2016 André Øvredal
The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a Claustrophobic Creepy NightmareThursday, December 29, 2016Zena Horror
The film opens in Grantham, Virginia to a horrifying crime scene that involves four bodies. Upstairs, three bodies are stained with blood. The fourth body is a young Jane Doe; naked, spotless and half buried in the basement.The sheriff of the county is completely baffled and needs answers right away. As a result, Jane Doe is dropped off at coroner Tommy Tilden and his son and assistant Austin Tilden. The sheriff would like to know the cause of death of this mysterious young woman by the following morning. The coroner Tommy is a straight forward, old fashioned man who is slightly set in his ways. On the other hand, his son Austin is thinking about departing from the family business.
With the camera rolling, the Tilden's film their autopsies from the start with the external examination to the end with the internal examination, involving slicing organs and brains! They even use a chalkboard to jot down notes. The duo definitely have a bond and they are very precise with their job. You may actually forget you're watching a film. When it comes to the actual autopsy, it is kind of mesmerizing and an adventure because Jane Doe has no bruises, although her angles and wrists are fractured and her internal organs are burned and scarred. As the viewer, you desperately want to discover what is happening because nothing makes sense! Due to the unnaturalness of what is happening, the tension is built from the actors and the director.
The pacing of the film in general is fantastic. The first hour is absolutely amazing and the director André Øvredal builds mystery of the girl's identity and what happened to her. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch's performances are outstanding, I actually felt devoted to their lives and relationship. Their relationship felt authentic, which is refreshing to see a genuine relationship. One of my favorite scenes involves Tommy telling Austin's girlfriend Emma that he ties bells around the toes of a deceased bodies due to the fact it was hard to tell if coma patients were back from the dead. He ends the conversation basically stating that if you hear jingling, someone isn't dead and still alive! *Cue the lightning and thundering!*
The Autopsy of Jane Doe takes its time yet it constantly reminds viewers something is not right. As a fan of horror films, what may pop to mind are certain clichés; however, it may not be as clear as you think! I refuse to spoil this film and reveal who and what Jane Doe is. I'll simply state I was hooked from beginning to end. This film's small setting in the basement of the Tilden's home created a claustrophobic creepy nightmare.
Overall, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a creepy, well paced awesome horror film filled with plenty of mystery. For those of you who love horror or mystery, I highly recommend you check this one out if you haven't!
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