25 May 2024

Film Review – The Mortuary Collection (2019)

In recent times horror anthology films are rare, personal favourites such as Creepshow (1982) Creepshow 2 (1987) Trick r Treat (2007) or Cat’s Eye (1985) amongst others, are worthy staples of fright night gatherings.

So, it is with great pleasure a new set of terror tales have been aligned for the screen by Director Ryan Spindell, weaving his scary ideas into an above average somewhat bloodthirsty romp.

Strung together in part by menacing mortician of Ravens End, Montgomery Dark (played to perfection by one of the greats, Clancy Brown).

What seems to be a rather old ‘Help Wanted‘ hanging out front of his remote castle funeral parlour, a mysterious young visitor, Sam; answers the call extremely keen to learn the business of death, however before everything one needs to know on embalming can be explained, Montgomery indulges Sam in some macabre stories on various individuals within his facility.

A series of short stories are unveiled in a tribute to classic films and unique traits including extending a previous short film of his own (The Babysitter Murders) into the anthology mix.

There are intentional tributes to slasher gore, diabolical situations and creatures from beyond sure to keep genre fans alert.

Related: Shudder Interview – Clancy Brown (The Mortuary Collection)

Comedy interludes in each scenario are effectively slapstick to dark, even social commentary is evident within the nightmarish second story concerning a college campus. Feminist themes flow throughout.

Ryan Spindell is a definite talent to watch working hard to stylistic blend a cool movie with limited budget complete with detailed production design, costuming and makeup effects.

Caitlin Fisher as Sam, shares clever chemistry with veteran Clancy Brown, intentionally sharp, smart, amusing dialogue distinguishes their scenes together up until quite the reveal towards the finale.

Was nice to see Ema Horvath in an interesting role, a standout again following on from criminally underseen, The Gallows act 2 (2019).

Nostalgic and bizarre, worthy of a continuation, The Mortuary Collection is constantly reminded me of comic books and horror films of my youth.


Fantasy, Horror | USA, 2019 | 15 | 15th October 2020 | Shudder Original | Dir.Ryan Spindell | Clancy Brown, Caitlin Custer, Christine Kilmer, James Bachman, Barak Hardley, James Bachman, Jennifer Irwin, Ema Horvath

Follow Shane A. Bassett on Twitter @Movie_Analyst

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