Autopsy of Who?

Autopsy of Jane Doe is film directed by André Øvredal which dabbles in the supernatural. The movie is about a mysterious body of an unnamed woman that is brought into the morgue and as they dissect the it, more truths are uncovered. The morgue is owned by the town’s coroner Tommy Tilden and is assisted on his job by his son, Austin.

On a date night, Austin had just finished assisting his dad with an autopsy and is about to go leave on a date with his girlfriend, Emma, when the sheriff brought an unidentified body to the morgue. Unable to identify the person, the sheriff requests to have an autopsy ready in the morning. Austin unable to leave his father alone decides to stay to assist his father.

They first opened the body up and found some unusual observations of the body. Eventually as they dedicate more time into the autopsy more unnatural things happen. The dead corpse showed abnormal signs pertaining to its cause of death. As more corpses goes missing, the duo attempts to leave but is attacked by an assailant, which turns out to be Emma, and in self defense Austin unfortunately kills her. Desperate to end all of it, Tommy tries to continue the autopsy to uncover the truth about the body. Finally, they found out that the brain of the seemingly dead body is still active. They quickly realized that she was trying to let them experience what had happened to her.

As a movie, I could see Autopsy of Jane Doe as an effect- based approach type of movie. The movie invoked fear from the start presenting us with a crime scene that is quite graphic and it introduces us to a morgue, just thinking about it makes me feel goosebumps, because it is not so commonly shown in films. Additionally, when the father and son duo was attacked by an assailant presumably a dead corpse, it made me sit by the edge of my seat. The movie as a whole developed from a normal day to a scary night.

The plot could be divided into John Clute’s four-part structure for horror narratives. The sighting is the scene when the body was brought in. It was an introduction of the things to come to the morgue. The plot thickens when weird things start to happen when they  dissected the body. The body showed signs of torture as its wrists and ankles were broken. The revel of the story continues when they realized that the body was quite unusual. And lastly, the aftermath is when the duo realized that they targeted by the witch. As a whole, the plot was quite structured to the advantage of the movie. Introducing supernatural phenomenons requires a basic understanding of the concept. It was provided when they mentioned the Salem Witch Trials. Jane Doe seemingly having took control of all the other corpse while lying down in the examination bed was quite scary and amusing at the same time.

I liked the film, as it induced the type of horror that I like in the genre in addition to the movie being is fairly new. I really looked forward to it, because watching the trailer of the movie made me excited to scared but at the same time, it also made hide in fear. Moreover, I really enjoyed the film as if I were to pay for a horror film I will willingly pay for The Autopsy of Jane Doe.

However, something I felt like the movie did was it cheated the the viewer by attributing everything into the unnatural. They said that the body is of a witch and it is cursed even mentioning the Salem Witch Trials as a reference point. However, it is a bit puzzling why the body attacked both Tommy and Austin when they were just doing their jobs. It would have easily let them leave when they attempted to but rather it chose to kill the coroners as they do not any idea what was happening. In addition to that, I would have like a better back story of Tommy’s deceased wife, because it played a certain dynamic that caused the relationship of the father and son to go awry. Certainly, the movie brings a certain blanket of what most people would consider horror, but the acts of Jane Doe lacks rationale. In my opinion, horror portrays the unimaginable things that are happening or things that are out of the ordinary but are within the bonds of human perception, which definitely is not what we see in the film.



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