Prior to Morgue, I had never seen a horror film from Paraguay, and this added a level of significance even before watching the film. Unfortunately, however great the impact may have been on transnational cinema (the relationships between nations within the film industry), it had very little impact on me as a viewer and long-time fan of the horror genre. The storylines and the characters connecting them feel disjointed throughout, and even a seemingly fool-proof set-up ends up wasted potential that is traded in for cheap editing tricks and jump scares.
At the beginning of the film, an irresponsible young man (Pablo Martínez) accidentally runs over a man on the way to see his girlfriend. Rather than reporting the accident, he flees the scene, only to show up for his first day of work the next morning, which happens to be at the morgue the dead body was taken to. Knowing that hauntings will occur during this graveyard shift, this seems like the perfect set-up to punish the young man for his mistakes, but the film leaves behind the accident and any semblance of coherent story. Instead, the remainder of the film is dedicated to a series of strange occurrences which inevitably escalate.
Writer/producer/director Hugo Cardozo has claimed in interviews that the film is based on true events. This is not only unbelievable because of how ridiculously cliché the film becomes once the scares start, but because the film doesn’t make any efforts towards realism. There isn’t really even much in terms of plot or character development. Once the film establishes the questionable morality of the protagonist, it stops there and instead focuses on the cheap scares and a lot of build-up in-between. We have a man that is not very likable in a setting that is classically creepy, and yet the movie still resorts to jump cuts and smash cuts to sell anything close to a scare.
The Blu-ray release for this unfortunate disappointment offers little additional excitement. There are no special features other than trailers.
Entertainment Value: 3/10
Quality of Filmmaking: 3.5/10
Historical Significance: 5/10
Special Features: 0/10