Movie Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Directed by André Øvredal (director of 2010’s strange fantasy film Trollhunter), The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a supernatural horror film released in 2016. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch are Tommy and Austin Tilden, a pair of father-son coroners tasked with determining a cause of death for a Jane Doe, brought in late one night. As they begin the autopsy, strange phenomena begin to occur.

+ the opening scene, the aftermath of a particularly gruesome homicide, sets the tone of the film nicely. The majority of the gore (if you can even really call it gore) come from inside the body, because it is literally Jane Doe’s insides. It is an autopsy after all
+ the acting from both leads is fantastic, especially Brian Cox as the older and significantly more experiences of the two morgue workers. Cox has always had that presence about him, and the power he holds over his son is obvious from the beginning. Hirsch is no slough himself
+ the scares are intense, but only rarely devolve into cliched jump scares. In fact, the slow and intentional build up is often what makes the film so atmospheric
+ I noticed lots of symmetrical camera shots, especially earlier in the film. These, as well as some strange angles when showing the hallways of the underground morgue, made everything feel as little bit off, as if it was
+ there is an adorable cat named Stanley. I love cats

– admittedly, the climax and ending of the film feels a bit flat. A somewhat lackluster “twist” doesn’t really add much to the going-ons, which I couldn’t help but feel may have been better left only partially explained

> the sheriff at the beginning and end of the film is Michael McElhatton, aka Game of Thrones‘ Roose Bolton

Should you see this film: Yes. This was one of the better horror movies of recent years, because it didn’t devolve into stock standard jump scares and blood. The movie will keep you guessing, and once the guessing is done with you’ll have something to discuss.

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