To begin this review, let’s take it from the top down. Top meaning Pluses and Down meaning DISAPPOINTMENTS that I had with this movie.
1. Wise father is guiding his son in the Ancient Art of Coroner-ism.
Okay, so I had no initial clue where this movie would would fall in the Supernatural/Horror genre. The movie itself only really sports two characters played by Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox. They play father and son who are coroners and help the local authorities determine causes of death of the deceased. Oh yeah, their names are Austin, The Son(Emile Hirsch) and Tommy, The Father (Brian Cox). But because this movie ended up disappointing me in the end I’m going to refer to them as Father and Son.
The movie starts off with the son trying to figure out why some old dude kicked the bucket. The son basically plays the “I’m trying to figure things out but I’m always 2 steps behind” type of character. His father who is the more older and skilled of the two explains how the old dude died and basically encourages his son to keep trying and working hard.
Off the bat, both characters are your basic father and son, young and old, wise and learning type of characters. Their dialog and chemistry makes these rehashed tropes bearable and quite likable. There is no arrogance within the father when it comes to his wisdom which can happen quite often with characters like him and there is no eye rolling stupidity from the son. It seems as though he is generally trying to learn the Ancient Art of being a coroner from his father.
2. Ice Challenge Champion! No seriously, dead body time.
Mmmk, so fast forwarding to the main portion. Basically, the Sherrif- Irrelevant Character- Police Guy brings the Coroner Family the body of the mysterious title character named Jane Doe. shes a brown haired, foggy eyed young woman who was found dead of an unknown cause.
The Super Coroner Duo take on the case of solving Jane Doe’s death and they get straight to work. Now, here I think it’s important to note the family dynamic which really shifts the movie into motion.
After the father and son solve the cause of death of the old guy – I think he hit his head and basically burned to death – the son gets a text from his girlfriend. And let me just say her character was ANNOYING for the .0050 seconds was had screentime. She was basically the “I wanna take a risk even though I know I can’t handle the consequences of my risk” type of character. Seriously, she wanted to take a look at the body of a guy who was murdered and get this… whoever murdered his shot him in the face with a shotgun resulting him pretty much NOT having a face.
Yeah, girls these days are weird…
Anyways, basically the son gets a text from his try hard girlfriend but since Jane Doe’s body got dumped on our Fantastic Duo at the last minute the son felt bad and couldn’t leave his dad behind to do all of the work. So, he ditches try hard…
This dynamic is what set the movie into motion. It’s JUST the father and son. the father is a widower and his son helps him out. I believe through examining dead bodies their father and son bond is strengthened. Especially after the mother’s death. Thus, it’s not just a plot mechanic to keep the story going but an absolute must based on their dynamic.
3. Let’s play Operation!
So, as the story moves on the due starts trying to solve the cause of death. They basically lay out what their going to do. Start their examination externally, internally, and lastly the brain examination. It’s here where the movie starts really rolling out bland tropes.
In the beginning of their external examination, they have the radio playing. Due to the fact that a storm is brewing outside, the radio cuts back and forth between stations “on its own”. In reality anyone who has seen a horror would recognize the switching of stations isn’t just a coincidence. It’s being done intentionally by supernatural forces and are basically warning the characters NOT to tamper with Jane Doe’s body. the only character between the father and son who realizes whats happening IS THE SON. The father is absolutely taken back by the corpse’s condition.
Also, let me say that the father gives off vibes that he doesn’t believe in the supernatural. This explains why he doesn’t recognize the eeriness of the radio and things ( Lights flickering and so forth).
Now, I don’t want to go into too much detail about the examination because I want YOU – the reader- to watch this movie for yourself. However, just know they find some flat out cray cray stuff hidden in Jane Doe’s body…Kinda like playing Operation.
The WEIRDEST and last thing they find on their Corpse Scavenger Hunt is that the flesh under the skin of her torso reveals some weird roman numeral, Tic Tac Toe, wordsearch kinda message. Then, the lights go off and all the supernatural stuff starts happening…Really.
4. Jumpscare, Jumpscare, Don’t go in there, run for your life.
In the midst of all the crazy supernatural stiff happening, it turns out to be kinda predictable. Something is haunting them, they wanna escape, they don’t escape, they get the courage to face Jane Doe, annnddd….
Its towards the later half where I started to get disappointed. Firstly, the monsters or whatever that’s terrorizing was actually scary until the end. It’s like the monsters are all over but not really. They scare then go away. Blah.
At the last minute the son finally remembers that they have an elevator. It’s like listen, I know that you are kinda stupid but you maybe should have thought of using the elevator to escape way back…Just sayin’. Somehow they cant escape but the girlfriend can find her way in, HOW? Why did she come back? Did the ghosts or whatever call her up and said her boyfriend is in trouble? WEIRD.
Lastly, we get to Jane Doe… MAJOR SPOILER ALERT.
They find out shes a witch from 17th century Salem who was tortured by the folks who hunted witches and she’s still alive. She is basically being kept alive by an energy and she’s acting out her torture on the father and son making them feel her pain. The dad eventually asks her to spare his sons life in exchange for his. This is the part that made me dislike the rest of the movie. Here you have a father who clearly loves his son and they get along by having a coronary business and they get dumped with the dead chick at the last minute by the police dude. What do they have to do with her death and torture?
I understand that she may have wrongly died at the hands of twisted religious fanatics, but jeeze, are you gonna curse everyone you come in contact with? Give me a break and just cross over already. You’ve killed enough people. The movie seemingly ends with the son being spared only to be fooled by the ghost and killed off. WHOOP DE DOO.
It was an OK movie until the end which let me totally down. I don’t understand why the dead girl gotta kill everyone. None of the people who kills have anything to do with her and her initial death in the 17th century. Just give me a break…
Score: 7 out of 10
It was OK until the end. The dead chick kinda aggravated me… what can I say?
Watch the Trailer Below:
Tell me what YOU think below in the comment section!
All opinions are solely mines. Some pictures are taken from Google images and others from the trailer. I own nothing but my opinion.