By: Hawk Ripjaw (Two Beers) –
Anna Fritz (Alba Ribas) is beautiful. She is renowned for her beauty, both inside and out. She’s so beautiful that the person responsible for transporting her corpse through the hospital can’t resist snapping a picture of her before he leaves.
The first thing Ivan (Cristian Valencia) and Javi (Bernat Saumell) do when they arrive at the hospital is talk about selling two girls in the waiting room into prostitution. The second is ask coroner Pau (Albert Carbo) for “more pictures.” The trio sneaks into the morgue where Anna’s body is kept and decides that she’s so beautiful, they’d like to be the last people to have sex with her.
It’s difficult to go too far into the movie at all without revealing too much about it. There is a significant twist a short ways into the movie (which you will probably be able to guess before too long), but what works is the way the movie executes what it has to work with. In confining the events almost entirely to the one room in the morgue, the weight falls upon the actors and the writing to drive the tension. For the most part, it works very well; the actors have good chemistry and play off each other in believable ways, and the direction is energetic and terse. Single-room thrillers are easy to set up but difficult to execute, but Anna Fritz does things effectively.
With such a taboo concept, the movie is certainly messed up enough, but it admirably stops short of anything actually titillating when it comes to Anna Fritz herself; while the subject matter is revolting, this is far from exploitation.
One of the caveats of this type of film is that it’s difficult to escape the blueprint of the genre. The three characters fall cleanly into the archetypes found in nearly every one of these claustrophobic thrillers featuring three friends faced with difficult choices: Javi is the moral compass, Ivan clearly lacks one, and Pau is the fearful, easily-influenced one. One of the problems with this is that they switch into these roles fairly quickly, and when the plot necessitates it. All three of them are relatively interesting characters to start out, but once they need to step into their archetypes, they’re suddenly far less interesting. Instead of three fleshed-out characters, they’re just three personalities. The actors play them well, and elevate the script from time to time, but they struggle to break from the confines of their clearly-defined roles.
At just over 75 minutes, the movie doesn’t overstay its welcome, which is good considering the simple plot. That plot isn’t inherently a bad thing, but it also doesn’t do a whole lot beyond that initial premise. The stakes don’t really get raised, and by the midpoint it’s kind of spinning its tires. While it would have been nice to get a bit more plot or at least something else happening beyond the central conflict, it’s also hard to imagine where else it would actually go. When it’s not running out of ideas, however, the simple premise simply works.
The Corpse of Anna Fritz (2016) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Ivan says “bitch”
Do a Shot: for each close call.
Do a Shot: every time Pau changes his mind.
Take a Drink: each time it appears someone’s screwed.