The Mortuary Collection (2019) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Ryan Spindell

Writer: Ryan Spindell (Screenplay)

Starring: Clancy Brown, Caitlin Custer, Christine Kilmer, Jacob Elordi, Ema Horvath, Jennifer Irwin

Plot: On the cusp of retirement, an eccentric mortician recounts several of the strangest stories he’s encountered in his long career, but things take a turn for the phantasmagorical when he learns that the final story – is his own.

Tagline – Every corpse has a story…

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Mortuary Collection starts when mortician Montgomery Dark (Brown) has started looking for a replacement, with the only person to looking for the job being Sam (Custer), she wants to hear some of the stories he is meant to have saved up over the years.

Each story has an odd side effect, which is filled with the supernatural, that will feel like a tall tell, that Sam doesn’t always believe, but by the end of her interview, she will understand what makes this job so unique.

Thoughts on The Mortuary Collection

Thoughts The Mortuary Collection is a series of short stories, told by Montgomery Dark a deliciously creepy mortician that Clancy Brown does an excellent job portraying his mannerisms. Caitlin Custer is not believing the stories being told, because of the number of fantasy horror elements in them, while trying to be a tough cookie when it comes to potentially getting the job. We do get four main stories with the first one inside a bathroom being the biggest fantasy filled one which gets points for the visual look to the creature involved. The second story sees a frat boy getting what he deserves for his action on a college campus, which is different to many things we have seen before. The third story shows us how much of a difficult situation someone can find themselves in when they are living with an ill wife, where the right thing might well lead to mistakes. While the third one will bring to life a twist on the escaped mental patient, one which will have plenty to work on. The four stories along with the overall one connecting on the outside give us different elements of horror, which will make it a wonderful companion piece with Trick R Treat.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – N – Needful Things (1993) Movie Review

Director: Fraser C Heston

Writer: W.D. Richter (Screenplay) Stephen King (Book)

Starring: Max von Sydow, Ed Harris, Bonnie Bedelia, Amanda Plummer, J.T. Walsh, Ray McKinnon, Duncan Fraser, Valri Bromfield, Shane Meier

Plot: A mysterious new shop opens in a small town which always seems to stock the deepest desires of each shopper, with a price far heavier than expected.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: One of King’s Most Interesting Stories

Story: Needful Things starts when Leland Gaunt (von Sydow) opens up an antique shop in the small town of Castle Rock, the shop known as Needful Things, see the locals visit, with them getting an unusually attachment to certain items in the shop, items that are clearly meant for each individual person, one that strikes a memory.

As the town starts flocking to the shop, it becomes clear that Leland has alternate plans for the town, with Sheriff Alan Pangborn (Harris) needing to investigate a new increase amount of small crimes, which slowly start to build in seriousness before the town turns to chaos.

Thoughts on Needful Things

Characters – Leland Gaunt is the mysterious shopkeeper that arrives to Castle Rock, his shop has everything the people of the town want and he knows everything about everyone in the town. He trades their desires for favours, which mostly involve going against people in the town, he knows how to remain calm through the conversations, knowing just what they want to hear. Sheriff Alan Pangborn left the big city for a quiet life, he is enjoying his life in the town, with his new fiancée, until the crime levels start to rise, which sees him going from dealing with cats in trees, to murders, can he stop the power Leland has over the town before it is too late. Polly is Alan’s fiancée, she runs the local diner opposite the new shop, she doesn’t run in like some of the other residents, which sees her witnessing the changes from the locals. Nettie is a shy former abuse victim that becomes one of the first customers of the shop, showing how easily people can like what he is willing to offer. We do get a string of people that start to get caught in his ideas.

PerformancesMax von Sydow is wonderful to watch in this film, he gives the character the mystery and charisma he needs to seem like a friendly person. Ed Harris is always good to watch, here he does the small town cop routine with ease, playing a good man who must help his people. Bennie Bedelia is strong without getting enough important early scenes to make us understand how disturbed her character’s life is.

StoryThe story here follows a small town that gets a new visitor in a shopkeeper that soon starts giving the locals everything they ever wanted, for a price, which sees the town turn to chaos and the sheriff needing to solve the problem before it is too late. This is one of the most interesting of the Stephen King stories, it looks at human desires taking control over our own sanity, how one town can be turned upside down by the ideas of what could be ours, rather than giving us what we need. The story is shown to unfold at a delightful pace because it shows how the deals are put in place with each deal, slowly starting to growing from disruptive behaviour right up to murder. The story does rely on the idea of town working together to prove themselves.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of the film shows just how Leland can bring about whatever the person in the town wants, he can make the impossible, possible, which only plays into the horrors of just what he can do to this world, when people get everything they ever wanted.

SettingsThe film is set in the small town of Castle Rock, this is one location where everybody knows each other, which is one of the trademarks for any Stephen King novel.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are very simple, they do play into the idea of fantasy elements, when we see just what will happen with the power given to the people.

Scene of the Movie – He is a monster.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does feel like it could have gone a lot darker.

Final Thoughts This is easily one of the more underrated of Stephen King’s adaptions, it gives us a perfect moral dilemma and keeps everything feel a lot more grounded for a horror one.

Overall: Entertaining throughout.

Rose: A Love Story (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Jennifer Sheridan

Writer: Matt Stokoe (Screenplay)

Starring: Sophie Rundle, Matt Stokoe, Nathan McMullen, Olive Gray, Boadicea Ricketts

Plot: Gripped by a violent, terrifying illness, Rose lives in seclusion with her husband, but the arrival of a stranger shatters the fragile refuge they have built.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Rose starts as we meet Rose (Rundle) and Sam (Stokoe) who live in a remote isolated cabin in the middle of nowhere, Sam goes out for supplies with a contact that supports them, while Rose is dealing with a mysterious illness that has a certain treatment the pair deal with away from the world, keeping her within the walls of the cabin.

The pairs peace is shattered when they get an unwanted injured guest, along with their normal connection not waiting for pick up, can the conditions improve or are they in hiding from something bigger.

Thoughts on Rose

Characters – Rose is the housebound wife that has something wrong with her that needs to be kept on top off, she don’t get the full picture to what it is, but if she does leave the cabin, she must wear a mask. Sam is the husband that does the work around the cabin, he has connections that will help keep the pair secret and he goes through a daily routine to make sure Rose is kept well, he doesn’t want to know anyone else around, knowing the value of the secret the pair keep. Amber is the unwanted guest that gets caught in one of the traps, she is welcomed in by Rose, while Sam would rather see her left outside.

PerformancesSophie Rundle and Matt Stokoe are both strong in the leading roles of the film, showing the heart of a relationship, while hiding the bigger secrets going on.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that are living in a remote cabin where Rose never leaves, while Sam completes the everyday tasks to keep their secret, until an unwanted guest arrives on their land. The story does give us the same vibes as ‘It Comes at Night’ where we have a mystery about what is going on, only we get to see there is a bigger world outside of the walls. It is filled with a love story about how far you would go to protect a loved one, but does feel like it comes to an abrupt ending.

HorrorThe horror in the film is filled with the unease about what is going on, giving us a tension that is waiting to be broken.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the snow-covered remote location, helping show the isolation that Rose and Sam want.

Scene of the Movie – Heading into town.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The abrupt ending.

Final Thoughts Rose is a slow burning tension filled horror, that shows the meaning of love, showing the commitment to protecting loved ones.