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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Jun 16, 2018

The Autopsy Of Jane Doe Movie Review: You'll Get Very Tense As You Find Out The True Identity Of Jane Doe

‘THE AUTOPSY’ is originally titled “Autopsy of Jane Doe” and was originally released in the U.S. two years ago, but it’s only now that it's is shown in local theaters. It’s a fairly interesting horror flick about the corpse of a woman discovered by the police while investigating a crime scene in a small town in Virginia.

The woman is young and buried in the basement of a house, her body seemingly untouched by any kind of violence. She’s taken to the home of a father and son who are both coroners, Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and son Austin (Emile Hirsch.) Austin scraps his plan to go watch a movie with his girlfriend, Emma (Ophelia Lovibond), to help his dad do the autopsy right away, telling Emma he’ll just make it up to her.

As they examine the corpse, they notice that she has broken wrists and feet, but there’s no outward indication of this on her body. Her tongue has also been cut out and inside her throat, they pull out a cloth printed with ancient words. Then more mysterious things happen, like the lights dimming out and a sudden thunderstorm traps them inside their house where the morgue is located since being their town’s coroners has already been their family’s business for three generations.

The rest of the movie, after the opening scene that shows a gory crime where some people were shown cut to pieces, is entirely set inside the Tilden home. The morgue is a perfect creepy setting for terrifying things to happen and what hooks us more is to see the affable relationship between father and son that works beautifully.

They seem playful with one another but you know the son is willing to learn a lot from his dad about the tricks of their trade in reading a story from a dead body, just like what they do in the “Forensic Files” and CSI series. One element that becomes a source of scare is when the dad ties a bell on the feet of the dead woman and says they do this to make surely they’re actually dead instead of just being in a coma. The moment you hear the bell ringing, it’s time for you to get spooked with a chilling effect.

So what is the secret that the dead body reveals to them? Why is it that every dead body in the crime scene of a mass homicide where she was discovered is a bloody mess, but she herself doesn’t have even a scratch on her? Who is she and how did she die?

Of course, we cannot reveal anything else to you so as not to spoil your viewing pleasure. Suffice it to say that things really get weird and scary to make the movie a fun and spooky chiller.
Norwegian director Andre Ovredal, who gained fame for the movie “Trollhunter”, makes a wonderful job in setting up the film’s premise in the first part then using beautifully executed devices to make sure the audiences will get more tense and nervous as the story progresses and we slowly figure out who Jane Doe really is.

The movie benefits from having two very believable actors like Cox and Hirsch who succeed in making the incredible element feel real and horrifying. Credit should also go to actress Olwen Kelly, who has the most “difficult” role as Jane Doe since she’s just lying down there naked at the morgue’s table all the time without ever saying a word or making even the smallest move.

The movie is also fast paced at only an hour and a half, but with a climax about the real identity of Jane Doe that doesn’t truly allow much for logic. But still, it’s the setting up that makes it quite effective in giving the audience a very creepy feeling while watching it.