DVD Review: The Mortuary Collection

By , Contributor
The new horror anthology film The Mortuary Collection had its festival debut in fall of 2019. One of its four segments, which are neatly tied together with a clever framing device, dates back to 2015. The highly-praised film now makes its home video bow on Blu-ray and DVD billed as a Shudder Original. There's a surprisingly robust number of bonus features, some of which will be of interest to fans of the kind of old-fashioned practical makeup and gore effects that dominate director Ryan Spindell's film.

Tonally, The Mortuary Collection feels a bit like a low-rent Tim Burton fantasia mixed with a healthy dose of body horror. There's a lot of whimsy and a lot gore. It makes for an unusual combination. While it won't be everyone's cup of tea, it definitely keeps the film interesting. Montgomery Dark (a droll Clancy Brown) is a mortuary owner in need of an assistant. Sam (Caitlin Custer) answers the call for "help wanted" and is granted an interview. She challenges Dark to share some of his most gruesome death stories, hinting that she may have some knowledge of her own to top all of his accounts.

Framed around the death of a young child, and Sam's curiosity surrounding the nature of his death (which Dark seems unwilling to share), the film takes us through some unrelated stories. It circles back to the framing device of the child's death in such a disturbing way that no viewer should be blamed for being turned off. Spindell (who also scripted) plays it all out with such nonchalance that none of the darker themes can really be taken too seriously. But just know, without spoiling anything, that if horrible things happening to children is not your thing, The Mortuary Collection may not be a good addition to your personal collection. But for those with a taste for the sick-and-twisted, it's worth a look.

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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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