The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Thursday, January 12, 2017

The Autopsy of Jane Doe



Title: The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Rating: R
Runtime: 1hr & 26min

Whatever You Do, Don’t Cut Open Jane Doe


Opening:
Having really no idea what this movie would really be about beyond a simply autopsy, I was pleasantly surprised at the mystery that unfolded. Let’s get reel and break this down.

Plot:
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.

Directing/Writing

Pros:

The unsettling dread that permeates is very palpable and takes you on this mystery of what happened to Jane Doe. The director sets up an atmosphere that is soaked in foreboding terror and I was hooked from start to finish. From the opening scene onward, you are propelled into this disturbing film that didn’t pull any punches with its gore and imagery without it feeling gratuitous. The Jane Doe corpse itself is very creepy and detailed but you feel sympathy for it at the same time. Also, the little expressions on Jane Doe throughout the film as the movie progresses will definitely make you feel uncomfortable. I don’t want to reveal much as I want you to experience what the movie is about. The characters themselves are likeable and well-acted enough to where you care about them when they are in dire situations.

Cons:
The girlfriend character could have honestly not been in there and I don’t think it would have made a difference and I definitely didn’t feel any connection for her. I wish it stuck with the father/son dynamic and went with that. A little nitpick is the last frame. I didn’t need to see that because it ventured into what a normal horror film does and I wish it would have ended with no cheesy shot and left us with a pit in our stomachs…or other items left in our stomachs. (This inside joke is for when you see the movie. On second thought, it sounded creepy.)

Acting

Pros:

Emile Hirsh and Brian Cox are great and have that father/son connection and chemistry. The actress that played Jane Doe was pretty great considering you have to act like your dead and convince the audience like that. I also think the subtle expressions on her face sold it even further. Everyone else is serviceable.

Cons:
None.

Cinematography

Pros:

The horrific nature of morgues is already creepy enough but when you have it stuck in a basement with the building having an insane asylum vibe, you know there will be some effective, tension filled cinematography. For the most part, the lighting and camera placements provide a great horror tone.

Cons:
While being effective with striking fear in you, some scenes were a little too dark for my taste. I understood what they were going for but it was a bit hard to see. Maybe that was the point though to have your mind start imaging what they are looking at.

Editing/Special Effects

Pros:

For an hour and a half movie, this doesn’t have any down time. It is top notch editing and doesn’t ever let your mind wander in distraction and has your eyes glued either due to the bloody imagery or fascination of the conclusion of the story. The practical effects of the corpse were gross, nerve-racking, but as realistic as you can get before it reaches into the campy territory.

Cons:
None.

Overall:
This was a great surprise and a great time if you are a horror fan. If I saw it last year when it came out, I might have consider it in a top 20 list. If you are squeamish for blood, guts or morgues, this film is not for you as they get pretty detailed.

Grade: B+
(Review by Chase Lee)





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