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Thicker Than Water: The Vampire Diaries Part 1 (2008) Review By Matt Compton

Director:Philip Messerer

Writer:Philip Messerer

Starring:Devon Bailey, JoJo Hristova. Eilis Cahill, Michael Strelow


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Although one could cynically accuse Chrome Skull of being a rather obvious attempt at creating an iconic killer who will hopefully be the basis of a new franchise, that does not detract from the fact that he is a memorable and chilling creation who might even deserve that accolade.

Nick Principe, the man behind the skeletal metal mask which is this killer's main trademark invests the character with a sort of mannered physicality which though just as brutal as Victor Crowley and his assorted stablemates is also obviously skilled and the source of no small amount of pride for this particular loon. This charcteristic is also displayed in his choices of clothes, car and even weapons.

A few hints are given as to who this guy is and why he does what he does but writer/director Robert Hall wisely chooses to keep us in the dark for the most part and this makes Chrome Skull all the more sinister.

That said, it is a real shame that he isn't given more challenging folks to stalk. All the characters in this film from 'The Girl' as she is known to the various people she meets along the way (including Kevin Gage and Lena Headey) rank amongst the stupidest characters in the entire horror genre's canon. And that's saying something. These people repeatedly return to locations where they have already been attacked at, they are constantly given chances to escape which they bafflingly choose not to take and they make the most insanely logic-less decisions it is possible to even conceive of. It is like watching the cast of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest trying to escape a ruthless and educated killer. Post-lobotomy. At one point, Gage's character decides to return to his house where he has literally just escaped from just so that he can cover the body of a victim. At another juncture, the protagonst actually stops the car they are making their clean and safe escape in so that she can go back to the funeral home where she woke up and hopefully regain her memory. This is of course, the funeral home which is also the killer's main haunt and lair. With a trace more irony it would have been quite succesful satire but alas, no.

Of course, these character deficiencies are not down to the actors who do for the most part turn in good performances but the script. It forces its characters into jeopardy by the overuse of so many contrivances and false logic that it breaks any sense of this happenig in a 'real' universe. A huge plot point is the character's search for a phone with which to call the police. The script forces this problem onto them by having them visit houses which have internet connections but no phone lines, characters accidentally pulling cords out, nobody except the killer owning a mobile phone and eventually when they get their hands on this rare and mystical object are not able to call the police due to its security password being enabled (which of course does not affect the emergency services number in reality).

It simply becomes a frustrating viewing experience when the rug is consistently pulled from beneath the audience's feet in this manner.


This being a clear homage to classic slasher movies however, the focus is not on the script but on the kills and this is where Laid To Rest really shines.

Rating: 7/10

For more on Lilith, the creepy demon child of Case 39 see the Total Bastard Database