Wednesday, October 14, 2020

The Mortuary Collection - Movie Review

The Movie: The Mortuary Collection

The Director: Ryan Spindell

The Cast: Clancy Brown, Christine Kilmer, Caitlin Fisher, Jacob Elordi, Barak Hardley, Sarah Hey 

The Movie: On the cusp of retirement, an eccentric mortician recounts several of the strangest stories he's encountered in his long career, but things take a turn for the phantasmagorical when he learns that the final story - is his own.

The Review:
Over the last few years, the horror anthology movie has become a sub genre all its own with some really good, quality stuff being released. Of course, this style of storytelling goes back to the days of the Creepshow films and an eventual resurgence with the V/H/S series. As the style has evolved, there has been a steady increase in quality and variety of how an overall narrative ties the shorts together. Ryan Spindell has come up with a truly creative narrative complete with its own twists and turns some of which tie right into the shorts themselves.

I'm going to give a brief thought on each of the four short films so you have an idea what to expect.

Medicine Cabinet: Creepy creature bathroom feature
Unprotected: American pie horror story
Till Death: Bad decisions lead to a bloody downfall
The Babysitter Murders: Ultimate homage to horrors of the past

All four films are really well done and they each have high concept visual styles that look amazing as throwbacks to the history of the genre as well as creating a seamless and cohesive look ties everything together. There are also plenty of performances that keep the movie moving with an undeniable energy that never really lets up all the way to the end.

Christine Kilmer is pretty fantastic in what is pretty much a one woman show. At least until a monster comes out of the Medicine Cabinet. In Unprotected, Jacob Elordi is the classic fraternity bro on a mission to add notches to his tally while Ema Horvath is deliciously demonic as a student who seems to be on a mission of her own. Of course, the movie is headlined by the performances from Clancy Brown and Caitlin Fisher who square off in a sort of master and student dynamic that is a lot of fun to watch.

Brown is perfectly cast as the creepy old mortician who would fit right in at Disney's haunted mansion complete with a deep, dark voice that sends chills through the halls every time he speaks. At the beginning of the film he booms out a declaration, "It’s not the length of the tale that matters, but the quality of the content within" and you feel like that is a mantra for the whole production. Every nook and cranny of every segment seems to be filled with history, easter eggs, and homages to the genre's history. All of it makes me want to watch the movie over and over to see how much of it I can find.

The Verdict:
The Mortuary Collection is a carefully curated homage to the history of horror. This is blood soaked throwback horror with a gothic vibe that takes the styles Serling, del Toro, and Spielberg, tosses them into a meat grinder, and cooks up a collection of fun filled frights.

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