Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011)
(TBC) Running time: 93 minutes
Director: Robert Hall
Writers: Kevin Bocarde, Robert Hall
Starring: Nick Principe, Danielle Harris, Angelina Armani, Zachary Alden
Reviewed by: Matt Wavish, official HCF critic
Robert Hall expertly directs the sequel to his own film, Laid to Rest. The original film got itself a bit of a cult following after its release in 2009, and even though the film was far from perfect, a new horror villain was created in the shape of the vicious killer Chromeskull. In fact, it’s safe to say he has become one of the most exciting and frightening additions to the horror ‘boogeyman’ and the sequel takes that up a notch, and then some! The sequel takes place directly after the events of the first movie, with the survivors of Chromeskull’s attacks heading off to a motel after leaving a note for the cops at the scene of the crime, the scene where they believe they killed the vicious killer. Chromeskull is not there, and his corporation buddies have arrived and taken his bruised and battered body away to repair him so he can begin killing again. The police are baffled, and we are introduced to a new bad guy, Preston (Brian Austin Green), Chromeskull’s right hand man and the fella who takes charge in erasing any witnesses from the carnage. In case you haven’t guessed, in the sequel we are introduced to a corporation who work to help Chromeskull and his killings, and Preston is right at the top of the ladder. Once Chromeskull s back to proper fitness he sets off on a killing spree, camera firmly attached to his shoulder and horrific hunting knife in hand, and the stage is set for some of the most fantastic kills you will see all year!
My main, and only real issue with Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2, is that the corporation that the vicious killer is head of, is never really explained. They simply exist, and turn up to help their leader and nurse him back to health. Preston clearly wants to be the best support Chromeskull has, although it’s Danielle Harris as Spann who shines as the quiet, but intelligent corporation member who seems to make all the right decisions. Harris doesn’t really have a lot to do or say, but the fact this generations scream queen is here is enough, and she plays her part perfectly. Preston is also a superb creation, a dark and intense character who will shock you with sudden bursts of vicious violence. With some new victims in place, the stage is set for Chromeskull to start killing again, and now the film really gets going. Most of the first half is made up of character development and back story so you get to understand exactly what is going on, and it gives you the chance to get to know characters and, I suppose, chose your side. We should always side with the victims, but Chromeskull is such a fantastic creation it’s hard not to take his side! Once his mask is re-attached and knife is in hand, he heads off in search of victims to please the corporation. It would seem he likes to thrown his victims in coffins until he is ready for them, something which is chillingly explained to the main victim of the film Preston. We don’t hear what he says as he whispers in her ear what will be done to her, but it’s her facial expressions and screams that speak much louder than words.
Following a lead, the police are desperately closing in, but here in Chromeskull’s lair are all types of horrific weapons, and a grisly cage with knives, hatchets and all manner of sharp tools attached to it for Chromeskull’s pleasure. Make no mistake; this is a savage brutal and sickening film which openly glorifies its violence in a sort of “fuck you” to the censor’s sort of way. I have seen many violent horrors, but Chromeskull is up there with the best of them. The plot may be a little thin, but it is more than compensated by the unique and superb kills. Oddly though, director Robert Hall ahs some sick fascination with mouth wounds as most of the kills involve some sort of knife shoved into the mouth. A new twist on the Chelsea smile is painful to watch, even more painful is some large scissors forced into a girls mouth, and then opened so that her whole face splits in half, another face is sliced in half, another is cut off! Honestly, if you watch this film for one reason alone, make that the kills, I have never seen anything quite like it, and it is a joy to watch a director not afraid to just go for it without any remorse or thought of upsetting someone. Hall clearly knows his audience, and knows exactly what they want and he damn well gives it to them, in more ways than one!
Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 is great fun, shocking, sickening and simple. You can go into this film and easily pick up the story and just enjoy it for what it is a vicious assault on the senses featuring some of the finest deaths horror has had to offer. The production values at times may look a bit dodgy, but this all adds to the films charm, the characters are well acted, with the victims being people you actually care about, Preston becoming one of this year’s best bad guys, and Chromeskull himself notching himself up there amongst the ranks of the very best evil bastards horror has introduced to us. If you can’t find anything to like about this film, then you are following the wrong genre, this is near perfection for a good Friday night in with some beers. It won’t break any new ground or win any awards, but then, it doesn’t want or need to, and this is a horror to satisfy a horror fans needs, not force them into new territory. Sometimes it’s nice just to be able to enjoy a simple horror yarn just for the simple fact it IS horror, nothing arty, nothing clever, nothing too up itself, this is basic horror at its absolute best that will give you some laughs along the way, so long as you also have a sick bag by your side just in case. This is horror with emphasis on the word fun, enjoy it because you won’t see many slasher’s as good as this in 2010.