The Mortuary Collection (2019)

In Raven’s End, Mortician Montgomery Dark manages an isolated and creepy mortuary all alone. After a recent funeral, that of a young boy, Montgomery gets an unexpected visitor. A young woman named Sam has noticed his “Help Wanted” sign outside of the mortuary, and practically demands an interview right away. He decides to give her a tour of the old, creepy place, and Sam shows an interest in the small coffin that belongs to the boy which Montgomery has just performed the funeral for. He starts telling Sam stories about some of the residents of the town, and the weird and unexpected ways they died.

 

Mortuary Collection is like a “Goosebumps” styled movie, just for a more adult audience. While we have horror movies aimed at a younger audience like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, this one increases the blood ‘n gore with a few notches. At first glance, it feels a bit more on the “spooky” side rather than something that will provide any actual scares…which for the most part is pretty accurate. It does deliver some rather nasty scenes and imaginative twists and turns throughout its tales, however, which makes it a darn nice Halloween movie with gorgeous visuals, some decent bloody/gory scenes and a lot of fun!

 

The movie contains four stories: one set in the 1950’s, where a woman is using the restroom while going through the wallets she’s been pickpocketing during the ongoing party outside. But while inside the restroom, the medicine cabinet starts acting weird. The second story, Unprotected, is set in the 1960s and it’s considerably longer than the first story, and brings us a pretty twisted take on the horrors of not using a condom. This one was pretty fun and inventive, although it felt a little bit dragged out during its first moments. The third story, Till Death, is about a man who takes care of his catatonic wife, and when the doctor gives him a well-meant advice to let her “accidentally” overdose on painkillers, he must make a very difficult choice. This is by far my favorite episode, which is both sad and actually a bit horrifying in its thematics. Then there is the fourth story, The Babysitter Murders, which is actually Sam’s story (fun facts: the director actually made a horror short by this name in 2015. Also, although not related to this movie: The Babysitter Murders was actually the original title of the horror movie Halloween, until Yablans suggested setting the movie on Halloween night and thus naming it Halloween instead, to which Carpenter agreed).

 

The stories themselves are overall pretty entertaining and spookily fanciful, but the haunting visuals are what really puts the cherry on top. The Victorian-era styled mortuary (where its exterior is actually the Flavel House Museum in Astoria, Oregon) with its Victorian-styled interior and decorations, and Mr. Montgomery Dark himself which looks like a typical horror show host, just gives everything the perfect Halloween vibe. It’s a little bit cheesy here and there, but it fits with the subject matters portrayed in the stories and the tone set throughout.

 

Mortuary Collection is a pretty good Halloween movie: whimsical, bloody, and with enough gorgeous visuals to feed your eyes with tasty treats.

 

The Mortuary Collection

 

Director: Ryan Spindell
Country & year: USA, 2019
Actors: Tristan Byon, Eden Campbell, Hannah R. Loyd, Clancy Brown, Caitlin Custer, Christine Kilmer, Mike C. Nelson, Jacob Elordi, Brennan Murray, Michael Bow, Ema Horvath, Ethan Clossin, Anthony Farrington Jr., Darryl Love, Clavacia Love, James Bachman, Jennifer Irwin, Sarah Hay, Barak Hardley, Darrell Salk, Phyllis Applegate, David Fierro, Fernanda Romero
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt7781432/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Impetigore (2019)

Maya and her friend Dini are working at toll booths, and one night Maya is attacked by one of the drivers who appeared to recognize her: a man who claims he’s from a village called Harjosari, and he’s calling her by another name: Rahayu. Upon attacking her, the man is stopped and killed by the police, but the encounter leaves Maya with a ton of unanswered questions. Since her aunt, who raised her from a very young age, is dead and she’s got no other family to contact, she follows the inscription of an old photo which shows a young Maya with her parents, outside a large house which is supposed by be located somewhere in the Harjosari village. Together with her best friend Dini, they decide to travel from the city and find out if she might inherit that property, hoping that this might be a turn of events for them both. When they enter the secluded village, however, they quickly take notice of one apparent and strange thing about the place: the lack of any children, and a graveyard whose tombstones implies that for many years, no children have survived long after their birth. The villagers also appear to be somewhat hostile, and Maya concludes that it’s best to keep her identity a secret for the time being, representing themselves as students whose intent is interviewing the village elder because of his famous traditional shadow puppetry performances (Wayang Kulit). Maya’s real intent is, of course, to question the elder about her parents and the house, claiming her inheritance. However, as luck would have it he’s away from the village at the moment, and they need to wait until the next day. Upon finding Maya’s abandoned family home, they decide to secretly take residence there…but neither Maya nor Dini was prepared for the danger that awaits them in this village.

