Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Blu-ray & DVD: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)
Whilst police are investigating a multiple murder, they discover a body hidden in the basement of a house. This wouldn’t be out of place at a crime scene except, this particular body doesn’t seem to fit their investigation and the police are baffled. There are seemingly no marks on the body and it is almost pristine to look at. Under pressure to solve the homicide the police turn to father and son coroners Tommy (Brian Cox) and Austin (Emile Hirsch) to unravel the mystery of where Jane Doe came from.
Tommy and Austin treat the autopsy as they would any other but, it very quickly becomes clear that there is more than meets the eye to Jane Doe and more importantly, will Tommy and Austin survive the night to tell their tale? Cue the sinister laughter!
I’ll cut to the chase and say that I really liked The Autopsy of Jane Doe! If you’re like me and have watched a lot of horror movies, it gets to a point where you feel like you’ve seen it all before and the shocks become, well, less shocking.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe is dripping in atmosphere and I felt like a coiled spring for most of the movie. In fact the tension became unbearable for my wife (who admittedly isn’t a horror fan) and she made her excuses to leave the room.
Although there is some gore in the movie (they are carrying out an autopsy after all), it doesn’t rely on grossing you out like a lot of so called torture porn movies. In fact it’s the slow building tension and excellent use of sound that puts you on edge.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe feels like a small intimate production which adds to the overall drama, especially knowing that Tommy and Austin are confined to a small mortuary as things start to fall apart around them. Brian Cox, who is for my money is one of the finest British actors working today, does a great job, as does Emile Hirsch, whom I have admired since I saw him with a great performance in the Sean Penn directed Into the Wild.
If I have any criticism it is that the final 20 minutes of the movie feels more like a traditional clichéd horror, which lacks the taut moody finesse of the preceding hour. Overall though The Autopsy of Jane Doe was an excellent chiller that often made the hair on my neck stand up. Who knew that the gentle tinkling sound of a bell would strike so much fear in me!
There is a disappointing lack of extras on the Blu-ray with only a 5 minute Q&A interview featuring director André Øvredal. Although it is a very different film in terms of tone compared with The Autopsy of Jane Doe, I would also recommend you check out Trollhunter also directed by André Øvredal.