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Fantasia 2020: “The Mortuary Collection”


Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

What can be better than a finely told story in the dark? A story that will make anyone feel sick, disgusted, and scared? Yet it will give an adrenaline rush all over your body because you felt like you were put under iced water. “The Mortuary Collection” is one of those horror films that not only respects the genre, it uses it to the fullest to deliver the most interesting and intriguing film I’ve seen at the Fantasia Film Festival.

The film follows an eccentric old man named Montgomery Dark (Clancy Brown). He’s not got a likeable look but a fine voice makes him seem trustworthy. However, his mind and the library at Raven’s End Mortuary is full of records of dead people that tells specifically the story of how they died. At some point he displays the sign ‘Help Wanted’, and a young woman, Sam (Caitlin Fisher), responds to it. She right way expresses her desire to work for the man. He seems pleased with her too. When she learns about the books, she asks him to tell the scariest story. He hesitates a bit but begins telling one after another until the moment of revelation, leaving both individuals stunned, and not in a nice way.

Each story told by Montgomery is exclusive and worth hearing and seeing. Each time when Sam hears the ending, she openly says that all his stories are quite predictable and uninteresting. No matter what the man tells, Sam is absolutely unmoved and wants to know more about the people’s way of dying. As we watch her, same as we watch the old man, we began wondering if everything that occurs in the room is fixed by a certain power? We know that the man cannot be trusted. And the young woman standing in there, wanting to have a job and to listen to the darkest of stories would make no sense, you would say. Rightly so. However, do not rush in jumping to conclusions, as this film has something delicious stored for you as a kinder surprise you won’t forget for a while.

Writer/Director Ryan Spindell’s “The Mortuary Collection” not only got my attention but will get yours too. This is the most entertaining, bizarre and truly scary you might see during the pandemic, as it revolves outside of our warm and cozy homes. From start to end, the film does not take a break and continues serving one story after another. In one, there’s a man who advocates the importance of safe sex but himself won’t follow it, a husband as a caretaker to his wife, and the babysitter murder will stun you the most. All these are told stylishly, in the most satisfying way. But if you think during some point of the film you have seen enough, wait for the conclusion, which is much better than you can imagine. This is why I am wholeheartedly, and with no guilt, highly recommend the film that’s worthy of its title – The Mortuary Collection.

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