Bobbi Sue Luther should have been the typical acting-challenged slasher heroine/victim, but Laid to Rest does something cute with the usual amnesia gimmick. After Luther makes a 911 call, it’s kind of adorable the way she wants to take shelter at the “police lady’s house”, because she can’t remember the name of a police station. Sometimes you forget more than just your name. Kudos to writer/director/husband Robert Hall for giving her something to do in addition to running away, looking scared, and filling out a tank top.
Also, she’s not alone. For much of the movie, Kevin Gage and Sean Whalen are along for the ride. Laid to Rest imagines an ensemble cast where the final survivor is instead a group of three people who mostly do what you’d expect actual people to do. Gage is immensely appealing as a gruff good-old-boy who knows enough to get his gun and cares enough to be affected by the deaths around him. Whalen is the more traditional comic relief geek whose solution to contacting the police when the phones are out is to email them. Unlike most movies where the phones don’t work, Laid to Rest is well aware of how dumb this sounds.
And what a lovely Lena Headey appearance. Headey is probably best known for 300 and Game of Thrones, but she should be known for a road movie called Aberdeen with Stellan Skarsgard. Road movies tend to be uniquely American. But Aberdeen considers what a road movie would be like in Europe. I’m not sure what Headey is doing slumming it in a low-budget old-school gore-fest about a killer who wears a ridiculous chrome skull mask, but she and Kevin Gage lend the whole thing a touch of class. As much as that’s possible with all this latex and fake blood.
Laid to Rest is available on Netflix here. Warning: don’t bother with the sequel, which is enitrely missing the clever touches that make the first one worth watching.