Back when video rental stores still existed, I remember walking the aisles for what seemed like hours, hunting for the next best horror flick to watch. Now that those places have gone the way of the dinosaurs, it is almost even more difficult to choose a film for the night’s viewing. Sure, everything is at our fingertips now, but between countless streaming services to pick from and the hundreds of physical media stored on my shelves, I spend more time searching than actually watching. To make things easier, for at least one night, I decided to just grab the next thing on my watch pile. The one I happened to grab was Hugo Cardoza’s Morgue.
After a horrific accident, Diego is called to work a night shift at the local morgue. The already shaken security guard soon realizes that he isn’t alone, as he begins to experience the unexplainable.
I tend to go through phases with my movie viewing — I’ll go days watching only vampire flicks or a whole week watching just found footage films. These days, however, there tends to be no rhyme or reason for what I choose. Hugo Cardoza’s Morgue just happened to be the next in a very long line, but thankfully for me, it turned out to be pretty entertaining.
This Spanish language film, written, produced, edited, and directed by Hugo Cardoza, is a rather low budget affair. That doesn’t stop it from being effective, however. The cast is small — the main focus being the film’s main character, Diego (Pablo Martínez) — and while his actions and performance help to drive the story forward, it is the cinematography and lighting that really stand out in this 2019 supernatural flick.
The men responsible for these feats are not credited on the film’s IMDb page for some reason, but I would be remiss if I did not mention the beautiful cinematography of Blas Guerrero and the set design and lighting of Tito Alvarez. What these two were able to do on a seemingly shoestring budget deserves all the praise in the world.
With unique camerawork (i.e. the camera placed underneath the computer screen with a perfect view over Diego’s shoulder), you can’t help but have your eyes glued to the screen. Knowing that Morgue is a supernatural film, you are fully aware that something can and will happen at any time. The way Guerrero was able to frame each shot just made it that much more nail-biting as you didn’t know where exactly to look. When I was expecting a door to open or shut on its own, the tea cup went sliding across the table instead; when I expected to see someone appear in the background, I was greeted with a totally different scare from another area of the room all together.
It is this ingenuity and creativity that makes Morgue such an effective piece of horror cinema. It doesn’t feature the greatest performances or the most original story, but the execution is so on point that those things can easily be forgiven, at least by yours truly.
As Morgue‘s rather short runtime of 81 continued to elapse, I couldn’t help but make certain comparisons in my head to other films that I’ve watched in the past. The tension created throughout reminded a lot of the better parts of the Paranormal Activity franchise, sans the found footage gimmick, of course, and the isolated setting of the local hospital/morgue with Diego being the sole security officer on duty instantly reminded me of Anthony DiBlasi’s Last Shift from 2014.
Whether you are familiar with those films or not is irrelevant because this one can certainly stand on its own. Watch it alone and in the dark and you will not be disappointed.
Morgue at Home
Morgue is officially available on Digital, Blu-ray, and DVD tomorrow, May 11, from Well Go USA Entertainment.
The Blu-ray home release is presented in a 1080p 16:9 widescreen format with a DTS HDMA 5.1 audio track. The film is completely in Spanish-Guarani (native tongue to 90% of the population of Paraguay), but does of course feature English language subtitles.
Unfortunately, as is the case with most releases from Well Go USA, there are no special features on the disc except for a few trailers and previews for other releases from the company.
I would have loved to get some insight on the filmmaking process from the jack-of-all-trades behind it all, Hugo Cardoza, and his talented crew, but perhaps I will have to take to searching YouTube and the like for that kind of supplemental material this time around.
Morgue is a surprisingly good entry in the supernatural sub-genre. It features competent performances, but brilliant camerawork and the proper tension-building measures created throughout its 81 minutes increase my final rating of this one drastically.
Grab a copy of Morgue for yourself today and give it a go, as I give it 3.5 Private Number calls out of 5.