Laid To Rest is another low-budget entry into the hallowed halls of American Slasher movies that try to invent an iconic villain, and try to make the kills the bloodiest they can be. Laid To Rest, however, stands out amongst it’s peers by being one of the most brutal and goriest slasher films to grace the silver screen. The film delights in it’s utter brutality whilst embracing the cliche’s of slasher movies past: the stereotypes, the omnipresent killer and a plot full of holes and ridiculous moments. Although Laid To Rest technically isn’t a paint by numbers slasher movie, the conventions of the slasher genre are clearly evident throughout the entire film.
Laid To Rest is a film that definitely focuses on style over substance. Laid To Rest sports atmospheric lighting, fairly decent cinematography, astounding special effects and a lot of dark, foggy settings. The film itself looks very clean and pristine, obviously shot on a high-tech camera for such a low-budget movie, and thus the film doesn’t look dirty, dingy or cheap like so many other low-budget slasher films released in the 21st Century. However, once one looks past the brutality and the film’s ‘pristine’ look, Laid To Rest makes very little sense in terms of story or characterization. The film has a lot of plot-holes and confusing character motivations that are never explained and make absolutely no sense: Why was Princess put in the coffin at the beginning of the film? What’s the relationship between Chrome Skull and the Mortician? Why does Chrome Skull chase after one victim for so long instead of letting her go? These questions are never answered by the end of the film, and as a result, the characters are very hard to empathize with and Chrome Skull feels like a very confused, disappointing villain who isn’t as menacing as those who came before and inspired him such as Jason Voorhees. Laid To Rest has a plotline that’s quite easy to follow as long as the viewer doesn’t think about what’s going on underneath what’s being shown onscreen, because that’s when the film falls apart like a water biscuit.
However, the main focus of Laid to Rest isn’t the story, or the character, it is the magnificently vicious special effects that were created by an American company called Almost Human Inc, who had previously done work on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Angel, Teen Wolf and The Crazies. Almost Human Inc pull no punches when it comes to the gore factor in Laid The Rest. Every death scene is extremely shocking, yet outrageously excessive with blood and body parts splattering the screen. What is incredibly impressive though, is that every gore effect is practical and impressively visceral, and no death scene feels underwhelming or disappointing, especially when it comes to the death of the film’s villain: Chrome Skull. Each death scene is gorier and more ridiculously violent than the last, and Laid To Rest definitely showcases Almost Human Inc’s talent and professionalism when it comes to horror movie visual effects. I have a hypothesis, however, that Laid To Rest was mainly a marketing ploy for Almost Human Inc as Robert Green Hall – the director of Laid To Rest – is the founding member of Almost Human Inc.
In conclusion, Laid To Rest has it faults: it’s quite poorly written with a terrible story full of underwhelming characters being chased by a confusing, underwhelming villain. However, Laid To Rest is also a gorehound’s dream, sporting some of the best special effects that I’ve ever witnessed throughout my time watching gory films. In the end, I feel that Laid To Rest is an enjoyable flick if one was to watch it with their brain turned off. Laid To Rest truly is a treat for the eyes, but not for the mind. In retrospect, I’d say Laid To Rest is a tentative recommendation, as the good aspects are more evident than the bad, but it’s definitely a film where a viewer has to know what they’re in for before they watch it in order to get the best out of it.