Ken W. Hanley is the Managing Web Editor for FANGORIA and STARLOG, as well as the former Web Editor for Diabolique Magazine and a contributing writer to YouWonCannes.com. He’s a graduate from Montclair State University, where he received an award for Excellence in Screenwriting. He’s currently working on screenplays, his debut novel “THE I IN EVIL”, and various other projects, and can be followed on Twitter: @movieguyiguess.
“THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ” (Film Review)Movies/TV,News,Reviews Ken W. Hanley
If you’re going to be tackling a movie about necrophilia, there’s a good chance that it’s likely going to be a polarizing experience. However, as fate would have it, necrophilia is simply the beginning of the wicked path shown in THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ, an exercise in tension that will grip the audience from start to finish. Yet if there’s anything that’s truly shocking about THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ, it’s how well director Hector Hernandez Vicens makes conventional story beats seem so unconventional via the use of misdirection that would put a magician to shame.
For those unfamiliar, THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ follows Pau, a young orderly at a morgue who learns that the body of a recently deceased starlet named Anna Fritz has arrived at his place of employment. After tipping off two friends, Ivan and Javi, the three congregate in the morgue during the night shift, unable to pass up the chance to check out the corpse of a celebrity. However, as they become intoxicated, their intentions descend into depravity, and soon, they realize the situation isn’t quite as it seems.
Part psychological thriller, part survival horror and part intense drama, one of the best aspects that THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ has going for it is the element of surprise. While some people may be able to predict some of the story beats of THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ, the presentation and organic reveals associated with those beats make the whole film worthwhile. And as twisted as the initial subject matter of the film is, THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ isn’t quite as repulsive as one might assume; instead, Vicens and co-writer Isaac P. Craus roll the story into a much more intense direction, crafting out a morality tale out of a truly immoral situation.
While the horror of it all isn’t quite scary, Vicens rather goes for suspense and tension, both of which are almost palpable as the story escalates and explodes into violence. Luckily, Vicens goes out of his way to tell the story in the most proficient way possible, exerting solid direction and surrounding himself with great technical collaborators. The cinematography from Ricard Canyellas is striking, painting the film in a locale-appropriate fluorescent glow that adds to the eerieness of the situation. Meanwhile, THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ also benefits from Tolo Prats’ dread-inducing score, Alberto Bernad’s masterful editing and Javier Peirot’s exceptionally subtle visual effects work.
THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ also goes a long way with its fairly limited cast who deliver top tier performances across the board. Albert Carbo is truly excellent as Pau, delivering believable pathos, guilt and terror as the situation goes from bad to worse. Meanwhile, Bernat Saumell is great as the conflicted and tragic Javi while Cristian Valencia nearly steals the show as the savage and selfish Ivan. And Alba Ribas is outright brilliant as Anna Fritz, but to say anymore about her performance and her character would be to simply spoil too much.
Overall, THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ is horror-thriller that subverts expectations in a way that remarkably feels organic and conventional. It’s a clever, suspenseful and creepy film that pushes buttons in a sensational way before jumping headfirst into a grounded yet demented “what would you do?” scenario. The film has “cult classic” written all over it, and consider the macabre moment on which the film ends, THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ is bound to leave you talking… for one reason or another.
THE CORPSE OF ANNA FRITZ will hit exclusively on Flixfling.com on March 8th.