I didn’t enjoy “Laid to Rest” as much as other people did, for the simple fact that as a slasher it featured some of the most annoying and difficult to root for characters ever created, with a character named Chrome skull who had potential but was sorely wasted. “Laid to Rest” was a missed opportunity to conceive something of a unique slasher franchise and it failed big time. “Chromeskull” however is an even bigger waste of time, as it never knows what to do with the premise, nor can it completely connect the first film to the second film without it feeling like cheap fan service.
Shocking enough “Laid to Rest” had fans, and director Robert Hall feels he should devote time to featuring clips to the original to give us the illusion that we’ll see more of the original story. In the end though, it holds little relevance to the sequel as we learn a lot about Chromeskull that holds no connection to the first film. Chromeskull for some reason is the leader of a corporation who managed to survive the acid attack that melted his face down to an actual skull. After extensive surgery and a shockingly speedy recovery, he returns from the near grave with the help of his two disciples/executives (Brian Austin Green and Danielle Harris) to wreak havoc on another poor girl. For reasons we’re never quite let in on, he chooses young Holland for misdeeds that includes some horrific maiming and mutilations of her friends and family.
We’re never told why he chooses these women and what purpose they serve when he stalks and kills them. Why do these two executives follow Chromeskull around and worship him? What do they have to gain? What does Chromeskull have to gain? The gimmick of the girl awakening in the cemetery to find herself is repeated once again except with much more extrapolation and clunky exposition to give us insight in to the inner workings of Chromeskull. Robert Hall makes the mistake of making the film all about our villain, thus the empathy for the victims becomes scarce from minute one. We learn everything about Chromeskull and so little about our young heroine who is kidnapped and awakens in a coffin once again. One of the few highlights of “Laid to Rest 2” is the performance by Brian Austin Green who plays Preston, Chromeskull’s right hand man.
He seems to be having a ball playing this evil monster of a CEO who revels in Chromeskull’s murders and is anxious to go off on his own and commit some murders on his own. Beyond Green and a small appearance by Danielle Harris, “Laid to Rest 2” isn’t as bad as its counterpart, it just isn’t a very good movie when all is said and done. It’s mostly a practice in sadism and turns its villain in to the main character while forgetting to bring us in at the eye level of the victim, which seemed to be the intent of the first film. At the end of the day, I won’t call this a complete waste of time, but it’s not a film I’d rush out to see ever again. A lot better than the original, “Laid to Rest 2” isn’t a wasted effort as it at least tries to portray likable characters and a compelling villain. In the end it’s not re-inventing the wheel, or changing the genre, but at least it’s watchable.