The Horror genre has had its ups and downs over the years and with censorship becoming more relaxed and CGI making effects more affordable many films have tended to rely on these aspects more and more making the horror film experience more about gore than scares.
But now and again a movie comes along which proves that with the right script and director, you can produce a classic that is not only well made but scary also. The Autopsy of Jane Doe.
When a violent murder leaves behind an unidentified body, father and son coroners Tommy and Austin Tilden are tasked with finding a cause of death for the local sheriff by the next day. Forced to work through the night, Austin cancels plans with his girlfriend Emma in order to help his father with the mysterious corpse. However, not long after starting their examination, a number of disturbing phenomena occur which leave Tommy and Austin facing a desperate fight to survive the night.
What makes the film so memorable are firstly the excellent but small cast, Brian Cox is always a joy to watch and he is supported well by Emile Hirsch and the father and son team have great on-screen chemistry. Full marks to actress Olwen Kelly who plays the corpse of the title, it must have been a gruelling experience to be just lying there naked for the whole of the movie but also to give a very eerie atmosphere to the whole proceedings.
Norwegian director André Øvredal keeps his very Scandinavian sensibility to the film, this is his first feature after Troll Hunter (if you have not seen that check it out, its great fun!), he even had a coroner on hand throughout the shoot to make sure everything was as authentic as possible. When they realise that some outside forces may be at work, the tension and atmosphere build slowly but steadily to the unexpected climax. Overall a great and very creepy horror film and have to agree with author Stephen King who said: ” watch it, but not alone”.
The disc released by Lionsgate has a fine 1080p HD transfer, depth and fluidity are excellent and as this was shot digitally everything else from colours and stability are spot on. Audio has a DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 Surround mix which really helps with the atmosphere of the film especially when a creepy sound is heard coming from the rear channels.
The only disappointment of this release is lack of extras apart from a short interview with the director from writer Alan Jones. Whats more disappointing is that the USA release has a behind the scenes feature as well as interviews with cast and crew.
If you like your horror scary as well as gory then this comes totally recommended.
FILM: 8.5 PICTURE: 9 AUDIO: 9 EXTRAS: 2