Film Review: The Morgue (2008)

SYNOPSIS:

About six strangers who find themselves stranded overnight at a rural morgue.

REVIEW:Directors – Halder Gomes, Gerson Sanginitto
Starring – Bill Cobbs, Heather Donahue, Lisa Crilley

The movie starts, the screen is black and a quote appears. “Whenever you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.” Okay, strong start, buckle down and get ready for one hell of a ride, a scary movie with some good twists that’ll make you think. Oh, if only that were the case.

Lisa Crilley stars as Margo, a beautiful young college student who has taken a part-time job at a mausoleum. Working the late shift, she more or less mops the floor and cleans. Easy job for good money she says. She even talks to her quite friends, those eternally entombed in the marble walls. When we first see her she is sleeping on the job in, of all places, a coffin. There at the mausoleum with her is George (veteran actor Bill Cobbs), the night watchman, who walks around as if in a trance. He has recently lost his daughter and now finds solace at the bottom of a bottle.

Against this backdrop arrives a family who have just run out of gas. Dad, daughter Jill and wife Nan (played by Heather Donahue of The Blair Witch Project) arrive with a gas can in hand seeking help. While the dad goes off in search of George, Margo takes Nan and Jill to the bathroom. While there, Nan spots the blood stains on the wall and floor. Margo tells the story of an old man named Horace who went crazy and killed himself, and who now haunts the very grounds they are on. Yikes! And try as she might, Margo can’t seem to remove the stains no matter how strong of a cleaner she uses.

Well, George is nowhere to be found and back at one of the offices two young men suddenly arrive, bloodied and desperate for medical attention. They are acting strange, not wanting to call 911 and all. Sure the future body count has just been upped by two, but what is up with these guys? Margo keeps a suspicious eye on them as she tries to keep Jill entertained.

But soon a mystery guest arrives and is intent on making sure that not only no one leaves the mausoleum, but that they join the departed as well. He is dressed in black and, depending on the scene, is armed with a shovel or a scalpel.

The Morgue falls into a routine from here on out as one by one our group meets their untimely demise. Almost all of the kills happen off screen save for one death by gasoline. The main problem with the movie is that we’ve seen this all before, including the twist ending. And speaking of that, the ending just seems to go on and on. And as it does, it makes the twist even more convoluted than need be. It’s as if the film makers realized they had a clichéd twist but felt they had to add on to somehow un-cliché it. It sounds dumb, and believe me, it is.

There are some good moments to be found. You have your walk through the graveyard which is hard to get wrong. The acting is good for this type of movie, with Lisa Crilley standing out as Margo. Nice to see Heather Donahue as the mom who at times just wants to up and strangle her husband. And obvious kudos to Bill Cobbs who is always a treat, but in this movie has an extremely limited role, which is a shame because they could have used his character more to give us a warning or two, a la Tony Todd in Final Destination.

All in all I would have to say skip this one unless you can catch it for free. Even then, there are definitely better movies out there. It’s one of those movies where you are left thinking that if only they would have done just a few more things different, you’d have a much better experience.

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