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Saturday, August 22, 2020

FANTASIA 2020 REVIEW: THE MORTUARY COLLECTION



A kid is being interviewed for a job at the local mortician’s office and is asked to tell his scariest stories. What results is a collection of 4 of the scariest stories ever told spanning into 4 decades starting from the 50s to the 80s.

Starring: Clancy Brown, Caitlin Custer, and Christine Kilmer

Directed and written by: Ryan Spindell

A Fantasia International Film Festival Review

  The stakes have risen as far a horror anthologies. There have been so many good ones over the last few years, and now “The Mortuary Collection” has a chance to join them on the top side of the list. Any good anthology should have a good central story, and that’s definitely the case here. It all starts with Montgomery Dark (Clancy Brown), who’s everything you would expect in a strange mortician. After a funeral for a young boy, he finds that someone has stayed behind. At first it seems Sam (Caitlin) is there for the funeral, but she says she’s there for the job opening. They sit down, talk, and soon enough he begins telling her some scary stories. If only more job interviews included listening to scary stories!
  If you’re a fan of creature features, the first story is for you. It’s probably the shortest of the stories, as it gets right to the point. A woman up to no good locks herself in a bathroom, and before she knows it is fighting for her life from a creature coming out of the medicine cabinet. If the audience thinks this ended painfully, they're up for a surprise in the second story.
  This story is set on a college campus, and all about what other than sex. A group of boys are pretending to do the right thing by passing out condoms to girls, but really are just trying to get them to come to their party. One of the guys, who has had a lot of success with the ladies, finds himself about to score again, but she wants him to use the condom they passed out earlier. Did he use it, and what happens next? Well it’s just so good you’ll have to watch to find out how this ends.
  The third story tries to pull on the audience’s heart strings a little, but make no mistake, it’s all going to become a bloody mess. A husband takes the phrase ‘until death do us part’ seriously, and tries his best to take care of his sick wife. In the process, he accidentally kills her, but the story doesn’t end there. He tries to get rid of her dead body, but it’s not ready part with him.
  The final story ties into the central story so again this will be spoiler free. Lets say it revisits the classic babysitter gets interrupted by someone breaking into the house tale. It’s full of action, and leaves off with a twist that ties back into the main story. The main story has a twist of its own, but some might guess what’s ultimately going to happen. That still won’t take away from a fantastic central story that ends in a fun way. 
  Each of these stories are done so well. There’s plenty of blood and guts, and full of interesting characters. They manage to sprinkle in some laughs here and there, but make no mistake there will nothing to laugh at in the end. The audience should enjoy the journey each of these stories with take them on. It’s nice they throw in a change of decades in each story as well.
  The acting is fantastic in all of the stories, but without a doubt Clancy Brown is absolutely perfect in his role. He’s just so creepy in the way he talks, and how he presents himself. It would be easy to imagine him hosting a weekly show of scary stories with this character…dreams! There’s a magical feel that binds it all together, and especially shows itself in the final sequence. The mortuary setting, the wild and bloody stories, and the great acting really makes this collection stand out. “The Mortuary Collection” has definitely found a spot on my list of top anthologies as I give it 4 pools of blood.

  HorrO

The Mortuary Collection” is playing On Demand as part of the Fantasia 2020 Virtual Festival.

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