streaming horror autopsy of jane doe

Welcome to 31 Days of Streaming Horror. Every day this October, we’ll be highlighting a different streaming horror movie to help you get into the Halloween spirit. Today’s entry: The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016).

The Autopsy of Jane Doe
Now Streaming on Netflix

Sub-Genre: One Location Mystery-Horror

Best Setting to Watch It In: A dimly lit morgue

How Scary Is It?: You’re gonna get the creeps

I’m always impressed when a film does a lot with a little. Movies can be as big or small as their filmmakers are willing to make them. A huge blockbuster full of world-building and special effects can seem quite small in unsteady hands. In sharp contrast, a small, simple scenario can come off as vast and limitless when being crafted by a talented filmmaker.

André Øvredal, director of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark and Troll Hunter, is just that filmmaker with The Autopsy of Jane Doe. This slow-burn chiller is set almost entirely in one location, and for the bulk of its runtime only has two characters. Yet there’s never a moment where Jane Doe seems small, or limited. Øvredal is so good at ratcheting up the terror, and the script by Ian Goldberg and Richard Naing is so good at dishing out info in small but tantalizing chunks, that Jane Doe hooks you.

An unidentified dead woman (Olwen Kelly) is found in the basement of a murder scene. There’s not a single mark on this Jane Doe’s body, and the local law enforcement wants answers. Jane Doe’s corpse is brought to a local coroner (Brian Cox), who works out of a morgue in the basement of his house alongside his son (Emile Hirsch). The two are urged to rush the autopsy and have it done by morning, so the coroners pull out their sharp tools and proceed to cut Jane Doe open over the course of a dark and stormy night. As the autopsy goes on, more and more anomalies are discovered within Jane Doe’s body, raising a plethora of creepy questions with potentially creepier answers.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe packs plenty of scares into this set-up, with the proceedings growing increasingly nasty as the night ticks on, to the point where the tension is almost unbearable before the end credits roll.

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