top of page

Horror Club: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a great blend of paranormal, evil, and just plain WEIRD. It was directed by André Øvredal (well known for Trollhunter) and was released to horror fans across the globe on December 21st, 2016. Actors Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox play a father and son mortuary team who are the lucky individuals who are asked to work the case for "Jane Doe," an unidentified body that was discovered at the scene of a horrific yet bizarre crime scene. After dropping the body off with Austin and Tommy, the sheriff informs them that he needs a cause of death come morning, so the two waste no time trying to figure out what happened to the beautiful Jane Doe (plated by Olwen Kelly) on their table.

Prior to even opening the body up, the team discover that there are no visible external signs of trauma to the woman, yet mysteriously, her ankles and wrists have all been broken. Along with this bizarre finding, they discover her lungs have been blackened and her tongue appears to have been violently cut out of her mouth. As the autopsy continues, more strange and mind-boggling details of the mysterious Jane Doe begin to unravel, leaving the father and son team vexed. It isn't long after that even weirder things begin to happen in the morgue, as the two continue to dig up interesting details about the body laid out before them. Lights begin to shatter, the radio keeps changing its self to play "Open up Your Heart (and Let the Sunshine In)"... oh, and all the other corpses in the morgue suddenly just disappear. As chaos begins to ensue in their work space, Tommy and Austin must ward off the evil that is slowly overpowering not only the building, but themselves as well; all while uncovering the secrets hidden deep within the skin of the pale white beauty, Jane Doe.

It really doesn't take much time before the action kicks in in this supernatural horror, and it comes in a pretty powerful way. As the mortuary team begins to slice open the body, more and more secrets about her identity are coming to light - but at the same time, it's almost as if the incisions they make are hurting her. And before long, she begins fighting back in a very violent way. As far as the body of Jane Doe goes, the writers did a damn good job at burying secrets in her skin. When the father and son team uncover another weird fact as the dig in, I thought a lot of the secrets were very clever and were great little treasures for both them as well as the viewers to find. I found myself on the edge of my seat waiting anxiously to see what the next piece of secrecy Tommy and Austin are able to extract from Jane Doe. They are exciting pieces to the puzzle that most definitely pay off in the end. Olwen Kelly was a perfect actress to play the role of Jane Doe - even though she didn't have much action, her appearance on the autopsy table alone was chilling and freaky enough to definitely add to the creep factor of the film. When Jane Doe begins her relentless fight back against Tommy and Austin, I began to realize how much I actually liked the two characters - they were both great choices to play as a father and son duo: very likable and you could feel the bond between them. While the cast might not be the biggest deal of the movie, all three of the main characters were great choices.

If you're looking for over-the-top gore or good ol' jump scares, The Autopsy of Jane Doe isn't gonna satisfy you. It's scare tactics are more so to freak you out and one might even argue a bit mindfucky. There's a very small amount of gore, but don't let that be the reason to pass on this film: it's a fun watch, even if you're only in it for the chaos that the father and son go through. The ending might be a bit predictable to many horror fans, but to mass audiences I'm willing to bet it'd be a nice little twist many could enjoy. I definitely enjoy The Autopsy of Jane Doe and while I may not recommend running out and purchasing it right this second, if you've got nothing in your queue or you're just looking for something to put on that's not super serious and emotionally draining, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is an excellent choice.


bottom of page