A young woman wakes up in a coffin inside a funeral home, suffering from amnesia. While stumbling around trying to find a way out, she witnesses the brutal murder of a man by the hands of a killer who's wearing a chrome-plated skull for a mask and a camera mounted on his shoulder. She flees the funeral home and tries to find help in a small-unknown town, with the killer following her every step of the way. Now she must try to survive this night of terror while unraveling the mystery of who she is and the connection she has with the Chrome Skull killer.
When I sat down to watch "Laid to Rest", I had no intentions of reviewing it for the site simply because it is too mainstream of a title and will be covered plenty from other horror based web sites. Hell, I actually had no intentions of even watching the movie, but I had heard from enough people that I trust that the movie wasn't too bad, generic, but nothing horrid. After actually watching it though, I felt the need to give an opinion on the flick, plus it never hurts to deviant from the norm every once and awhile and review something that's more common.
The plot and the overall structure of the story is a very basic slasher concept. We have a lead female character (Bobbi Sue Luther) who remains relatively nameless (somebody who tries to help her, gives her a temporary name until they find her real identity) due to amnesia caused from an injury she received on the back of her head. She wakes up at a funeral home, sees a man get killed by a masked killer, runs away and finds help from the different town's folk she encounters. That's all there really is to it; a simple cat-and-mouse game between the killer, Chrome Skull, and this nameless woman. Of course anybody who helps her ends up getting killed. The details in the movie are vague about the town that the movie takes place in, but apparently it is a small isolated town far from the city. So often the characters go back to the same locations several times in the movie, as if they are running in one large circle. The movie plays out like the directions to a shampoo bottle; they run to a location, run into someone new who tries to help, killer shows up, kills one or a couple people. Lather, rinse, repeat. It doesn't take long for the movie to become very monotonous and extremely boring and the character's dialogue and their actions don't help the situation either. The lead female spends most of her time crying and whimpering, while talking like she's mildly retarded since apparently the amnesia made her forget only parts of the English language. (She knows the word 'dead' and how to use it, but doesn't know the word 'kill'?) Then who ever happens to be tagging along with her at the moment, spend their time swearing, screaming and asking the same questions over and over again: "Who is that?", "What does he want?", "What are we going to do?". So if the redundant scenes don't bore you to tears, then the dialogue and actions from the characters will.
You can't have a generic slasher film without a generic killer; let's face it, if you're going to have one you are going to have the other. Kind of like hookers and regret. The killer for "Laid to Rest" goes by the name Chrome Skull, considering his mask of choice is a metal skull that has a chrome finish. Much like the killers from slasher-classics, his identity and reasoning all remains a mystery until the end, and acts like an unstoppable killing machine. He is punched, kicked, stabbed repeatedly with numerous items, and is even shot a couple times but never stops chasing. Why? Don't know, it's never explained where his super-human abilities come from even though what information you're given on the man leads you to believe he is just an average man who is skilled with knives. Now I'm not going to fault the movie for that, since it isn't the first movie to have a killer with supernatural like abilities and goes unaffected from defensive attacks. In fact I'm not quite sure why it seems to bother the people who comment on that part of the movie negatively. I suppose it's alright that it happened in older movies, as long as they're consider staples of the genre, but in a newer flick it's consider stupid and illogical.
I won't sit here and defend the movie completely, yes, the whole thing is rather illogical and is often quite stupid. Once again though, I can't pick on this movie of being guilty for something that is very common in slasher movies. Looking at "Laid to Rest" as a whole though, it is an utter failure, and not from being a generic title but rather because it has a dull story and dull characters. It is possible to do a simple basic slasher movie and still be good; both "Fritt Vilt" movies have proven that it is possible. You just need to have something there to support the movie that allows you to look past it being a by-the-numbers genre flick and is actually an entertaining watch. People say the gore in "Laid to Rest" will make the movie watchable, and I admit the movie has some really nice gore sequences. A guy getting the front half of his face cut off, shotgun blast to the head, viscous stabbings, the spilling of entrails, etc. If the people behind the scenes would have put the intensity that was used during the death scenes, into the story and into the characters, this could have been something really worth while. Instead though, the movie is such a tedious watch it can't even qualify as a 'turn of your brain time waster'.