Thursday, October 12, 2017

31 Days of Halloween 2017: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

2016, André Øvredal (Troll Hunter) -- download

We loved Troll Hunter.  Probably more in fond recollection than in review, but still I respect the guy for doing it. We should see a couple more of his movies, but this one turned out to be a respectful entry, if a little lazy in the ending.

Tommy and Austin run the local small town morgue & coroner's office, out of an old family home. With typical setup, we get the pair finishing an autopsy with father Tommy explaining to his son Austin that they don't do the investigating, they just collect the information and present it to the authorities. Tommy (Brian Cox) is the venerable expert; his son Tommy (Emile Hirsch) is catching on, but really, he just wants to leave the job, move on with his girlfriend to a new life.

And then they wheel in Jane Doe, who was found in the basement of a murdered local family. The family looked like they may have killed each other, but Jane is a mystery. Her body is pristine, clean and unblemished but... has to have been in the basement for a while. So, WTF.

Jane is a naked anomaly, and Øvredal really plays up the alluring nature of her beautiful nude body. Yeah, he is fucking with us. The best part of the movie is as they perform the autopsy, inspecting a body that should just not be in the state it is, confounding all of Tommy's attempt to determine cause and time of death.

Once they  determine she must be a witch, and possibly one that was killed and branded during the Salem era witch trials, things get more familiar. Spooky things happen, the pair getting cut off from the outside and they accept that the supernatural is involved. There doesn't seem to be any motivating factors to the witch, but they try and appease her, with no success ending in a completely... unsatisfying manner, but one that is meant to lead to sequels, probably origin stories, as things go these days.