THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE (2016) caused something of a sensation as an indie horror movie, and I was happy to get to see it.
Two coroners, a father and son, are tasked with determining the cause of death for a young woman discovered half-buried in a house where a horrific slaughter occurred. What follows is a nightmare as the woman’s secrets are discovered.
The firm stars the great Brian Cox, a terrific actor who’s had many parts in his career, from Agamemnon in TROY to Argyle Wallace in BRAVEHEART. Emile Hirsch does a great job in the role of his son. Olwen Catherine Kelly plays Jane Doe, a challenging role as she essentially lies nude and motionless the entire film while still managing to express tragedy and pain.
From the descriptions of the movie, I was hoping for something of a whodunnit, where two coroners piece together a woman’s tragic death. Instead, AUTOPSY is a traditional horror movie that in many ways reminded me of OCULUS. The former concept intrigued me far more than the latter, though AUTOPSY is in many respects a very good horror film carried by great performances, the fun of provoking a supernatural force by conducting an autopsy, and the essential mystery of who Jane Doe is. The script is excellent, giving us two men who respond to everything fairly realistically. The pacing is great. The last act is exciting but fairly typical for the genre, and sadly, for me, any gravitas the film achieves is squandered in the last few seconds when the writers throw the viewer a wink.
If you like horror movies, definitely check it out. It’s a fun one.