Friday, December 2, 2011

ChromeSkull: Laid to Rest 2 (2011)

Some readers may remember a while back when I reviewed Robert Hall's slasher movie "Laid to Rest." I found it to be a good time, but it didn't lend itself to be some kind of classic-not that it was trying to be one-and little about it seemed like it needed a sequel. Well, fans demanded it, so Hall decided to give them one. The end result...is not too good.

Starting where the original left off, we see ChromeSkull (Nick Principe) left for dead, his skull crushed. However, he's not dead yet, as Preston (Brian Austin Greene-yes, that one) brings him back to a shady government building, where he is put back together. Now he's disfigured (he should at least be glad he's alive), but Spann (Danielle Harris) has plans plans for him-and is in a bit of a power struggle with Preston, whose hellbent on becoming the new ChromeSkull. Soon, a girl named Jess (Mimi Michaels) and Tommy (Thomas Dekker) from the last movie are at the mercy of two killers...

The first mistake "ChromeSkull" makes is that it reveals too much about the killer. Sure, we don't know his history or why he does what he does, but when it turns out that he works for some large corporation, it ruins the character. One of the reasons ChromSkull (or as he will be called from here on out, Skully) was so interesting in the original is that we knew nothing about him other than the fact that he was a killer with a camera, a chrome skull mask and an assortment of sharp weapons and creative ways to kill people. That's all we needed to know about him. By making him an employee of sorts, it kills whatever mystique he had. Plus, there's so many plot-holes in the movie. What does this corporation do? How are they financed? We end up getting more questions than answers, and it's frustrating.

It also doesn't help that the story is so uninteresting, and the various sub-plots are kinda lame. We don't need two people in a corporate power struggle. We don't need a boring police procedural. We especially don't need someone moonlighting as a killer. We need protagonists that are interesting and a story that doesn't feel convoluted. Oh sure, we've got great kills and gore, as well as an effective Industrial Rock score and good performances, but when the plot is weak and the side-story is lame, you don't really care all that much. When a weak "final girl" moment and a plot twist after the end credits that's insulting in how stupid it is is what you have, then what's the point of watching?

It really sucks that a movie with potential and such a great slasher ended up becoming a mess, but lo and behold, that's what you get. The ending leaves room for a sequel, but if you ask me, they should stop here.

Rating: 3/10

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