|The Mortuary collection
|00 0000 (France)
Genre cinema has often been an excellent springboard for young directors to show not only their storytelling and directing skills, but is also a perfect playground to reveal them to the general public. Directors such as George A Romero, Sam Raimi, John Carpenter, Wes Craven have delivered films that continue to inspire a whole generation of new directors. It is becoming increasingly rare to find directors able to match these masters of horror, yet the first film written and directed by Ryan Spindell is undoubtedly one of the best sketch films ever made. Most of the recent horror sketch films are quite disappointing because they are composed of several short films by several directors and thus present a variable quality depending on the script, the direction, the special effects and the interpretation.
Besides the excellent Creepshow (1982), Darkside, Tales from the Darkside: The Movie (1990), Trick 'r' Treat (2009), there are unfortunately too many uneven films and memorable guerrilla movies. The Mortuary collection has been one of the best since its discovery because it not only succeeds in creating an atmosphere reminiscent of the cult series Tales from The Crypt with its ominous looking crypt keeper, but also in creating a real atmosphere with its introduction. The great care given to the photography and the setting of the story is a testament to Ryan Spindell's innate gift as a storyteller.
As in any good sketch film, each of the four stories is perfectly introduced and shows not only that the director and screenwriter have a perfect command of his subject matter but also testifies to an important cinematic and literary culture, if only to give life to the different characters. Pay tribute to authors such as H.P Lovecraft, Stephen King and other masters of horror. The first and shortest story easily refers us to the myth of Cthulhu and shows a thief being fooled by a giant and dangerous creature. We will appreciate the numerous sarcastic touches of the screenwriter to close this first story and the following ones. The other stories that follow, of varying lengths, are as engaging as they are frightening and exciting. Not only does the director have a perfect sense of rhythm. Whether it's an evil monster, an unusual birth, revenge from beyond the grave, or the fact that appearances are often deceptive, the director not only knows how to chisel his stories to perfection but above all succeeds in making us laugh as much as he does in scaring us.
The presence in the role of the owner of a funeral home of actor Clancy Brown (series The Mandalorian (2019), Daredevil (2016), Flash (2014-2015) and films such as Homefront (2013), Highlander (1986)...) gives the film a strong enough basis to not only establish the main plot but also deliver a memorable composition. In the same way, the character of the doctor who is present in various stories reinforces the immersive aspect of this sketch film. Impossible not to think of Trick'n'Treat when discovering this film as The Mortuary collection is based on a perfect casting but also really knows how to scare without having to resort to massive blood flows. Director Ryan Spindell is just as inventive in the proposed shots and above all chisels his story to perfection until the last minute and delivers an anthological final scene reminding us that it is not necessarily the good guys who win in the end.
The Mortuary Collection is undoubtedly one of the best surprises of this year and we can only encourage you to discover this film which we hope will soon be offered in France.
The Mortuary Collection
Written and directed by Ryan Spindell
Produced by Allison Friedman, T. Justin Ross
Starring Clancy Brown, Caitlin Custer, Christine Kilmer, Jacob Elordi, Barak Hardley, Sarah Hay, Mike C. Nelson
Music by Mondo Boys
Cinematography : Elie Smolkin, Caleb Heymann
Edited by Erik Ekman, Joseph Shahood
Production companies : Trapdoor Pictures, Glass Eye Pix
Release date : September 22, 2019 (Fantastic Fest)
Running time : 108 minutes
Viewed on August 24, 2020