The Corpse of Anna Fritz (El Cadaver de Anna Fritz) (2016)


(Mild Spoilers)

Ivan and Javi stop by Pau’s work at the hospital morgue on their way to a party.  Pau lets them in on a secret: actress Anna Fritz is lying in his morgue, dead.  The trio decides to go see her; to see how she looks as Pay says she doesn’t even look dead.  Once in the morgue, Ivan decides to touch her and from there gets it in his mind that a bit of necrophilia won’t hurt anyone.  However, he soon finds out that is not the case.

The story here starts with morbid curiosity and turns into something much creepier, first getting under your skin, then developing tension as the characters wonder what to do and how, if they will get of it all intact, and who will survive the ordeal.  The writing brings the creeps and tension while also adding a feeling that is difficult to describe created by the first 20 minutes or so.  Writers Isaac P. Creus and co-writer/director Hector Hernandez Vicens build tension and claustrophobic atmosphere throughout the film using limited settings and few characters which brings to the forefront the wanting to escape for these characters, not all of whom the viewer will want to make it out of there.    This tension is also built by having the conflict between said characters grow by each minute they are stuck together and trying to fix their situation.

Playing each of these characters are Alba Ribas as the title character, Albert Carbo as Pau, Cristian Valancia as Ivan, and Bernat Saumell as Javi.  Each of them does very well with their parts, Alba Ribas and Cristian Valancia having the most to work with and possibly the more complex, while polar opposites, characters.  Their performances bring the movie a sense of reality even more so than the simple settings.  Valancioa is a proper creep here, a man out for his own advantages, no matter the cost to other, getting under the viewer’s skin in a bad way while doing so.  Alba Ribas shows the right amount of vulnerability while still showing strength and maintaining a cohesive character.

The Corpse of Anna Fritz is a horror movie in its subject but one with very little blood and no gore per sey.  However, it does bring the scare and gross out factor mainly by suggesting what is being done and only showing glimpses unless absolutely necessary to show.  The horror here is in the implied and in what the friends are ready to do for a little bit of fun and later to protect themselves.  The fear and tension come from how the story unfolds and evolves from a bad idea to desperate attempts at coming out of this unscathed.  The location being a morgue and its surrounding area added to the sense of dread as it’s a place where no one really want to go, much less be locked or stuck into.  The colors and the coldness of it all add to the feeling of loneliness and despair.

The start of the film may be hard to watch for some, but passing it will bring the viewer into a tense escape story/cat and mouse chase that concludes in a satisfying way considering the subject here and the proceedings to get to it.

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