Friday, May 18, 2012

Review: ChromeSkull - Laid to Rest 2 (2011)

“Evil is only skin deep.”

Director: Robert Hall
Starring: Brian Austin Green, Thomas Dekker and Mimi Michaels
Writers: Kevin Bocarde, Robert Hall

Like any good horror franchise there will always be a sequel or remake. Laid to Rest won my heart and when I heard there was a sequel I was looking forward to it. However Laid to Rest 2 falls into the big mistake of most sequels, it tries to expand the world and in doing so destroys the simple pleasures of the original. So let’s delve in and see where it went wrong.

Well, not to make this review short, but the biggest problem is that there is not enough Chrome Skull in a movie that is attempting to focus on Chrome Skull. Instead we get a substitute villain played by Brain Austin Green. While there is potential in the actual story, it just doesn’t feel right when compared to the original movie. A simple story is replaced by a very layered exposition of who Chrome Skull is, but in one of the bigger insults it’s not all fully explained. So the movie drags without it any real pay off. Also with the focus so much on the killer, the victims aren’t as interesting, and therefore I don’t care.

While the character of Preston (Brian Austin Green) is interesting and played rather well by Green, I just wanted him off the screen as he was taking up valuable Chrome Skull time. Nick Principe is back as Chrome Skull but this time there is something lacking in his performance. I loved all the subtle moments in the original that made Chrome Skull more human. In this movie he’s more a presence than a person and it takes away one of the best things from the original. None of the other actors are really worth mentioning as they are either body count or exposition machines.

Thankfully the special effects that were great in the first movie are still great in the second. In this respect Robert Hall knows what he’s doing and the practical effects are always appreciated as they do lend a lot of impact to the kills. Unfortunately while the kills were impressive they were more entertaining than emotionally impactful as I didn’t care about the victims. Yes I’m harping on this a little, but it’s important as it’s a flaw many horror movies have. Directorial Hall is still very competent and knows how to make the most of what he has; maybe the main killing area is a little plain, especially considering the amount of time spent there.

Overall there is some enjoyment to be had with this movie but it’s definitely lesser than the original. There is a vibe of the movie trying to fix something that wasn’t broken. We don’t need to know everything about the killer; little hints are all we really need. Still if you liked the first then give this a watch. Enjoy the gore then watch the original again.

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