Laid to Rest (DVD)

Robert Hall's Laid to RestReviewed by Uncle Creepy

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

We live in a time when slasher films are a dime a dozen and everyone’s claiming to be the next big thing. Claiming to be good old fashioned, old school style horror. Few movies live up to these boastful claims, as the formula is simple yet very complex. Adam Green’s Hatchet and its monstrous killer Victor Crowley was the closest we’ve come to reliving those bloody glory days. Enter now Robert Hall’s Laid to Rest. A new film with a brand new killer, the uncompromisingly sadistic ChromeSkull (Principe).

Our story begins when a young woman (Luther) wakes up in a coffin with no memory at all. Not even of basic things like how to speak correctly or perform the simplest of functions. All she knows is that something is very, very wrong. It’s not long before she realizes that the place where — for all intents and purposes — she was just born is an old funeral home and she’s surrounded by nothing but death. To make matters worse, there’s someone else there with her. A tall man clad completely in black with a camera mounted on his shoulder and a chrome mask shaped into the form of a skull over his face. This imposing figure is clearly not there to help her.

Robert Hall's Laid to RestFrom there the chase is on. ChromeSkull is relentless in his pursuit of the girl. He’ll stop at nothing to put her back in the old pine box in as many pieces as possible. Along the way friends are made and friends are dispatched as the body count continues way into the early morning hours. Laid to Rest plays like one long gore-soaked rampage, and I love it for that reason.

Even though the film has a great cast, there’s no mistaking one thing … this is Bobbie Sue Luther’s movie. You’re on an insane fucking ride with her, and the weight of the entire film seemingly rests on her shoulders. Though she’s a bit rocky in the beginning, by the time we get to the second act, she’s sizzling hot and not afraid to get a little dirty. Her character runs the gamut of emotions from near catatonia to balls-out hysteria to ice-cold determination, and she does it all without so much as a flinch. Really good stuff.

ChromeSkull, played by Nick Principe is smart, sadistic, and completely badass. But a killer is only as good as his kills, and Laid to Rest delivers some of the craziest, most memorable, and most gut-wrenching onscreen murders I’ve seen in the last five years. They’re brilliant in their brutality and filled with squirm-inducing subtleties like the way an eyeball moves when there’s a knife pressing against the back of it. I don’t think I’ve screamed “Holy shit!” so much since Hatchet. Simply put, this is yet another step in the completely right direction for the slasher sub-genre.

Robert Hall's Laid to RestWhile completely entertaining, Laid to Rest is not without the usual pitfalls of a lower budget production. Sure, there are a few characters whose sole purpose for showing up is to die horribly, and yes, there are a couple of cringe-inducing line deliveries and some fairly sizable plotholes, but all of these things are relatively easy to forgive because of the energy and intent that’s up on the screen to make something insanely violent and totally fuckin’ fun. That’s something that big-budget bullshit like the Friday the 13th remake doesn’t even come close to doing right.

In terms of special features, Anchor Bay has delivered a great little package. Things kick off with a commentary by writer/director Rob Hall and actor/producer Bobbie Sue Luther that’s a blast from start to finish. There’s never a quiet moment between the two, and the stories they share are genuinely entertaining. Good stuff. From there we get a thirty-minute making-of featurette, a twelve-minute look at the special effects Hall and artist Erik Porn have put together for the movie that solidifies why their company Almost Human is one of the preeminent effects companies working in the genre today, a bunch of deleted scenes, bloopers, and trailers a-plenty. All in all — a nice haul!

With this and his previous feature Lightning Bug, Robert Hall has proven that he’s got the directing chops needed to possibly become one of our genre’s more prolific directors. With Laid to Rest he’s delivered a movie that is a masterpiece of mayhem and carnage. It’s wall-to-wall blood, grue, and good times! Highly recommended!

Special Features

  • Audio commentary with writer/director Rob Hall, and actor/producer Bobbie Sue Luther
  • Post Mortem: The Making-of Laid to Rest featurette
  • Torture Porn: The SFX of Laid to Rest featurette
  • Deleted scenes
  • Bloopers
  • Trailer

    4 out of 5

    Special Features:
    4 out of 5

    Discuss Laid to Rest in our forums!

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    Steve Barton

    You're such an inspiration for the ways that I will never, ever choose to be.

    • Floydian Trip

      This movie would have been alot better had they stayed in one location and got killed with 15 minutes and rolled the credits.

    • mrflapjacks

      This flick should have been great. The FX were above average, there are some inventive kills and the antagonist was kinda cool, however, the characters were the dumbest I’ve ever seen. As a matter of fact, I find it implausible that characters this stupid would have survived adolescence, let alone for just a few moments against this or any threat. I actually found myself angered by their exhibited ineptitude and wished for their prolonged painful bloody deaths. Maybe a good editor could have saved this movie…?

    • Vangothahustla

      Pretty good flick. Was a bit upset with the ending. Was impressed that there was no backstory and kept me thinking about how crazy this guy was. The movie’s special features were cool too, I enjoy it when directors love what they do and the definitely had a blast making this. I also liked the fact that the guy who played ChromeSkull talked about the character and how enjoyed the part. That’s great movie making. The director does have a future indeed.

    • JoeDarkfall

      This was a really fun movie. I loved Leena as a country hick. Some really awesome and inovative kills. While I enjoyed the movie, I enjoyed it even more with the commentary track. There’s minimal “real” nudity (most of it is corpses), but I did enjoy seeing the girl from “Burrowers” topless in this flick.

      For $9 at walmart it’s a must addition to your horror collection.

    • JohnnyHorror30

      This looks awesome!! I’m psyched to buy this on Tuesday!

      I Am What I Say I Am Rated R [JohnnyHorror]

    • vorodex999

      You know it’s funny Laid To Rest was better than The remake of Friday The 13th and MBV3D. While those movies had a fairly sizeable…no for a slasher film that had big budgets, they don’t even touch the creativity and creepiness that laid To Rest has. While I dont knock the killers in the remakes, Derek mears is a cool guy and has become my fav. Jason( and if they make a sequel he better get it so they can let him create his version of jason a bit more.) Chromeskull is just plain awesome. People this film is that good.

    • frank_dracman

      I had my doubts about his one, even after reading Heather’s review. No offense to her, but I haven’t seen a enough of her reviews to get a feel for how her taste compare to mine. You, on the other hand, I almost always agree with (you sick, deranged psycho). You both give it 4 stabbies and say it’s great so that’s all I need. Now I am indeed excited.
      Quick Robin, to the Wal-Mart!

      • Uncle Creepy

        Thanks Frank! I’m not saying LTR is the best movie ever, or the savior of the slasher film. It does have a couple of problems but goddamnit I had such a good time with it I just didn’t care!

        • Rorschach

          Agree with you 100% Creepy. This one is well worth the purchase. Besides, THESE people actually GET how to do the Michael Myers character. Skip “H2” later this year…LAID TO REST is how the silent, violent slasher is done! Chrome Skull > Zombie’s Michael Myers.

    • MichaelRAllen

      Okay, I am sold when is the contest?