Being one of the most highly expected horror movies of the season, The Autopsy of Jane Doe, made the rounds of the internet with it's creepy trailer and images that had been released throughout the last few months, giving us a sense of what to expect. I mean, how scary can a dead body be?
The Mystery Of The Corpse On The Table
We're set off in a crime scene, with two dead bodies, with both cops not being able to figure out who killed them or how they even got in the house. Forensics quickly find a shallow grave with a beautiful young woman (Olwen Kelly), buried naked in the ground.
This Jane Doe is then taken to a family owned morgue and crematorium, where father and son Austin and Tommy Tilden (played by Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox, respectively) take care of the autopsies for the police. As this Jane Doe arrives late in the day, the sheriff pleas that answers be found by the next morning.
As her naked body lies on the metal table, the two start their autopsy, only to find that her perfect outside doesn't reflect the inexplicable abuse of the inside of her body.
Lights Out, Scares In
While the first half hour kicks off to an amazingly intriguing film, as we slowly discover the several types of abuse Jane Doe's body has been through, things quickly fall into a frightfest, as the radio starts to malfunction, lights go out and the dead in the freezer suddenly are not so dead, providing a fair number of scares.
The most interesting part is that Jane Doe's body doesn't move an inch throughout the entire movie, while everything else tends to break around her, as the supernatural claims a part in the story.
It was hard to get over this, specially towards the end where the climax proved to be otherwise. As we discovered the state of Jane Doe's organs, along with the characters, the more curious we were, only to have that be taken over with a more fantasy like explanation that might have served it best.
Not to say that the movie would be better had it gone a different direction, it is certainly competent as a horror flick on its own two feet.
The Beauty Of The Beast
While story-wise the movie could've taken a different turn, visually, it is of the most beautiful films of the year. From the small details of how the autopsy is performed, to the way we see the world through the characters eyes, this is a picture perfect movie with many scenes that are wonderfully constructed, making the audience unable to turn their head, even at the slightly gruesome moments.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe leaves a bit to wish for, but is completely able to stand on its own as a solid horror film, with many of the thrills we love about the genre. But on this side, it got me wanting more, feeling like it didn't explore the full potential of its own making. But what it does explore, it's done almost perfectly, with strong characters and an even stronger atmosphere.
On a side note, Olwen Kelly is probably the best and most badass dead body you'll ever see on film.
What did you think of this investigation of death?