Rest starts off with a disoriented hot chick in a coffin (sounds like an average Saturday night to me) played by Luther, who has no idea who she is, where she is, and why she’s been stuffed into a casket in a random funeral home.

Robert Hall's Laid to RestAll of a sudden she catches a glimpse of a shadowy figure dressed in all black who is outside dealing with some corpses. The only definitive thing about this person is a chrome-plated mask shaped like a skull that he wears on his face alongside a video camera perched on his shoulder. He realizes she sees him, and the chase is on. He’s coming after our “mystery girl” and will kill anyone that gets in his path. This is our first taste of ChromeSkull.

Along the way our heroine comes across a local couple who try to help (played by Gage and Headey) as well as an introverted geek (Whalen) who’s mourning his mom and not really feeling up to the challenge of surviving the wrath of the maniacal ChromeSkull. In the end it’s up to the “mystery girl” to fulfill her “final girl” horror destiny and take down the killer before she ends up part of the body count.

Slasher flicks these days are a tricky bunch. They can fall too far one way and become a “torture porn” film; yet, if they fall the other way, they risk being stale and a total rip-off. Laid to Rest somehow manages to avoid the pitfalls of either side and comes up feeling like a breath of fresh air.

Robert Hall's Laid to RestWriter/director Hall does a great job of knowing exactly who his audience for Laid to Rest is and doesn’t try to pander to the artsy crowd by trying to give us a sob story about who our killer is and what motivates him. I love a killer with unexplained motives myself, and what I loved even more is that we don’t even see the killer’s “real” face; all we see is ChromeSkull applying his mask with medicinal glue and that he has a bit of a bleeding problem from his eyes.

In fact, Hall succeeds in giving audiences a relentless and creative killer as well as some badass, gorelicious kill scenes that definitely will leave the gorehounds out there happy.

There is a killer tire sealant death that had most of the audience chuckling with glee. It’s too bad the guys who made the Friday the 13th redux didn’t talk to Hall to get some ideas on creative kills because he certainly delivers them in Laid to Rest.

There’s also a fun cameo by Schaech, who definitely gets one of the more groan-inducing kills in the entire film.

Laid to Rest does have some minor issues with pacing at first but really finds its stride about 30 minutes in and just keeps moving along until the very end. What I like here is that Hall was able to create a slasher film with characters we care about but definitely doesn’t take anything too seriously either, giving horror fans a movie that’s both entertaining and a lot of fun to watch.

Laid to Rest will be hitting DVD shelves on April 21st. Order it below!

4 out of 5

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thehorrorchick

  • valdamirie

    this movie is a MUST HAVE! not since hatchet and dance of the dead ive enjoyed a horror slashers movie like this one! kinna sad there wasnt anymore nakedness but hey.. still a fan! and buy it blue ray so that you enjoy the deaths that much better.

  • Kolpitz

    Why do you guys keep saying Ted Levine was in this when he wasn’t? Can I assume you were talking about Kevin Gage?

  • perihelion

    I usually agree on Creepys reviews but this one……… Man what were you smoking!? As soon as any of the characters opened their mouths you wanted them to die the most painful death possible! Easily this years worst written characters yet! I give this movie five smoking turds out of five!!!

    • Uncle Creepy

      But that’s just it … You WANTED them to die the most painful death possible and they did! I was ecstatic by this! LOL

  • MichaelRAllen

    Ted Levine was good in this, but “LTR,” had a lot of flaws. I think Robert Hall stuck to what he knew best, which was gore and make-up but he forgot about the story, still watchable.
    -Mike

    *For a different perspective, my review:
    http://www.28dayslateranalysis.com/search?q=laid+to+rest

  • Didn’t See It Coming

    Bah. That was the least of that movies problems.

  • Didn’t See It Coming

    I’ve really been looking forward to this. I hope it’s good because the last 2 slasher films that got praised I either thought sucked or was incredibly underwhelmed. Those are Malevolence and Behind the Mask, respectively.

    • The Woman In Black

      Oh, it’s light years better than either of those, DSIC. Like the review says, it starts off slowly, but once things pick up, it’s on! It’s kind of too bad that going in you know it’s a slasher because at first it’s very ambiguous … Is she dead? Is it all in her head? … that kind of stuff. But the kills are some of the best I’ve seen in years. It really made me squirm.

      • Didn’t See It Coming

        The kills were great but unfortunately little else was. Like I’ve always said, these movies would be SO much more effective if you actually gave a shit about the characters. The movie does little in the way of this. I hated the main girl, was annoyed by the geek and kind of sort of liked Ted Levine’s character. Instead the movie introduces people merely for the body count.

        • Uncle Creepy

          “Instead the movie introduces people merely for the body count” Which is EXACTLY what the Friday the 13th remake SHOULD have done.

          • Didn’t See It Coming

            No, what they should have done is make the kills or characters more interesting. Like the first 20 minutes.

          • Uncle Creepy

            I STILL wanna know how that chick survived Jason’s machete swing. Robert Stack is gonna come back from the grave to host an Unsolved Mysteries about that!

          • Rob

            I got the impression that when she held up her hands, she was still holding the locket, and he saw that and involuntarily jerked, missing her head and maybe just cutting her arm or something. Just a theory, or Platinum Dunes turned on the See No Evil portion of Jason’s brain. Of course, I think that’s why I enjoyed F13 as much as I did, because I didn’t see it as a F13 movie, I saw it as a See No Evil remake with Jason taking the place of Kane and without all the religious tones.

            As for Laid to Rest. Saw it, loved it. Insane kills, a nice cast and a very gnarly slasher. A very, very solid flick in my book.

        • The Woman In Black

          I also thought Bobbi Sue (the main actress) was rather weak in the beginning, but once her character started realizing what was going on and fighting back, she really rose to the occasion, and I found myself caring quite a bit about her. But different strokes for sure … just look at how varied the reactions were to the Cloverfield kids.