So last weekend turned into "skull killer" weekend with the rental of two very different movies featuring killers wearing skull masks...
First up is "Midnight Movie", directed by Jack Messitt.
Set in a rundown old movie theatre, the movie revolves around a killer acting out the plot of the cult 70's movie being shown on the screen (cleverly titled, "The Dark Beneath"... which should give you an idea of what we're up against here). While the gore fx aren't bad, the acting is average at best, and the plot veers from questionable to flat out "what the?". A note to all filmmakers... sometimes you DON'T have to have a "twist" to sell the audience!
Which brings me to - "Laid to Rest", directed by Robert Hall. Someone once said that greatness wasn't doing the extraordinary, but doing the ordinary, extraordinarily well. Well that pretty much sums up Hall's work on this movie. There's is nothing here that we haven't seen a hundred times before, but we've seldom seen it done this well.
The movie involves a woman who wakes up (in a coffin no less), with no memory of who she is or how she got there, but she's being pursued by a serial killer wearing a Chrome skull mask, who kills everyone she comes in contact with. Nothing original there... but in Hall's hands, this stock plot is brought to life. From decent acting, which really helps us care about the characters, to some great FX - Hall is the FX guy behind "Terminator:Sarah Connor Chronicles" and "Buffy The Vampire Slayer" amongst others - to careful pacing, to a good ending, this movie is just done WELL.
Some readers may remember I was duly impressed with Hall's other film "Lightning Bug". That combined with the previews I saw at Rue Morgue last year had me waiting for this film, and I have to say I was NOT disappointed. I will go out on a limb here and say that this is quite possibly the best Slasher Film since the original Halloween. I'm looking forward to Hall's next work.