“There used to be a time it was hard to tell a comatose person from a dead one. So coroners tied bells to everybody in the morgue. So if they heard a ‘ting’ they knew somebody down there wasn’t quite ready to go.”
A truly chilling, sometimes uncomfortable, thriller for the year.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe does it all. It makes you feel uncomfortable, it will send chills down your spine, it had me peeking through my fingers and saying oh my God. Andre Ovredal knew exactly what he was doing with this one, and he manages to get the job done in just under an hour and thirty minutes.
The film centers around Tommy and Austin Tilden, portrayed by Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch respectively, a father-son coroner duo. Now, if I was going to pick a profession to have with my child, I don’t think I would choose to work in the morgue, but hey, you do you Tilden’s. First of all, let’s be real, any type of situation where a movie takes place in a dark basement morgue is gonna be a little creepy even if you don’t get scared easily. The bond you can see between the two characters is apparent from the very beginning of the movie. The characters are close, all each other has for the most part.
The beginning of the movie also shows us police discovering the body of a female buried in a basement of a home they were doing a raid on. She appears to have no signs of any kind of struggle on her body, nothing to indicate cause of death. The home doesn’t show signs of forced entry. So who is this woman, and what happened to her? We have our Jane Doe people.
We meet Austin’s girlfriend Emma, who seems like a real peach to be around. She tries to convince Austin to leave with her since they had plans, but he says he cannot leave his father until the job is done. He asks for a little bit of time and then he will meet her. You should have left Austin, you should have left. The police bring in ‘Jane Doe’ from the basement, and the two must figure out a cause of death. This will prove to be more difficult than either of them imagined.
You get to see all the gory details of an autopsy, and if you have a weak stomach you might want to cover your eyes. It’s bloody, disgusting, gory, and totally awesome. You know when you’re watching a thriller/horror film and a happy song starts playing on the radio or it starts storming it’s going to be bad, right? What about when both of those happen? Chaos is bound to follow. Now, I’m not going to give away any more details because I think you need to be one hundred percent invested in this movie while knowing the least amount as possible about it.
I haven’t watched a horror film that I enjoyed as much as this one in a while. There’s a little bit of a twist, lots of gore, and a few subtle, but well played scares. It’s worth the time and your undivided attention. It will make you never want to enter a morgue, I don’t know why you would EVER want to anyway, but if you ever had that feeling it will be gone after this. Olwen Catherine Kelly plays the part of Jane Doe, and while she doesn’t have to do much the entire film, her performance is the most chilling. Her face will be etched into your brain for the rest of the night. I already want to see what she’ll be doing next.
And, hopefully, on your drive home you don’t hear any bells.
Rating: 7.5 out of 10
Trailer: The Autopsy of Jane Doe