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Olwen Catherine Kelly in The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2017)

Olwen Catherine Kelly in The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2017)


THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE is Directed by André Øvredal and written by  Ian B. Goldberg (as Ian Goldberg), Richard Naing. The movie star Austin Tilden (Emile Hirsch), Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox),
Emma (Ophelia Lovibond), Sheriff Sheldon (Michael McElhatton), Jane Doe (Olwen Catherine Kelly) and more.

A father and son team of coroners are planning to close up shop for the night when the local police drop a Jane Doe in their laps and requests a cause of death for the press by the next morning. With no time to argue, they get to work on dissecting what’s going on.

THE AUTOPSY OF JANE DOE plays out almost like a theater production, with two leads playing off of each other in the one location trying to uncover this bizarre situation they are in while the story also explores their relationship.

In that regard, it is absolutely masterful in its execution of tension as the film goes on and things get stranger and stranger.

Olwen Catherine Kelly in The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Olwen Catherine Kelly in The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)

Praise has to be thrown to the filmmakers here for their attention to detail and shocking reveals. Every twist, every turn of events, every little thing that plays out occurs in a way that surprised me and worked to bring the tension to near excruciating points.

It’s a film in which sound design plays a large part in working to unnerve you. I can’t talk about what it is, I can’t talk about how it does but I will say that it’s wonderful skin crawling to behold.

Speaking of skin crawling, this being a film regarding an autopsy – things get into the realm of body horror Cronenberg style, with some gruesome attention to detail regarding the whole procedure.

A special nod goes to actress Olwen Catherine Kelly, who plays the titular Jane Doe. For the whole movie, she’s lying on a cold metal slab completely naked while two men talk over her. Sure, they cut around her but for all the shots she is in and still, I’d say she deserves applause.

As for Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, who play father and son, both are at the top of their game, wonderfully playing off of each other, whether it be in fear as the night takes a turn, or whether it be in the quieter dramatic moments.

The script of the film is a tight horror film. There is no fat to be had here. It gets in, tells the story, establishes character, twists, and turns and calls it a day. It’s a great script and one the actors work with beautifully.

There are some qualms I have with it, mainly elements that arrive in the film’s third act, but the story never wastes time in being a treat and moves quickly to the next story beat.

My advice is this: See it as soon as you can and see it blind. It’s a great gem in what was a great year for horror films and going in absolutely blind makes the mystery more terrifying.



Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 84% of 58 surveyed critics gave it a positive review; the average rating is 6.7/10 and Metacritic rated it 63/100 based on 16 reviews.