Why You Should Check Out The Mortuary Collection on Shudder

It’s kind of disturbing to laugh at horror, isn’t it? Okay, maybe not, but it’s definitely not the default reaction of many people since being terrified tends to make people scream and cry out in terror, not necessarily laugh and enjoy themselves. The Mortuary Collection appears ready to create both reactions as the anthology spills out and entertains the audience in a manner that’s been done before, but is given a decidedly fun twist that will keep people seated for as long as the tales take to tell. One big issue with horror movies is that they tend to show the same thing over and over, without any variation or without any possibility that things might not have a happy ending or resolution that people can be satisfied with. The Mortuary Collection might be a welcome surprise to a lot of horror buffs though since it does have an ending, of sorts, but it should hopefully educate, or remind, a lot of people that a story never really ends. It can stop, it can be put on hold, and it can definitely be left to sit for a while, but it never really ends so long as there’s someone to continue it in some way. That might sound like quite the buildup for a story that’s not exactly bound to win an Oscar any time soon, but it’s the unfettered truth and what’s more, it’s one of the best qualities of any story, especially a horror story.

Clancy Brown heads up the anthology as the mortician Montgomery Dark, and as you can imagine he’s every bit as creepy as he can be as he tells the tales of how a few different individuals within the mortuary met their end, regaling Charlotte Gibbons, who’s played by Caitlin Custer, with the stories as she listens patiently. By the end, the audience finds out a devilish secret about both individuals. Don’t worry, I’ll avoid the spoilers at this time, but it’s enough to make a person laugh and gasp at the same time, as it’s something that people might be able to guess at, but is still kind of fun to realize. Horror movies, anthologies especially, can be a lot of fun if the right tone is taken and the stories are crafted in just the right way. It’s a delicate balance that a lot of people aren’t able to realize, but when it does happen, even if it’s brief, it is kind of interesting to watch, as one can imagine that anyone trying to replicate this effect is going to find it more difficult than they’d initially realized.

There are still a lot of people out there that might think that laughing at horror, at death, and at the creepy, crawling things that are presented is odd and perhaps the mark of a psychopath. What they might be missing is the fact that the more one is able to laugh at something like this, the less power it has over them. Too many folks don’t want to realize that giving power to the things that fear, that they know can harm them, only makes life a little more depressing. Horror is, of course, meant to scare the living hell out of people, but much like a rollercoaster ride, it does have a defined end at some point, meaning that it won’t last forever and that for all the twists and turns that are to come, there will be a moment when all of it will end. Some would claim that the laughter can’t begin until one realizes how foolish it was to be so afraid, but then there are those of us that can’t help but disagree and state that laughing WHILE the horror is happening is that much better, especially since it takes the dreaded anticipation out of the moment, and can help when the jump scares begin to happen. After that, it’s just a matter of not being grossed out by what the movie shows if there’s anything horrible to be seen.

Obviously, The Mortuary Collection is going to have a healthy amount of the nastiest stuff that a person can see when it comes to the horror-laden tales it tells. But at the very least it appears to balance itself out by providing a good deal of story along with the thrills and chills that are delivered with the kind of zeal that is expected and even respected. The idea that this anthology will be largely forgotten in the next year or so isn’t that big of a deal since this is one of those gems that will likely be around for a long time to come, and will also be fairly easy to find. Horror movies don’t disappear that easily thankfully since a lot of people are willing to sit through a good scare.

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