“The Mortuary Collection” – Movie Review

Following in the footsteps of the previously released Scare Package and Scare Me, Shudder just released another original anthology in The Mortuary Collection.

Starring an almost unrecognizable Clancy Brown, we get a collection of stories that proceed decade by decade, filled with gruesomely fun gore!

He’s without a doubt the best part of the movie!

Story Time
We begin with a creepy-looking mortician Montgomery Dark (Clancy Brown) receiving a potential job seeker Sam (Caitlin Custer).  He tells her a collection of stories, which don’t seem to impress her, so she tells the final one.

The stories themselves range from a very short monster tale set in the 50’s, a cautionary tale with a twist set in the 60’s, a desperate marriage in the 70’s, and a typical slasher in the 80’s.  Of the four, the 60’s one is definitely the most memorable.  It deals with a fraternity taking advantage of naïve incoming freshman.

Their only real goal is to add another notch to the bed post, but one frat brother learns his lesson via the supernatural hard way.  Other than that, the rest of the stories are generally entertaining, but honestly the wraparound story with Montgomery and Sam is far more interesting.

It captures the essence of storytelling itself.

Granted this is an anthology film, but Clancy Brown is just so much, it would be great to get a whole movie of just him.  Then again, perhaps the reason it works because he’s used just enough in small doses.

Gory Time
Where this film really shines is in its frequent use of practical gore, that’s enough to satisfy the appetite of even the most disturbed horror fans.  There’s one scene in particular during the 60’s story, involving a “sensitive” body part of the frat brother that’s sure to make you cringe, but also cheer if you’re a fan of gore.

The frat brother’s punishment seems harsh, but he definitely had it coming.

Not just that however, The Mortuary Collection boasts an amazing level of production and art design.  The mortuary itself is beautifully designed with gothic elegance and it looks like a place you really wish you could visit.

A lot of horror films fall into the trap of muting or darkening all color and lighting to create a sense of mood, but this often just leads to the audience not being able to see anything.  But in a refreshing twist of styles, this film uses is color palette well, and creates a visually interesting movie to watch.

There’s also a uniformity of tone and visual style that usually isn’t present in anthologies.  Because, for the most part, the different stories or vignettes are made by different writers and directors.

It makes for a wide variety of content, but it can sometimes feel jarring, like you’re jumping between vastly different movies.  The Mortuary Collection feels different, because the entire thing was written and directed by Ryan Spindell.  So the whole thing has a nice congruity and flow throughout.

It’s legitimately well-directed.

Overall, it’s a fun anthology with great bloody gore effects.  And while it may not have the strongest or most memorable stories, Clancy Brown is just having so much fun with the role, and it makes the movie all the more entertaining to watch!

What did you think of The Mortuary Collection?  How did it compare to other horror anthologies like Scare Package or Scare Me?  Let us know in the comments!

The Mortuary Collection is streaming exclusively on Shudder!

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