TIFF16: The Autopsy of Jane Doe

A father and son perform a late night autopsy on a mysterious female corpse in The Autopsy of Jane Doe. At a grisly crime scene, Sheriff Sheldon (Michael McElhatton) finds a body of of a woman partially buried in the basement. Wanting answers to how this woman died, Sheldon sends the body to the Tilden Morgue operated by Tommy (Brian Cox) and his son Austen (Emile Hirsch). As the two perform the autopsy, they are confused about how “Jane Doe” is flawless on the outside, yet completely decimated on the inside. As strange events begin to happen around the morgue, it begins to become apparent that this may not be any ordinary body.

From director André Øvredal (Troll Hunter) comes this supernatural horror film about two coroners, who are asked to perform an emergency autopsy in the middle of the night. At first, there is nothing all that spectacular about Jane Doe, untilTommy and Austen cut her open and find her internal organs absolutely ravaged. All the while, strange sounds and visions begin to be experienced around the morgue, which may be caused by the body that is lying on the slab.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is an effective horror film that begins as a bit of a mystery and turns into a full-on supernatural shock fest. Practically the entire film takes place in the morgue, with Tommy and Austen being the only characters for the bulk of the film. It should be warned that the graphic autopsy scenes are probably not for the weak of heart, though there is also some effective suspense, and plenty of jump scares, in the latter half of the film. Altogether, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is definitely worth checking out.

8 / 10 stars


  • Thursday, September 15, 11:59 PM – Ryerson Theatre
  • Friday, September 16, 12:30 PM – Hot Docs Ted Rogers Cinema
  • Sunday, September 18, 9:30 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 12
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Sean Kelly Author

Sean Patrick Kelly is a self-described über-geek, who has been an avid film lover for all his life. He graduated from York University in 2010 with an honours B.A. in Cinema and Media Studies and he likes to believe he knows what he’s talking about when he writes about film (despite occasionally going on pointless rants).