ChromeSkull: Laid To Rest 2 (2011)

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Connections: Laid To Rest

ChromeSkull is the sequel to the 2009 horror hit Laid to Rest. It brings back ChromeSkull, who barely escaped death in the first movie and is hell-bent on continuing where he left off... and forging a new path of terror and destruction. --IMDb
Review by Crispy
Added: February 03, 2012
Laid to Rest is one of my favorite slasher movies. It's simple, brutal, has some great characters and plays the "mysterious killer" card to perfection. Still, I had pretty low hopes that Robert Hall would be able to duplicate the magic in part two.

As Tommy and Princess depart the convenience store, the authorities have arrived to survey the slaughter. Or have they? Turns out it's ChromeSkull's team, come to perform such much needed damage control. Led by Preston, they discover that old Chromey survived his face being melted and pounded to a bloody pulp with a baseball bat, and he's rushed to his personal ER, where his skull is reconstructed and fitted with artificial skin. Meanwhile, Preston has tracked down his boss's latest quarry and makes quick work of her in a cheap hotel room, simultaneously uncovering a love for murder and raising Chromeskull's ire for stealing his kill. Three months later, however, Chromeskull has resumed his ways, kidnapping teenaged Jess and slaughtering Tommy's roommate. Working with homicide detective King, Tommy has to face the nightmare all over again and bring him down for good.

Anytime someone talks about Laid to Rest positively, they're invariably raving about the amazing gore sequences. It practically defines the movie. Chromeskull keeps that bar high, and may even pass it, but it truly drives home all of the other little pieces that made the first movie so great. Not the least of which is the chemistry between Bobbi Sue Luther, Kevin Gage and Sean Whalen. These three played off of each other beautifully; there's nothing even remotely like that here. With small exception, most of the characters don't even interact with each other. Hell, with small exception, most of the characters aren't even seen on camera, with the most heavily featured subplot being the pissing contest between Chromeskull and Preston. Nobody put this DVD into their player because that's what they wanted to see.

The last movie's sheer simplicity can also not be overlooked. Three people are on the run from a violent, seemingly unstoppable madman. Nice. Chromeskull just has so much going on that nobody can keep up. We've gone from one man to an entire mysterious organization. The biggest question from the first movie was "who is he?" This does nothing to address that, and raises a thousand different questions. The most prevalent of which is, "how the hell did you think this was a good idea?" Plus, as I've mentioned before, we've suddenly got about four different subplots meandering around, and numerous superfluous bits that just serve to pad the running time. For example, he goes to great lengths explaining that Jess's eyesight is quickly failing and she has a big surgery in two days. Why? I don't know, it never really enters into the greater scheme of things. This whole movie is just a jumbled mess across all fronts.

Like many other sequels before it, Chromeskull will simply be forgotten, and Laid to Rest will be remembered as a singular effort. If anything, this sequel actually makes me appreciate the original even more. 6/10.
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