Movie Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

I find autopsies quite fascinating. Now, I have never witnessed an actual autopsy, so I can’t speak for what that experience would be like. But the idea of them: A dead body being cut up and examined to determine a cause of death so that some closure can be given to that case… that shit is really fascinating to me.

Ladies and gentlemen… “The Autopsy of Jane Doe”.

Tommy (Brian Cox) and his son, Austin (Emile Hirsch), work together in a morgue. And one night they receive the body of a mysterious Jane Doe (Olwen Catherine Kelly). So we follow Tommy and Austin and they do an autopsy on this woman, trying to figure out who she is and what might have killed her. And as they continue to examine the body, strange and disturbing things start getting revealed. And I thought the plot here was really good. I’m a sucker for a good mystery, and this movie has it. I don’t want to give too much away, because the revelations and such in this movie are best experienced on your own. But let’s just say that this plot is suspenseful, dramatic, disturbing, creepy, unpredictable, and just overall great. Had me on edge for most of the runtime.

The characters, though few, are likable and pretty interesting. Brian Cox plays Tommy, the main coroner in the morgue where the Jane Doe is being examined. He’s generally just a likable elderly man who is determined to get to the bottom of this, and Cox is great in the role. Emile Hirsch plays Cox’s son and fellow coroner, however he has a few different goals in life, but he also wants to help his dad. And Hirsch is great in the role. And kudos to Olwen Catherine Kelly who plays the titular Jane Doe. While she is just lying down the entire time, not saying a damn thing. But I still give her major cred for being willing to lie down, naked, while Cox and Hirsch examine her, with crew around all of them… kudos. There are a few more actors in the movie, but they’re not in it enough to be worth talking about (though they did do well). But yeah, this is a well acted movie.

The score for the movie was composed by Danny Bensi & Saunder Jurriaans and it was great. It was dark and eerie, and it really helped with building a lot of tension for a lot of scenes in this movie.

This movie was directed by Norwegian director André Øvredal and I think he did a terrific job. Not only do the shots look great, but Øvredal’s direction is very tight and tense, creating a lot of suspense and tension that is very rare in modern horror movies. And it’s also really scary, with unexplained things happening in here, combined with the previously mentioned suspenseful directing. Sure, there were some jumpscares throughout the movie. And while not a total dealbreaker for me, they did at times bug me a little bit. But the jumpscares aren’t that plenty, and this movie managed to legitimately scare me. There’s also a little bit of dark humor in here that I found funny (I know, I’m horrible), but it also worked overall for the story.

This movie has been pretty well received. On Rotten Tomatoes it has an 87% positive rating and a “Fresh” ceritifcation On Metacritic it has a score of 65/100. And on imdb.com it has a score of 6,8/10.

“The Autopsy of Jane Doe” is a surprisingly great horror movie. It has a great plot, good characters, great performances, great music, great directing, and it is actually scary. Time for my final score. *Cuts open envelope*. My final score for “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” is a 9,65/10. This means that it gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.

My review of “The Autopsy of Jane Doe” is now completed.

A word of advice: If you’re gonna watch this movie, go into it with an empty stomach… ’cause there’s some gruesome stuff shown here.

2 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

  1. Great review of a great movie! Despite its limitations (small cast, one set), this horror throws a lot of elements into the mix and they all combine really successfully! 👍🏻

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