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  • Warning: Spoilers
    I'm a big horror fan and this is the best little horror yarn I've seen in ages.

    Well acted, with some recognisable faces. Brian Cox is great as the small town coroner that leads the autopsy on the titular body, in one scene he even managed to give me a sad lump in the throat which was an unexpected feeling during an unnerving horror flick. Emile Hirsch plays his son and assistant and though he's good doesn't have as much impact as Cox. Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) makes an appearance as the town sheriff.

    Where this film really succeeds is in doing something a lot of modern horror has forgotten about - it toys with the viewers imagination, creating an uneasy feeling out of the narrative, half light, sound and shadow. This is not to say you don't get to see anything grotesque or unsettling, as certain scenes are not for the squeamish.

    I don't want to spoil the story but will say this, the resolution is not quite as good as the build up. It's very hard for a horror film, especially one that plays on fear and the imagination, to deliver a conclusion that is suitably unsettling - this one half succeeds. But the ride is more than worth it and the ending is far from a failure.

    If you like horror, watch this.
  • And a simply wonderful throwback to the 1970s when horror was, well, horror -- and not based on gimmicks like "found footage" but rather genuine scene-setting, story building, audience engagement, and full-tilt creepiness.

    Probably destined to become a classic.

    Brian Cox is this generation's Donald Pleasence, that is to say, a character actor who could not give a bad performance if he tried yet is destined to never actually stand out in any single production because that is his style.

    Director André Øvredal is one of those rare finds -- an auteur with (so far) a small body of work who is producing better and better films. This suggests that over time he will probably give us bigger and better treats to come.

    And while Ophelia Lovibond does not get a lot of screen time, the exposure she does have will only add to her fan base. An American accent so natural you would think she was trained by Hugh Laurie and a performance so sweet you might not even recognize her (unless you looked twice) as the very same actress that underpinned an entire season of Elementary.

    Recommended? This is a must-see!
  • From director André Øvredal (Trollhunter) comes one of the best horror movies of 2016, The Autopsy of Jane Doe. Suspenseful, clever and creepy from start to finish this horror movie follows the story of father and son (played by Brain Cox and Emile Hirsch), both coroners, as they experience unexplained and paranormal events while examining the body of an unidentified woman (played by Olwen Kelly). Execution is superb, from directing, editing, camera-work, color grading, sound editing, dialogue. Movie also features some fine acting, most notably from Brian Cox (no surprise there) There is not a single moment where I felt bored, tension is always present and creepy atmosphere makes it very enjoyable. Also scares don't feel forced but rather real and well earned. Maybe couple of shortcomings or sins here and there prevent it to be a masterpiece, but it is still a very damn good movie. Simple story skillfully executed. Horror is not dead, it is still here and very alive, you just need to have passionate and talented people working behind the cameras.
  • cattis2610 November 2016
    Saw this at the Night Visions festival in Helsinki, November 2016. What I expected was a lighthearted, "father and son as morticians" kind of movie. What I got was a movie that chilled even my horror movie veteran soul to the bone.

    To explain too much about this movie would spoil it, so I will not go into details. But the director succeeds wonderfully in first creating a comfortable atmosphere, introducing a small cast of characters and setting the scene, and then masterfully starts upping the discomfort levels of the situation, until you are sitting at the edge of your seat, biting your nails. Like in Øvredal's former movie, Troll Hunter, what you cannot see can be a million times more disconcerting than what is in plain sight. Although here he uses both..

    Great characters, great atmosphere, an overall great experience. Even if at times I wished for it to end already, just because I couldn't quite bear all the anxiety. I hope this comes to Finland proper, so others can see it too! Quite possibly the best horror film I have seen this year.
  • Lignin9245028 January 2017
    Warning: Spoilers
    This movie's story isn't actually a bad idea! I love the fact that it's about a topic that isn't too cliché, however, the small predictable scenes kind of ruined the fun.

    Things that didn't need to happen that did: - Girlfriend didn't really need to be accidentally axed to death, there was minimal reaction to this and it was so unrealistic - Cat didn't need to be found mangled, then within 2 seconds, receive a neck snap, no questions asked, again with no realistic reaction from characters - Morgue bodies didn't really need to start walking about again like zombies - Being trapped in a storm without electricity or signal on the phone (obviously)

    Things that needed to happen that didn't: - More history on the witch - More cool facts about the dates and possibilities of what happened to the witch - Tie the loose ends about her links with the characters she was involved with

    I loved the music, the unusual scenes, the CSI style findings and whatnot, I wish there had been more story and less jump scares.
  • While investigating the murder of a family, Sheriff Sheldon (Michael McElhatton) and his team are puzzled with the discovery of the body of a stranger buried in the basement that does not fit to the crime scene. He brings the corpse of the beautiful Jane Doe (Olwen Kelly) late night to the coroner Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and requests to have the cause of death until the next morning to have an answer to the press. Tommy's son and assistant Austin Tilden (Emile Hirsch) is ready to go to the movie theater with his girlfriend Emma (Ophelia Lovibond), but he decides to stay to help his father in the autopsy. Along the stormy and tragic night, they disclose weird and creepy secrets about Jane Doe.

    "The Autopsy of Jane Doe" is a creepy, claustrophobic and scary low- budget horror movie. The screenplay is very well-written and the tension increases as long as the mystery about Jane Doe is discloses by the coroners. The limited use of special effects is another plus in this little gem. My vote is seven.

    Title (Brazil): Not Available
  • Since wishi washi pseudo horror films ala insidious and co dominate the genre at the moment i never expect much when watching a new entry.And much to my surprise Jane Doe is a REAL horror film in finest John Carpenter b-movie tradition.

    Jane Doe starts out strong, builds atmosphere with genuinely creepy scenes and manages to keep its mystery and secrets just long enough to satisfy. Much of this is due to the moody music which probably made half the film!

    Sure there is the occasional i-already-know-whats-coming-next/ clichéd shock scene, but such sins are easily forgiven within seconds since the intense atmosphere of this film pulls the viewer back in mercilessly.

    If you appreciate classic oldschool flicks like John Carpenters 'The Fog', Jane Doe will not disappoint. Go see it!
  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe started SO freaking well. I was enthralled right from the opening scene, which first few seconds played with perspective and focus. We are carried from a peaceful environment to a grotesque scene where I jumped a little from my seat just by the exacerbated sound of a camera flash. The photography was stellar. The detail, the angle, the light, everything was superb and simply chilling. There's a lot of play with perspective and the close-ups of simple objects contribute to the eerie atmosphere. For me, it was easily worth 5 stars till then point.

    When we meet our two protagonists, father and son who will perform the autopsy on Jane Doe, I was still excited and in awe. The interaction between characters was believable and I enjoyed seeing how those two handled the work and each other, Austin his father's pupil, trying to learn his father's business as best as he could. The photography was still amazing and I was immediately hooked by how familiar the creepy workplace worked. These guys could not be more normal and this was their home. Sure, it had the potential to be creepy, but it felt safe and normal, if that makes any sense.

    Throughout these scenes there were several suspenseful moments where the director had me slowly nudging towards the edge of my seat. I never knew if something really bad was going to happen. And the fact is, it usually did not, not in the way I am used to. There were no easy scares up to this point. There were several freaky elements that contributed to a creepy atmosphere but all in all it was a serious approach to the reality of two coroners. The gross stuff came so naturally I didn't ever see it coming until it was in my face. The sounds were so graphic that I actually gagged on more than one occasion.

    I really enjoyed the movie till about two thirds or so. Then it all started going downhill for me. The father's theory about what was happening seemed far-fetched, Austin annoyed the heck out of me cause he kept putting his face in harm's way and the acting or script was just bad, I still can't figure out which. I mean, who (spoiler ahead) peeks through a hole, suddenly sees a corpse looking back at him, just nonchalantly begins to figure out the next step?(/spoiler) I am ashamed to admit I shrieked in that scene because I was firmly convinced nothing would happen, considering the previous setup, and that guy does even twitch. Eurgh.

    Towards the end I felt like such a great work of art was being mistreated for no good reason. The film just became a mockery of what it had been until then - even though the scariest scene of the movie, for me, came then. And when I thought I could not be more annoyed, the last second of the movie proved me otherwise.

    I don't get it. I swear I don't get how anyone could butcher such an awesome movie, a gem amongst all other horror stuff out there. So yeah, I am still a bit upset.
  • After the police discover a corpse in a shallow grave, they take it to father-and-son coroners Austin and Tommy Tilden. During their invasive examination, the duo comes into realization that they are dealing with something supernatural.

    The Autopsy of Jane Doe - Was a visual treat to enjoy. I think if you are a fan of well paced films you will enjoy this one. Although it's being treated as a horror film - Which is not a problem unless you generalize this as the overall genre for this movie - Its more of a Suspense Thriller/Drama/Horror. This is not something I feel needs to be clarified, but understood as the film envelops all three entities.

    Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox are excellent as father-and-son coroners Austin and Tommy Tilden. One particular moment in the film allows the actors to reflect and truly shine in their respected roles.

    André Øvredal (Trollhunter) directs this close quartered film with limited room for our actors to breathe once the tension unfolds - He makes great use of this tension by placing the camera in dark areas allowing us to truly feel the weight of the actors.

    Screenwriters Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing craft a smart and well paced story with a few false scares, and flat third act leaving us yearning for more.

    Overall, this is a movie that deserves and requires your time :)
  • After watching the trailer of this film i was just expecting another lazy cheesy horror film, and i knew it was a movie i'd skip. But after seeing some good reviews here and there about it, i thought i'd give it a try and watch it with an open mind.

    Turns out to be one of the best horror films to come out this year (Along with Lights Out, Under The Shadow and Don't Breathe)

    Just consider that this movie is not for the faint heart at all as it contains very graphic scenes that aren't suitable for everyone, but the title says it anyway it's an Autopsy.

    What I liked the most about this film is that it has everything horror fans would like to see in a movie, it has very disturbing scenes, top- notch suspense , good scares , an atmosphere that will suck you in and a creepy enough story that'll probably keep you up at night thinking about dead bodies

    The film starts slow with the horror but it never keeps you bored, it's always interesting and you always wanna know how things will go, and as you watch you'll notice it's getting weirder and weirder and then you'll feel so uncomfortable watching it until you reach the top speed of the horror and then it will come to an end.

    The ending could've been better (thought its a bit cheesy) but it hasn't ruined the experience for me, it's still a good watch for fans of the genre.

    Conclusion: If you're a true horror fan you can't miss this one, pretty sure it has many in it that will give you some good scares.
  • I saw this movie at night with my wife. Not knowing what to expect, I am a huge horror fan from old school Nightmare on elm street to blood and gore films like Dead Alive including a few foreign films like I saw the Devil. But in no way was I prepared for this. After 20 minutes or so I was in heart pumping suspense. I felt like a little kid watching his first scary movie. There were a few good scares but what did it was the acting, the atmosphere and that creepy face that looked so alive and not once did it blink or move. I couldn't sleep well that night and a movie has not done that to me since I was 12 years old and I am 34 years old now. Just Wow... Watch with caution.
  • The title and poster of the movie give a creepy and uneasy feeling to the prospective watcher, and the same creepy atmosphere is wonderfully evident from the start of this well-executed, well-acted offering from the Norwegian director who gave us the thoroughly underrated Trollhunter. This time, he opted for conventional filmmaking instead of the found-footage style he so deftly utilized in Trollhunter, giving us time to take in the brilliantly directed scenes which immediately thrusts the audience into the unsettling premise of a Jane Doe being autopsied by a father-and-son coroner duo.

    The dialogue between the leads in the beginning build character almost instantaneously, and they feel real from the get-go. Compared to the recent trend of horror movies eschewing character development for cardboard cutout jump-scare fuel, this movie comes as a nice and refreshing, almost surprising, change of pace. The father and the son have contrasting personalities regarding their approach to autopsies. I expected this brilliancy in dialogue and character development to carry the whole movie - and it immediately increased my expectations of the movie; I fully expected this to be an underrated horror gem of 2016.

    Alas, however, half-way through the movie the director's Conjuring-esque influences seemed to show through the cracks. Though not devolving straight into jump-scare territory, the movie dips its feet into schlock scares now and then, which has a very infuriating effect on the viewer who, until now, has been amazed by the movie's restraint. The character development also suffers, with some actions by the leads contradicting their motivations.

    However, the concept and execution need to be commended. The actors Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch do well to sell the dread and claustrophobia experienced by the characters. Special mention to Olwen Kelly, who gives possibly the best performance of the movie, despite having no lines, no action (she plays the corpse). Definitely one of the highlights of the movie was the synergy between the camera-work and the actress's facial expressions which do more to put the viewer at unease than minute-long scenes of staring into the darkness, fully knowing the movie is going to go for that cheap jump-scare. That being said, I would say the script was the weakest aspect of the movie, the ending just leaves you wanting a little bit more, and slightly disappointed. Nevertheless, the movie does its job of selling you the premise and executing it well enough to leave you unsettled for a few days.

    All in all, I would call this movie as a mixed bag, though I would give it a glowing recommendation as it is head and shoulders above the spate of incomprehensible scare-fests being offered by Hollywood these days. Great work, André Øvredal.

    Be sure to check out Trollhunter by the same director. Although not a horror film, it merges the found-footage genre with goofy mythical creatures to amazingly hilarious yet epic results.
  • mark-179-36074320 December 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    I've not seen an original horror this well done for a long time. The cast is strong, dialogue and acting good, the story is interesting, well paced and well directed.

    If you didn't know better, you may think after the first third of the film that you were watching a forensic crime, and would be quite happy to continue watching in that vein. Instead, an unsettling, atmospheric, claustrophobic tale of magic, sacrifice and revenge unfolds, which I was more than happy with. The direction is outstanding, your imagination does a lot of the work and the budget is saved for some very well done major scenes (and of course, quality actors - unfortunately rare in horror these days).

    Whereas it would have been wonderful to tie up the loose ends, see a bit about the Witch Trials history, give Hirsch and Cox a bit more to go on earlier in the film etc. With that said, it may have removed something from the very polished whole, and in all likelihood will yield a - well deserved - sequel. Jane Doe sure as Hell hasn't finished yet!

    It's got that "Sinister" vibe about it, and is certainly one of the best horror releases of the year. I challenge anyone to watch this and not feel impressed, satisfied and maybe just a little bit scared.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This particular flick restored my lost faith in horror movies. Creepy elements galore from start to finish. The idea of an animated corpse with a bell attached to its foot particularly was so hair-raising.

    There are no cheap scares in The Autopsy of Jane Doe. No cheap effects either. What's so nice about it is it scares the viewer from various angles -- from the claustrophobic basement setting to the fact that not much info on Jane Doe is revealed, which further fuels the mystery that pervaded the movie from start to finish.

    Both Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox gave stellar performances! Needless to say, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is one of the scariest, scariest horror movies I saw, and it's worth watching!
  • fil-nik0924 December 2016
    First of all, I will say that this is not really a horror film to me ( in its entirety) but rather the first half and bit more is kind of a thriller / suspense movie and the last 20 minutes is a mild horror.

    But even if it is a real horror ( as many would say - though maybe my definition of horror is rather narrow as I can not be scared easily) it does bring something new.

    This is why I am rating this as an eight!

    That new element to the horror is what makes it good: a beauty, a dead beauty that looks like a doll outside but hell inside... The inscriptions inside her body and skin is a very awesome detail. Maybe that is one thing that will stick with me when I think of the film ...

    The story is simple but appealing. The three actors + the girlfriend and the sheriff are all good. But really, all hail Jane Doe ( if it was a real person whole time).

    I recommend it!
  • shackledmuse31 December 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    I love horror movies. The sleek ones, the b-grade ones, the really crappy ones with bad acting and cheap thrills. I watch them all. This one? This one left me pleasantly surprised. The scares are carefully crafted, the acting is superb, and the atmosphere gets you before the walking dead does. As the case with most well made horror movies, it is that which you cannot see that frightens you the most. In some ways, the setting and atmosphere reminds of the movie Pontypool.

    Quick summary, here be spoilers: An unidentified corpse of a woman (Olwen Kelly) is found half buried in the basement of a house where a bizarre homicide has occurred. What stayed with me, was the contrast of the messy and bloody homicide scenes, and the cleanness of the corpse and her grave. Even though half buried, she didn't even have dirt on her. They take the corpse to father-and-son coroners Tommy (Brian Cox) and Austin (Emile Hirsch) Tilden. During their examination, they come to realization that they are dealing with something supernatural.

    A mountain of contradictions and inconsistencies arise. The corpse has no visible signs of trauma, no rigor mortis. The eyes are cloudy, something that only happens when the body has been dead for a few days. When they make the Y-incision, the corpse bleeds profusely, something that only happens when a corpse is fresh. Her tongue has been non-surgically removed, her ankles and wrists are shattered. One of her teeth is missing, which they later find in a hex bag in her stomach. Her lungs are charred, and her organs imply repeated stabbing. Her vagina is mutilated and when they pull the skin away from her rib- cage, they find strange symbols tattooed on her skin.

    The first half of the movie focuses on the various, sometimes chilling, aspects of the external and internal examination. The seconds half is when lights go off and things go bump in the dark.

    Øvredal succeeds superbly in first creating a relaxed atmosphere, with a small cast of characters, and then starts turning the discomfort levels and the creep factor up. I would have given the movie a higher rating, but the ending did not live up to the tone that was set throughout the movie.

    That said, I still highly recommend The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
  • I've seen a lot of bad reviews on this film some even going to lengths to call it a "one star movie", i assume these people are just over-pretentious losers looking for an over-complicated plot. this movie moved quick, kept its points concise. It draws you in with great cinematography, good acting, and clever foreshadowing.

    personally im not usually a fan of the paranormal horror genre, but this film kept my interest and has been an exception. mostly because this movie doesn't use spooky ghost stories or corny jump scares as a crutch. the plot was well written and not overly complicated, while still loosely rooting itself in reality.

    the autopsy of jane doe is absolutely worth a watch, as of currently it's free on netflix so what do ya got to lose. definitely one of the better horror films on netflix.
  • Without spoiling this movie, let me sum up my impression after I just finished watching "The Autopsy Of Jane Doe". I went out without seeing the trailer, so I thought it was a police/detective movie at first.

    But it didn't take long for us to realize it was a horror movie.

    Acting : excellent. Bryan Cox and Emile Hirsh play a very believable pair of father-son, working at the family morgue.

    Story : very different from the usual horror movies. I appreciated it, as I grew tired of the same ghosts, zombie, vampire stories.

    Directing : smart use of the shadows without being excessive.

    I highly recommend it.
  • faridat-9178921 December 2016
    Warning: Spoilers
    How we long for an actual horror story, and how rare one comes along. Early on you know you are going for a ride.. a painstaking one. There is just a subtle sense that everything is going to build up right, disturbingly, later, and you cannot just see it. There's too much hidden you cannot point them out. How could you? It takes its sweet, sweet time before you feel virtually threatened in the once-comfortable safety of your own home.

    You are always one step behind. You just do not want to figure it out. Try not let the anticipation turn into a frustration, to not tilt your head to see a foot away into shadows behind the door, not to literally feel the pain, inflicted with an inconceivable harm so mental you are not sure if you want to escape or fight. Try to keep calm.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    One of the best and most original thriller/horror films for a long long time.

    A farther and son who are both coroners have a unidentified body turn up at there morgue, the unidentified female was found at a mass murder scene by a local sheriff. The sheriff tells them he needs to know what happened to her by the end of the night so they get to work.

    With strange things that start to happen during the girls autopsy who has been labeled as Jane Doe this film develops into a horror mystery so much so you can't take your eyes off the screen.

    Brian Cox is excellent as well is Emile Hirsch, the autopsy of Jane Doe is how a film is meant to be made not some rubbish found footage but genuine real tension and horror. Quite possibly one of the best films out this year.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Yes, I hate horror movies. I watched them in the past and I am usually disgusted by this genre of movies, rather than afraid of them. However, the title of the movie and the brief plot indicated that this should be a rather different and interesting horror movie - and it was! It was not one of those movies where seemingly smart characters make stupid assumptions or decisions, and the movie mostly kept you thinking what will happen next.The actors (including Jane Doe) were awesome 9.5/10 and the effects were good 8/10. The movie is only 1.5 hours long which is just perfect.

    Worth watching even if you are not a fan of horror movies!

    Spoiler: The only thing that I did not like was that it was clear from almost the beginning that the girl was a witch. The main characters found so much evidence that she was a witch and even listed all the evidences, but only later in the movie they admitted the fact.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    If you were pleasantly surprised with André Øvredal's TROLLHUNTER (2010), then you will regard him now as your new 'Master of Horror' - in this latest & his first English-language film The Autopsy of Jane Doe! Because, in Jane Doe, this Norwegian director applied almost each & every great craftsmanship of horror film-making so skillfully that you are not only going to see just another good or passable horror flick set around an awesomely interesting premise, you'll going to experience it! Through the effective use of half light, sound, smoke & shadow this time he created an utterly eerie & unsettling atmosphere by revealing not too much but keep toying with the viewer's imagination from start to finish. And the perfect cast & characterization also helps to fuel the unease feeling of an unknown terror – an untouched & unidentified corpse of a beautiful young female; the local cops discovered the body from a shallow grave under the basement of a house-where everyone was massacred! The best horror film of 2016 so far! A must see.
  • Short and Simple Review by WubsTheFadger

    The film starts of with a bang. It is grisly, graphic, and gory. The story is intriguing, interesting, and original. The film keeps the tension high and makes the mystery unknowable. The autopsy part of the film is graphic and detailed. This helps keep the film feeling like it is real. The ritualistic part of the film is eerie and creepy. The ending is haunting and stunning.

    The acting is superb. Brain Cox delivers a stunning performance. He usually is a side character in most of his movies but he takes the helm in this film with such power and emotion. He is truly an underrated actor. Emile Hirsch also delivers a good performance. His acting was slightly weaker than Brain Cox's and I felt that Cox overpowered him in many scenes. Although some might think it is far fetched calling it acting, Olwen Catherine Kelly portrays Jane Doe very well. She is creepy and has an omnipresent aura surrounding her. Ophelia Lovibond and Michael McElhatton both have small parts but do add to the story.

    The pacing is very fast. I felt that the story lost some power when they are first looking for a way out of the morgue but it picks up towards the end. The runtime is short.

    Pros: Grisly, graphic, and gory story, a great ending, the autopsy part of the film was great, amazing acting by Brain Cox, good overall acting, fast pacing, and a short runtime

    Cons: The story losses some power in the middle, Emile Hirsch was overpowered by Brain Cox in some scenes, and some parts of the story are left unanswered

    Overall Rating: 8.3

    P.S. This is a very good horror film. I would highly recommend it to any horror film fans.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A coroner and his son attempt to solve the mystery of how a seemingly unscathed woman's corpse ended up in a murdered family's basement in this psychological-horror film from Norwegian director André Øvredal. The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016) doesn't have a complicated story, but is creepy and compelling enough to rise above its peers.

    Coroner Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and his son Austin (Emile Hirsch) run a routine practice in a small town morgue, but the discovery of the pale, lifeless body of a black-haired woman (Olwen Catherine Kelly) in a murdered family's basement changes all that. Austin has plans to take his girlfriend Emma (Ophelia Lovibond) to the movies, but something doesn't feel right when the sheriff wheels in a fresh corpse from a crime scene, so he postpones the date.

    As Tommy and Austin begin the autopsy on the mysterious woman, they uncover clues to how she died. All her injuries are internal, and they discover evidence that she's much, much older than she appears. The more they cut into her, however, the more unsettling events begin to manifest around the morgue. Something unseen traps and pursues them, with predictable results.

    It's eventually revealed Jane Doe was a witch who was brutally tortured and magically bound in a prison of her own flesh in seventeenth-century New England. She inflicted torment on everyone who had custody of her body, so it was shuttled around until ending up in the morgue, where only Tommy and Austin had the tools and expertise to solve the mystery.

    Although the historical premise is interesting, I was disappointed the filmmakers didn't focus more on the relationship between Tommy and his son. Early in the film, Tommy appears to be nearing retirement and hopes Austin will follow in his footsteps (although coroners are usually elected). Austin is caught between loyalty to his father and starting a new life with Emma. The violent deaths of everyone involved means this conflict is never resolved. It adds depth to the characters but ultimately leaves the audience feeling like something is missing.

    Autopsy is reminiscent of Deadgirl (2008), which had a similar if less clinical premise. In Deadgirl, two teen boys discover the nude body of a woman chained in the basement of an abandoned asylum. After discovering she is alive, they soon also discover she apparently can't die. Both films appeal to a certain morbid voyeurism and raise questions about the male fascination with the female form. Both feature two men cutting into and otherwise freely manipulating an imprisoned and otherwise helpless woman's body.

    In Autopsy, the woman is a witch. In Deadgirl, she is some kind of zombie. Both eventually lash out at their captors, inflicting torment and death in retribution. It's implied the suffering of these men is justified under lex talionis–"law of retaliation"–in which their punishment corresponds in kind and degree to the woman's injury. Quite literally in the case of Jane Doe, the exact injuries she suffered are magically inflicted on Tommy the coroner.

    Brian Cox and Olwen Catherine Kelly's performances are largely responsible for The Autopsy of Jane Doe's success. Brian Cox, an Emmy Award-winning Scottish actor, has had a prolific career and brings warmth and nuance to his role. Olwen Catherine Kelly, an Irish model, isn't an experienced actress, has no lines, and doesn't even move in her role as Jane Doe, but the fact she is able to play a convincing corpse without CGI is remarkable in itself. André Øvredal thought a dummy or prosthetics would appear fake to audiences, so he used as little as possible.

    Overall, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a solid horror flick that isn't pointlessly grotesque or reliant on jump scares. It adheres to the KISS principle of filmmaking: Keep It Simple, Stupid. A simple premise, a few key characters, and a single mystery means this film avoids many pitfalls common to the genre.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    A coroner (Brian Cox) and his son/apprentice have been given one night to determine the cause of death of a young woman found buried in a house during the investigation of an apparently unrelated homicide. As the night wears on, they realize that this will be no ordinary autopsy.

    Clearly, there was a lot to work with here, and the first third of the film does a good job of setting the stage for what could have been a great mix of visual and psychological horror. For example, the writers cleverly used--or, more accurately, began to use--the fact that autopsies are often recoded on video as a narrative device to avoid the usual trope of experts explaining basic procedures to one another. But this approach was soon abandoned in favor of a standard, uninspired exposition.

    If the story were more carefully thought out, this narrative style wouldn't be a problem. The writers opted for a supernatural angle which wouldn't have been a problem if the explanation were fleshed out. Instread, the writers tacked on a shallow explanation in the last minutes of the film that doesn't make sense even with the suspension of disbelief and accepting the film's internal logic. There is no feeling of resolution at the end, as there are several rather important questions about why all of this had to occur in rhe first place.

    If you're looking for a film that delivers some scares and has a creep factor, however, this one does an okay job. I watch a lot of films in this genre and there were several occasions where I felt the scares. There are several jump scares, but not as many as the prosaic storyline might suggest.
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