TV Party Tonight! 026

TV Party Tonight! 026

Friday, 12 May 2017

The Autopsy of Jane Doe


They say we live in a new golden age of television, and I think that might be true. But the same is the case for movies. Mostly because writers and directors have more freedom and, for once, independent TV and movies are being given the recognition they deserve. And nothing stands out from Hollywood schlock like a fresh story.


The Autopsy of Jane Doe has to be one of the best movies I’ve seen this year so far. Sure, it was released in late December of last year, but why nitpick? I’m not going to get into the plot because a) you can just Google it, and b) because a good scary movie is all about surprise. And this movie is definitely full of surprises.


The most remarkable thing about the Autopsy of Jane Doe is the complete 180 the film makes halfway through. It starts off as a suspenseful, intriguing, and completely plausible psychological thriller which, in the age of rehashed horror tedium comes across as highly original. Then, a good dose of supernaturality (a word?) is injected into the premise and those jump scares start coming. There’s only 86 minutes to work with here (including credits) and it’s quite remarkable how much director André Øvredal is able to fit into this movie. Maybe that’s the trick: tell the story at your own pace and then wrap it up before we all get bored. Yes the ending is a little disappointing, but the amazing ride this movie provides cannot be denied.


The good folks at Shout! Factory have brought the Blu-Ray/DVD combo to audiences and the movie looks as good as it did on the big screen, so hats off to them. Unfortunately, this is a barebones package with nothing but trailers as supplements. Some deleted scenes (really, NOTHING was cut?) and an audio commentary track would have been great. But anyway, that shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying this movie. The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a well crafted and smart scare-fest that both looks good and is bound to make anyone uncomfortable.

Get it from Shout!


Some (spoiling) observations:

  • Casting relative unknowns definitely helps this movie.
  • Lead Emile Hirsh looks a lot like a good friend of mine. I have to admit this makes the movie more fun for me.
  • I know it says this movie takes place in Grantham Virginia, but those license plates look an awful lot like Pennsylvania ones. This is incidentally where I met said good friend. Cue that toe bell ring.
  • At exactly the halfway point we see that Jane Doe has what appears to be a tattooed pattern on the inside of her skin. Might this be because the damaging effects of tattooing have vanished on the outside of her body (like the other traumas she’s suffered?).
  • Austin relies on his father Brian to sacrifice Stanley when the time comes. He can handle corpses but not killing. He has to face this fear in the end when his father asks him to do the same for him.
  • I have to look more closely but it appears that Austin and Brian seldom share the same visions throughout the movie and all their injuries are self-inflicted. I propose that Jane Doe’s body has some residual hallucinogenics that the two are exposed to when they handle the body and that caused them both to hallucinate these horrors, each going on their own journey. They never even got to cutting open the body before they started losing their minds.
  • Did they have to take Stanley?

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