Friday, October 16, 2020

The Mortuary Collection (2020) - Shudder Spree


Streaming Services: Shudder
Movie Name/Year: The Mortuary Collection (2020)
Genre: Horror, Fantasy
Length:  108 minutes
Rating: Unrated
Production/Distribution: AMP International, Trapdoor Pictures, MVK, Front Row Filmed Entertainment, Loona Film, Shudder
Director: Ryan Spindell
Writer: Ryan Spindell
Actors: Clancy Brown, Caitlin Custer, Christine Kilmer, Jacob Elordi, Ema Horvath, Jennifer Irwin, James Bachman, Barak Hardley, Sarah Hay, Ben Hethcoat, Mike C. Nelson, Brennan Murray, Michael Bow, Tom Woodruff Jr., Bradley Bundlie, Sam Eidson, David Fierro, Alison Gallaher, Kirk C. Johnson, Josephine McAdam
Blurb from IMDb: 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.

Cat’s Point of View:
When we are set to watch a horror anthology, I tend to flinch a little. I think I’m scarred for life from my experience with The ABCs of Death (2012) movies. I find myself with an inner-mantra repeating the wish over and over again - ‘please let it be different in a good way.’
I’m excited to report that my wish was fulfilled. The Mortuary Collection was actually one of the best representations of a cohesive horror anthology I’ve seen in a long time.
I believe that it really helped that the film maintained a singular voice throughout with writer/director Ryan Spindell (The Root of the Problem, Two Sentence Horror Stories, 50 States of Fright). While anthologies that showcase multiple writing styles and direction are great for showcasing filmmakers so that you could be introduced to someone new and interesting, it often just causes the overall film to become scattered. There’s also the potential for a disparity with the quality of each segment. Not so, here!

One thing that really helps cinematic anthologies is the framework ‘glue’ that holds the individual stories together. I tend to enjoy them more when there is a larger tale that is the umbrella for all of the contents within. In this case, it’s a retiring mortician sharing ghastly tales of some of the poor souls that have ended up needing his services.
I really enjoyed the dynamic between ‘old-school’ mortician played by Clancy Brown (Hail Caesar!, SpongeBob SquarePants, Billions) and the ‘new-school’ recruit, portrayed by Caitlin Custer (Teen Wolf, Shut Up and Dance, Extraction). Their banter supports the framework well. They were also brilliant casting choices.
Overall, I was fairly impressed with the effects used here. I could tell there were a good deal of practical special effects – some more effective than others. I appreciated that there was a good balance both with the gore and the more subtle use of CGI. I loved that some of the grisly bits were left more for the imagination. Sometimes the mind’s eye can be infinitely worse than anything actually shown on the screen.

The atmosphere of the whole throwback era was also interesting. It was fun to see all the rotary phones everywhere.

I do have one caution, however. It seems that this film is an expansion on the concept from Spindell’s short The Babysitter Murders (2015). If you don’t want to be spoiled for the whole thing, for the love of Bob don’t watch that first. It would really take the punch out of some of the twists and turns.
Our Shudder Spree scored another hit! I really enjoyed this macabre collection of morality tales, and it fits right in with the spooky season. This is more along the lines of what I’d hoped for with the first movie that kicked off our Halloween scare-fest. If you’re looking for something to watch in between handing out candy, this might be a great addition for your holiday plans. The anthology segments offer natural pause points where you might not feel like you’ve been interrupted overall.
Even if you don’t plan to hand out treats, since some areas are recommending against the annual candy collection due to the pandemic, this would be a great movie for staying in with a mug of cocoa and a fuzzy blanket. 

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 95%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – none
Metascore – none
Metacritic User Score – none
IMDB Score – 6.7/10
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating – 4/5
Trust the Dice: Parental Advisory Rating – R
Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment