After hearing nothing but good things about The Autopsy of Jane Doe, my interest was pretty well piqued and I couldn’t resist anymore. I had to watch it. So I rented it digitally on the Google Play store and settled in to enjoy a movie that has been hailed on RottenTomatoes as “nearly flawless” and “chilling,” expecting what everyone’s been describing. I don’t know if I was watching a different film or… maybe I saw, like, the director’s cut or something? I don’t know. I really don’t know. But it was anything but chilling and definitely no masterpiece.
They had a really good premise – a woman is found in a basement of a house where a horrific crime has taken place, buried in the dirt (but surprisingly unsoiled and sans decomposition, like at all). Everyone else in the house is covered in blood and viscera and this woman is there, dead, in the dirt in pristine condition. So what do they do? Take her to the local funeral home where a man and his son perform autopsies for the Sheriff’s office. Everything is going fine until they start to uncover disturbing findings and supernatural happenings are about, including, of course, the death of their cat, Stanley. Let me tell you, the whole “killing the family pet because they don’t want to kill a main character but we need to do something that will unsettle and disturb you” thing is getting reaaaaaaaally old. It doesn’t make me scared, it just makes me feel less sympathy for the owners of these pets because, you know, they leave them outside overnight or they let them wander or something stupid like that. Poor Stanley… we hardly knew ye.
Anywho. I found nearly all of the characters in this film dull and incessantly annoying, especially the son played by Emile Hirsch. Every 2 seconds, he had a question for which the answer was entirely too obvious. This kid has no critical thinking skills, whatsoever. I swear to god, at one point I was like, if he says, “Is that what killed her?” ONE MORE TIME, I will throw the remote at the TV. The father, the actual coroner, was slightly more clued in, but only slightly. These two together, underground, in a coroner’s office that is truly not up to code (I mean, come on, it has one entrance that is a cellar door and an elevator, that’s just ridiculous!)
The reason behind the “haunting” is silly. The acting was poor except for the body of Jane Doe because she literally just laid there and did a damn fine job of it. The effects were super-cool, but that’s really all that kept me going. I didn’t want to keep watching because it just seemed to get dumber and dumber and I felt myself losing IQ points watching this father-son duo bumble around, not entirely sure what they’re supposed to be doing. I was truly disappointed and having read numerous positive reviews for the film, I don’t see what they’re seeing. It was average and lackluster at its best moments and horrendous at its worst moments. I think I’ll pass on owning this one on Bluray, that’s for sure.