Like Severance, Laid to Rest was another pleasant surprise from the Netflix instant viewing selection. It had its flaws, sure, but that didn't stop me from rating it 4/5 stars. For each failure--blemish may be a more suitable word--there was a huge success to revive the experience. Cheers to Robert Hall for an enjoyable display of writing and directing, and to Bobbi Sue Luther for an equally fine job as lead.
The movie seems to have garnered a broad mix of reviews, most of which complain about the lack of back story, plot, explication. For me, after about thirty minutes (if that) it was clear that the movie wanted to focus on effects, always in the form of grade-A gore--dazzlingly brilliant effects, in my opinion! So, I abandoned all care in regards to the usual slasher backstory: who the killer is, how he is connected to the protagonists, why he is killing, et cetera, et cetera; and I just reveled in the brutal gags!
So much effort was put into effects that I found myself intrigued, for perhaps the first time, as to who was responsible for them. The ending credits pointed to Almost Human, Inc. in Los Angeles, CA; and lo and behold, Robert Hall happens to be the owner. Makes perfect sense when put into perspective. Laid to Rest is a great piece of marketing for the company. (Almost Human Inc. also appears to be responsible for the great ear gore in Pineapple Express! I'm going to keep my eye on these guys.)
The movie's weakness came in the form of hit-and-miss comedy. I likened some of the comedic failure to the ambiguous joke that begets silence when meeting someone for the first time. In other words, I wasn't sure if the movie was attempting humor or not in some instances, mostly because the movie hadn't established its comedic flow yet. But, whatever. When the humor did hit, it elicited audible laughter. Though it wasn't the subtle, clever humor from Severance, it worked. Example: "The man with the shiny face. He wants to make me dead." Another example: Almost everything concerning the little nerd.
Laid to Rest is an homage to gory effects, done superbly by Almost Human, Inc. If you're looking for a serious, deep story you're not going to get it. (In my experience, you get one or the other: heavy gore or heavy explication; see Saw V) If you can accept the fact that you, the viewer, don't always need to know the ins and outs of the entire story (try reading a book), and you want to bask in realistic blood and guts, this one is for you. Lastly, I must give attention to the killer's awesomely vicious weapon of choice. I can hear Ricky Bobby now: "[T]he Jack Hawk 9000. Available at Wal-Mart."