Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Directed by: André Øvredal | 86 minutes | horror, thriller | Actors: Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, Ophelia Lovibond, Michael McElhatton, Olwen Catherine Kelly, Jane Perry, Parker Sawyers, Mary Duddy, Mark Phoenix

“John Doe” and “Jane Doe” are designations commonly used in the United States to identify an anonymous person. Something like ‘Jan Modal’. John Doe, for example, is a character in “Se7en,” and last but not least: the serial killer played by Kevin Spacey. Just to show that anyone can be a perpetrator or a victim. In the case of this Jane, it is an unidentified corpse. The beautiful young woman (Olwen Kelly) who ends up on the cutting table of father and son Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch is fascinated from the start in a Twin Peaks-like way. The dissection of her body is highlighted sonically and visually, strange attributes are found in the body and strange things happen in the morgue.

The film noir-blue corpse is stylishly zoomed in, to a level of ‘fear or I shoot’. Outside it is dark and lightning. The undersigned gets bored quickly, but he knows David Lynch pays attention. We have to wait a long time until we know what to be afraid of as a viewer. What continues to irritate is that father and son talk a lot and that distracts from the oppressive atmosphere that must prevail in such a deviant situation. Despite the cinematic effects (would trees be continuously snapping down in the morgue?), the gentlemen seem to be having a good time professionally, so that ‘The Autopsy of Jane Doe’ turns out to be an artificial mixture of ‘X Files’ and ‘Silent Witness’.

An episode then and not worthy of a movie, we give director André Øvredal (‘Trollhunter’). It’s also quite confrontational most of the movie long with a [spoiler] bewitched, murderous corpse. Then you look away, while a supernatural phenomenon just escapes you. And then the dialogues, unworthy of the two excellent protagonists. ‘Let’s get the f@#* out of here’. ‘Can’t say she’s just a body’. Go have a beer anyway, it’s just a movie. If you leave your girlfriend alone to inspect a corpse, of course you ask for it yourself. Life is for the living, at least that message comes to people. And leave the dead alone. Although, kill?

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