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.

Impetigore (2019) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Joko Anwar

Writer: Joko Anwar (Screenplay)

Starring: Tara Basro, Ario Bayu, Marissa Anita, Christine Hakim, Asmara Abigail

Plot: Maya with her best friend, Dini, tries to survive in a city without a family. She realized that she might inherit a property from her rich family. Maya returns to the village with Dini and unaware of the danger was waiting for her.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Twisted Horror

Story: Impetigore starts when two best friends Maya (Basro) and Dini (Anita) are working in their tollbooths during the night, when Maya gets an unwelcomed guest who begs her to take back something which was given to his family that has caused him such pain.

After the incident, Maya and Dini look to investigate Maya’s past in the Harjosari village being the location where Maya’s parents are from, they need to find the village elder Ki Saptadi (Bayu) to learn why somebody has finally come in search of Maya.

Thoughts on Impetigore

Characters – Maya is a bubbly young woman living in the big city, strolling to make ends meet with her best friend, when her routine job takes a turn for the worse one night, when an unknown man tries to kill her claiming her family is behind something in his village. Maya learns that her family might be rich and she might be in line for a big inheritance, which sees her making a trip to the small village, unaware of what her family has done, with her true identity being the person the villagers have been searching for, for years. Ki Saptadi is the village elder, he welcomes visitors, performances rituals and shows the leadership the village requires, he has been leading the search for Maya and now he might finally be able to achieve what he has been aiming for. Dini is the best friend of Maya who joins her for the journey, she brings humour to the film with her reactions being the most natural, knowing this isn’t a good place, wanting out, showing that her raising was against the traditional ideas the village is offering.

PerformancesTara Basro in the leading role show great chemistry in the friendship with Marissa Anita, this is important for the film, while she also handles the horror well being a strong final girl figure we all know from horror. Ario Bayu does bring the confidence his character requires to make us see the respect he demands in the village and power he has over the people to fix the problems.

StoryThe story follows two broke friends who go in search for the history behind one of their past, a past which will take them to a remote village that has been attacked by a curse the villagers are desperately trying to break and now they might have found a way. When it comes to the story we must fist dive into the culture of the people, they have a belief which will see them follow certain rituals in which they believe in a good and an evil in their lives. Where this story does seem to have the influence from other cultures is in how the haunting moments play out like the best sub-genre, an investigation with ghosts guiding the way. We get the story that could easily parallel The Ring and The Grudge with how it deals with uncovering the truth. We do get more flashbacks than we need, with one sequence that cuts between way too often instead of just showing a singular flashback. Other wise this is a horror story that does everything it needs to without becoming anything more than it can be.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from the creepy environment, the mentality of the villagers dealing with the curse and the truth being given through the hauntings, which only adds to the mystery we are given through the film, as to why the curse in on the village.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to add creepiness in the village, with the dark environment, lighting adds to the tension which will see how everything is being held back to add to the bigger moments, add in the remote isolation making things feel even more alone for the friends.

Scene of the Movie – The complete truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – One flashback cuts back and forth too much, while trying to get to the big moment in the reveal.

Final Thoughts This is a twisted horror that does play into the culture of the village, bringing the curse idea to life and doesn’t hold back on the reality of the horror.

Overall: Great Horror That Brings the Atmosphere to Life.

The Pool (2018) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Ping Lumpraploeng

Writer: Ping Lumpraploeng (Screenplay)

Starring: Theeradej Wongpuapan, Ratnamon Ratchiratham

Plot: In an abandoned 6-meter deep pool, a couple is stranded there with a deadly predator.

Tagline – No water. No Ladder. No Way Out.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Intense

Story: The Pool starts as Day (Wongpuapan) is finishing off work on a film that is using the giant swimming pool, when he decides to relax while everyone heads off, little does he know that someone has started to flush the pool and before he notices, he finds himself too deep in the pool, with everyone else gone, he finds himself trapped in the pool.

Once the pool is drained, Day must care for his injured girlfriend Koi (Ratchiratham) who got inured diving in and he must deal with a hungry crocodile that is trapped with him, in a race to survive.

Thoughts on The Pool

Characters – Day is the slacker that finds himself stuck in the swimming pool, he has always not taken life too seriously, where he must try and figure out how to get out of the pool alive, save his girlfriend and escape from it add in a crocodile, he has everything to fight for. Koi is the girlfriend that gets injured, which needs protecting, she is kept in safety, while waiting for Day to take things more seriously.

PerformancesBoth actors are great with Theeradej Wongpuapan needing to get involved in the more physical side of everything in the film.

StoryThe story follows a couple that find themselves trapped in an empty swimming pool with no escape and a crocodile in a battle to survive. This story might well have been made before ‘Crawl’, but it does have such a similar feeling in the battle to survive. The story does keep everything super simple as it is just the survival against the odds. The plan to stay ahead does keep everything feeling intense and by the end of the film, you literally don’t know what will happen next.

Action/HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the crocodile attacking, showing how deadly it could be and how Day must try and stay ahead of the threat.

SettingsThe film is set in the swimming pool, it has no escape, the pipe system do offer a potential outcome, but with nowhere to go the battle against the crocodile.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong at times, but the crocodile never looks real during the proper attacks.

Scene of the Movie – The big battle against the crocodile.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain crocodile scenes seem too CGI heavy.

Final Thoughts This is an intense horror that truly keeps us on the edge of our seats during the incidents, being the one that people who liked Crawl, will love this.

Overall: Loved Crawl? Love This.

Lake of Death (2019) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Nini Bull Robsahm

Writer: Nini Bull Robsahm (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Walshe McBride, Ulric von der Esch, Iben Akerlie, Elias Munk, Jonathan Harboe, Sophie Lie

Plot: Lillan and some friends travel back to the remote cabin by the little lake, where her twin brother died last year, and soon after arriving strange things starts happening. Inspired by the 1958 classic horror film.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Cabin in the Norwegian Woods

Story: Lake of Death starts one year after Bjorn (McBride) disappears in the Norwegian forest that him and his sister Lillian (Akerlie) were raised around, she has returned with her friends Kai (Esch), Harald (Munk, Gabriel (Harboe), Sonja (Lie) and Bernhard (Andersen) for a weekend away and to do up the house ready to sell it.

When the friends start experiencing strange events around the house, they try to figure out the logical answers before learning they are against a force they can’t handle, one that has been waiting for victims to arrive.

Thoughts on Lake of Death

Characters – Lillian was raised around the lake with her brother, while the two are about to go separate ways, her brother goes missing under strange circumstances and now she has returned to the cabin for the first time since leaving him, she starts to see the strange events around the cabin and lake, getting worried about her friends, trying to figure out what is causing the events to happen. When we look at the rest of the characters we get the friends, they do fill the generic roles we would expect to see in horror films, only a lot more restrained from going over the top with them.

PerformancesIben Akerlie takes the leading role on the film, filling the role of the scream queen in the film, she is the one that goes through the most horror, has the most pain about her character. The rest of the cast do well through the film, with the joker always looking out of place with the friends, and the rest holding onto what makes them unique to the genre.

StoryThe story here follows a group of friends that return to a family lake house after one of the brother’s vanished a year ago, they soon find strange things happening around the house and need to get to the bottom of it before it is too late. We know the cabin in the woods has almost become a genre all on its own, here we get another dive into that genre with the traditional friends in the remote location and strange things happening, while the nightmare sequences do seem different, first with odd visions, which do offer something fresh and will make everything a lot more interesting, only when the rest of the friends start experiencing events, it just falls into something we have seen before, even if some of the scares are created well.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from the mysterious events around the house, most of the visions that Lillian go through are filled with the most horrific moments too, where the mystery comes, is on how the friends will make it out of the situation, can the solve the strange events.

SettingsThe film keeps the whole in film in and around in the lake house, we get to see how it is treated like the holiday home, with mystery around it, including the basement, which only asks more questions.

Scene of the Movie – Couple going swimming.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The aftermath decision.

Final Thoughts This is a strong cabin the woods style of movie, it has good scares, a creative idea behind them, even if it ends up following the path of many others in the genre.

Overall: Cabin in the Woods 101.