There have been plenty of films over the years that have explored the idea of what it means to be famous. However, where most of those films deal with the cost of obtaining fame and keeping it, “The Corpse of Anna Fritz” starts where the story normally ends: with a death.
“The Corpse of Anna Fritz” is a spanish language horror film from director Hector Hernandez Vicens. At the start of the film we learn that the beautiful and renowned Spanish actress Anna Fritz has suddenly died. Her body is quickly taken to a local morgue that is manned by one singular unassuming man named Pau (Albert Carbo). And, of course, it isn’t long before Pau reveals to his friends that he has unrestricted access to the corpse of Anna Fritz.
Soon his two friends arrive to see the corpse for themselves, bringing with them plenty of booze and drugs to ensure a good time is had by all. But when looking turns to touching, Pau and his friends start to take things down a dark and twisted path.
“The Corpse of Anna Fritz” is a very jarring and twisted film as it starts off with a bit of dark comedy and quickly morphs into a disturbing sexual assault tale. It doesn’t take long to see where Pau and his friends are taking things, but when it happens it comes with a gut wrenching revelation that left me mortified.
From there Pau and his friends descend down a maddening path of destruction, fear, and misplaced anger. I know I’m being very vague here, but what makes this film so impactful is the ride you take with the characters involved. I will say the film plays out like a hostage thriller with one character desperately trying to get out of the situation, but finding themselves at the mercy of their captures.
What I think is well done about this film is that it does an excellent job of not making you sympathetic towards the antagonists of the film, but it does make you understand why they’re doing the things they’re doing. Pau’s friends, played by Bernat Saumell and Cristian Valencia, do a solid job of portraying drastically different moral stances while Pau plays a meek pawn being tugged in all directions.
Vicens should also be commended for trimming up the film and ensuring that it moves at a brisk pace with no fat padding things out. It’s a rather short film, clocking in at one hour and sixteen minutes, but those minutes are used well to construct a story that doesn’t overstay it’s welcome. This also lets it keep up a tense atmosphere without losing steam until the very end.
If you love foreign language horror I would highly recommend “The Corpse of Anna Fritz.” It’s a sordid tale that’ll leave you feeling in need of a shower, but the film is well crafted and worth seeking out. The film is currently available for streaming on FlixFling