Movie: The Autopsy of Jane Doe
My Rating: 3 stars
I wanted to like this movie. I really did. It had all the right elements to reel me in. I like a mystery-horror film, and this movie seemed to be offering me just that. It stars a mysterious, unidentified, dead girl found at a crime scene, and brought into the coroner’s office by the confused local cops. The police hope that maybe they’ll be able to shed some light on this woman’s identity by examining the body. And naturally, the mysteries only get weirder and weirder as the autopsy proceeds. Sounds really tense and spooky, right? Unfortunately, a little bit of lazy writing was enough to ruin the whole thing for me.
I know it sounds weird to say that this movie “stars” the dead girl, but it really does. Her essence is unignorable. The body is beautiful, and bafflingly well preserved, and her unsettling presence haunts every scene. And as weird as it sounds to say that a dead person is projecting intentions, this girl really is. And it’s so creepy. Of course, the film is also set in a sterile coroner’s exam room in the basement of an ancient mansion. And the story just so happens to take place on a dark and stormy night. So, that also adds to the creep factor. But, it’s not good enough just to have a great idea for the setup of a story. You’ve gotta know how you’re going to end it before you start filming. And, horror movies in particular need a satisfying twist or reveal. Otherwise, what’s the point. But, this movie Phoned . . . It . . . In. I was pretty disappointed.
I don’t think I’d recommend this movie. I just didn’t find it satisfying to watch as far as horror movies go. But, it did do a few things well, so I want to give credit where it’s due. The movie really created some serious tension, as well as a very compelling mystery to solve. But, the answer to this kind of setup can’t just be that it was ghosts all along. (That’s not really what it was, but you get the idea). Maybe this movie would be useful to watch if you’re studying how to introduce anxiety into a screenplay. Or, if you’re some kind of pervert that likes to look at pretty, dead ladies. But, otherwise, there are plenty of other, much more competently written horror films out there for you to enjoy.