Meet Montgomery Dark, creepy mortician of an even creepier funeral home who instantly sets the tone of The Mortuary Collection, written and directed by Ryan Spindell. After performing a funeral his solitude is interrupted by Sam, a young lady looking for a job. She seems completely unfazed by the environment around her and challenges Montgomery to scare her with his collection of stories which he does as he introduces her to the job.
This film tells different stories within it’s story which breads the familiarity of Tales From The Crypt or a more adult representation of Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid Of The Dark which used to terrify me as a kid. Montgomery played by Clancy Brown is perfect in this role. His stature, his look and his voice make a superb Halloween combination which already has you anticipating the frights that are about to come. He retells three tales of unfortunate deaths that have taken place spanning decades in his home town of Raven’s End.
Each story gradually cranks up the horror and detail and each setting is visually pleasing. The first couple border on the nonsensical but each hold their own message. From a female pick pocket at a party who is a little too nosey for her own good to the stereotypical, promiscuous frat boy whose negligent sexual activity echoes Montgomery’s warning that it’s better to be safe than sorry. The elements of horror will also leave you a little on edge whilst smirking at its dark humour. From monsters to dick explosions you will be completely entertained.
The third instalment is a little darker than the others and is pretty jumpy in parts. The use of lighting, music and sound effects in this particular story are wonderful and all keep you engrossed in a married man literally experiencing the ‘till death do us part’ part of his vow to his wife. Unimpressed, Sam (Caitlin Custer) ends the film with a story of her own. This was the best part of the film for me. With twists and turns, this last part oozes with every element of a classic slasher film I expect and enjoy.
When starting this I expected to be scared but that isn’t what this film is about. It’s about some eerily great tales told by a storyteller in a setting which make for perfect Halloween viewing. They’re almost reinvented urban legends that you’d sit around trying to scare your pals with at a sleepover when you were a kid and for that reason, the film is a delight.
I can completely see The Mortuary Tales becoming a classic Halloween film which people will add to their October scare-fest list year after year.