Horror Movie Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Title: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Genre: Horror, Drama

Summary: A father and son, both coroners, are pulled into a complex mystery while attempting to identify the body of a young woman, who was apparently harboring dark secrets. (from IMDB)

Starring: Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox

Brian Cox is ‘that guy’ for me. I remember him as Daphne Moon’s gadabout father from Frasier and as Col Stryker from the first series of X-Men movies. I love the way he pops up as a villain or as a supporting character in the movies I enjoy watching. He has presence and improves any scene he appears in.

On the other hand, I only know Emile Hirsch from some strange movie called “Alpha Dog” in which he plays a kidnap “victim”. I can’t remember seeing him in anything much at all, although his IMDB resume reveals more than a few films and TV series. That being said, he does hold his own with the Scottish actor.

As father and son coroners hired to do an autopsy on an unidentified body found at a strange homicide where the victims seemed to be trying to get out of this creepy house. I liked the film from the start. The audience is shown the aftermath of a bizarre killing area, but are not really subjected to the gore that usually accompany such scenes. On the other hand, the mystery of what exactly happened hangs over the first part of the movie.

The setting is pretty perfect. This is not your white, brightly lit, coroners station that you see in Quincy or even Law and Order. No. This is a dark, almost dim operating room which makes one wonder how they even see each other, never mind the instruments they are supposed to use. On top of it all they’re doing the autopsy at night. Talk about a perfect storm. Oh, did I mention there is also a storm on the way?

Needless to say, the spooky stage is set and mysterious events start to occur. Now, as a rule, if the movie is good and begins well, I don’t spend my time second guessing the plot. I just enjoy the ride.

“Jane Doe” is that type of film. It sucks you in with the mystery and holds your attention to the very end. As you all know, I only watch horror movies during the day, but this one creeped me out especially. There’s a part near the end where you think everything is going to be okay….and it isn’t. It really, really wasn’t.

Suffice to say, this isn’t your average horror film. There is a lot of slow dread and great buildup. Weird things happen, things get smooth for a bit and more weird things happen. I liked the film. I liked the slow dread and the dynamic between the two actors, who work very well together.

Trivia: There is an actual actress who plays Jane Doe. She had to lie still for hours at a time to film the movie.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Highly recommended.

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Originally published at Dahlia DeWinters — Author.