The horror sub-genre of anthologies has always been one of my favorite things. Normally, it’s full of actors looking to have a good time, take “Creepshow” and “Tales from the Darkside” as prime examples.

Usually there is a fun wrap around story that eventually works into the narrative of one of the stories, and you get your classic ‘be careful what you wish for’ or ‘the bad guy, or girl, gets their comeuppance’ it’s a formula that’s worked for decades.

However, Ryan Spindell ‘spins’ some truly nasty, and fun, little yarns in “The Mortuary Collection” that helps this tried and true formula stand out from the pack.

Ranging from anti-condom frat bros who learn things the hard way to monsters hiding in medicine cabinets, Spindell makes the town of Raven’s End a place that would make Stephen King’s Derry, MN an actual place I’d want to visit for a weekend. There is a certainly timeliness to these little tales, while also making it feel like I’m still flipping through my old EC Comics.

The world building is a highlight for me, as I mention Raven’s End. It feels lived in and has a PULSE. There are villains in the dark corners of the town and all the principle  characters, from a distraught husband taking care of his ailing wife and even the kid delivering newspapers, I feel invested and interested in knowing their backstories.

Adding Clancy Brown, who I grew up know as either the sadistic guard in “The Shawshank Redemption” or as the Lex Luthor in “The Adventures of Superman” cartoon, adds some extra value for me as he skirts the line between The Tall Man in the “Phantasm” series and Clarance Willams III in one of personal favorite anthologies, “Tales from the Hood.”

“The Mortuary Collection” might not break new ground in anthology horror, but damn is it a fun grouping of stories that I would love to see more of in the future.

“The Mortuary Collection” will be screening at the 2020 Fantasia Film Festival. Find all the films and their schedule right HERE.

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