Friday, December 30, 2016

Film Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (Review)
United States/2016
Format Viewed For Review: Amazon Video
Netflix Streaming: No
Amazon Prime: No

" of the best horror movies of the year."

A father-son pair of coroners attempt to identify the cause of death for a Jane Doe, who was found half-buried at the scene of a violent crime...

The Autopsy of Jane Doe follows Tommy (Brian Cox) and Austin Tilden (Emile Hirsch), father and son respectively. Tommy and Austin work as coroners. One night, the pair receive the body of a Jane Doe, who was found at the scene of a violent and mysterious crime – everyone is dead inside a house without any signs of forced entry. Although he had a date, Austin is willing to help his dad with the job. The job starts off simple, a regular autopsy, but the evidence doesn't quite make sense to them. They eventually find themselves in a surreal state, struggling to find the balance between reality and fiction – and it all leads back to Jane Doe. I won't spoil anything else. I will say: it runs out of steam towards the end and the ending was a little underwhelming.

Aside from the minor issues I had with the final act, I really enjoyed The Autopsy of Jane Doe – which is why I emphasized 'minor.' Yes, the pacing becomes a little inconsistent during the final act, but it's not that big of a deal. The ending was hit-and-miss for me. There were things that I liked, but it ultimately didn't pack a strong punch. Is that bad? Not necessarily. The Autopsy of Jane Doe shines in every other department, though. It is an original, suspenseful, and creepy horror film. It's a film that can keep you at the edge of your seat during its most tense moments, then send shivers down your spines through its creepy visuals. And, it does most of this without generic jump-scares. The sense of mystery, especially during the first half of the film, was also excellent. I had my eyes glued on the screen, taking mental notes about every detail. And, I'm (sort of) glad to say that it didn't lead exactly to where I was expecting.

The acting was also great. Brian Cox is stellar, very versatile and genuine. Emile Hirsch is also great, conveying the right amount of emotion at the right times. Olwen Kelly, who plays Jane Doe, is also good. Yes, she does not speak, but she really fit the role – creepy but natural. The film was shot very well, I enjoyed the cinematography and camerawork. The music was also great – I'd love to hear the soundtrack on its own. The film was written by Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing; André Øvredal directs. I enjoyed the writing, especially the focus on character and mystery. Øvredal is an excellent director, creating an eerie atmosphere and crafting scene-after-scene filled with suspense. I look forward to seeing more from him.

Overall, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a great film. It's a tense, creepy, and original horror movie. It is a breath of fresh air. I haven't watched them all, but I think it's safe to say: this is one of the best horror movies of the year. Although it has some issues towards the end, I strongly recommend The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

Score: 8/10
Parental Guide: Violence and blood, nudity.

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