 

Joko Anwar’s previous horror film, Satan’s Slaves (a remake of Satan’s slave from 1980), ended up being the highest grossing horror films in Indonesia, and have received a fair amount of praise abroad as well. And while Impetigore is his second horror movie to be released, the script for it was actually finished back in 2010. The original title of the movie is Perempuan Tanah Jahanam, and the international title Impetigore is actually a combination of two words: Impetigo (a bacterial infection of the skin), and, well…gore, of course, enough of it for Mr. Ghööl to hand out a certain badge.

 

With a combination of folklore, a curse, an isolated village in the countryside and family secrets, Impetigore is a feast for those who like atmospheric supernatural horror. The scenes featuring a performance of the traditional Indonesian art of Wayang Kulit (a form of shadow puppetry made from animal skin) is beautiful and entrancing to watch, and of course, these puppets also have a significant meaning to the story. The village, the house, all the surroundings make for a visually striking experience.

 

Like Joko Anwar’s film Satan’s Slaves, he’s using a “vintage” song by The Spouse (Aimee and Tony) who was put together to make the OST for the aforementioned film. The song used in Impetigore is called Pujaan Hati, and together with the rest of the soundtrack for the film it works wonders in amplifying the atmosphere. After all, a creepy (yet beautiful) vintage-styled song fits like a hand in glove when it comes to atmospheric and supernatural-themed horror movies.

 

The film is available on Shudder, but that is of course no help for those of us who lives in no-Shudder land (like Horror Ghouls, who live in Norway where Shudder apparently have no plans of expanding). While we Horror Ghouls are “old fashioned” enough to still favour the physical format (we have it on Blu-ray), there are other alternatives for renting/buying online like for example Google Play, YouTube, Amazon etc. depending on your location.

 

Impetigore

 

Director: Joko Anwar
Original title: Perempuan Tanah Jahanam
Country & year: Indonesia, 2019
Actors: Tara Basro, Ario Bayu, Marissa Anita, Christine Hakim, Asmara Abigail, Kiki Narendra, Afrian Aris, Zidni Hakim, Faradina Mufti, Abdurrahman Arif, Muhammad Abe Baasyin, Mursiyanto, Ahmad Ramadhan
IMDb: www.imdb.com/title/tt9000302/

 

 

Vanja Ghoul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Terrified (2017)

Terrified (2017)When strange events occur in a neighborhood in Buenos Aires, a doctor specializing in the paranormal, her colleague, and an ex police officer decide to investigate further.

 

I first heard about this movie from “Shudder“, a streaming site dedicated to horror, which is unfortunately not available in our country (it’s currently only available in the US (and its territories), Canada, UK, and Ireland). Being quite curious due to all the praise it’s gotten from various horror sites and reviewers, I was really pleased when the movie finally got to Netflix and thus gave us the chance to check it out.

 

The movie starts with a woman that hears whispering voices from the kitchen, which soon escalates into a bloody outcome for her while a terrified husband can’t do anything else but watch. We soon learn that the supernatural occurences is rooted in the neighbouring houses as well, and a group of paranormal researchers are trying to investigate the strange happenings. A dead boy returning from his grave, a naked man hiding under the bed, and strange noises and disturbances are just some of the occurences in the neighborhood that is obviously plagued by something paranormal. When the investigators start their research (the investigators being a group consisting of aged “Ed & Lorraine”- alikes and a nervous cop close to retirement due to health issues) things quickly escalate.

 

“Terrified” aka “Aterrados” is a solid addition to the paranormal/supernatural genre, and is the kind of movie that focuses its scares on being creepy and suspenseful, with some pretty effective scenes that can easily give you the heebie jeebies. Granted, there isn’t really much of a plot in the movie, and when it ends there are more than just a few unanswered questions. It’s a movie that still stands well planted on its own feet due to atmosphere, suspense and effective scenes alone, and should be well worth a watch.

 

Terrified

 

Director: Demián Rugna
Country & year: Argentina, 2017
Actors: Maximiliano Ghione, Norberto Gonzalo, Elvira Onetto, George L. Lewis, Julieta Vallina, Demián Salomón, Agustín Rittano
IMDb: //www.imdb.com/title/tt7549892/

 

Vanja Ghoul