If you go down to the morgue today, you’re sure of a big surprise in this Shudder exclusive.
After one of Spain’s most famous and beautiful actresses has been found dead, her body is transported to a local hospital. Pau, a young orderly at the same hospital, is visited by friends Ivan and Javi before they head out for a party so they can see Anna’s body. Disregarding any respect for the dead, Pau leads his friends to the morgue granting them their wish. Whilst in the room intentions progress into depravity as Ivan wishes to have sex with Anna’s body, and urges the others to do the same. Javi refuses repelled by the thought, but Pau follows suit. However during their awful act of rape Anna suddenly awakes leaving the the trio deciding whether to come clean, or cover up their actions and kill her.
There’s no doubt the opening of the film makes for uncomfortable viewing, dealing with unpleasant subject matter rarely tackled as the scene is set. Thankfully the direction isn’t exploitative, otherwise it would have been a gruelling watch. In fact Hèctor Hernández Vicens direction and shot selection craftily avoids the explicit in favour of character reaction and expression, which speaks so much louder.
What it leads up to though is a tense affair as the three men argue over their next steps, as a helpless Anna unable to move awaits her fate. Each of the three men present distinct differences of opinion. Ivan is determined to cover their sordid acts up, Javi on the other hand feels they should help Anna, whereas Pau is panicked and caught between the two. The bickering and arguments between the men are well orchestrated as the tension simmers, but it only begins to boil when Anna gradually regains movement and tries to escape.
Despite only having a 76 minute running time The Corpse of Anna Fritz would have worked better as a short. It doesn’t drag at any point, but with a little less filler it would have made for a concentrated dose of European thriller. Though don’t let that put you off this Spanish contribution to the horror/thriller genre, it’s still a decent film.
The Corpse of Anna Fritz is available to stream on Shudder now.