Month: May 2017

Movie Review: Autopsy of Jane Doe

Overview:  2 men examine a female body to find out why she died.  Then they further examine her body and realize she’s trying to explain her experiences and make them empathize with them.

Seriously, at one point a male character actually says she’s making him feel what she felt as he examines her unspeaking body.  Because the only time men care about women is when they are dead.

And, since this is a horror movie, until the men ACTUALLY feel what she felt the movie won’t end, and mysterious things happen and cats die and the like.  Because to actually go through what a woman goes through is horror to men.

MORE PLOTTY OVERVIEW:  A naked female body is found half buried in a basement.  She’s brought to a morgue where a man and his son examine the body and find weirder and weirder goings on.  Lights flicker, cats die, there is a localized storm.  They keep flailing her body and mutilating her to find the reason she died, and as they do there is greater threat to their safety.

The Good:  I like isolated horror.  This takes place mostly in one dark basement room, the morgue.  It’s claustrophobic from the beginning:  a long elevator ride down, all the other dead people in the freezers, the colors are all subdued dark but not so dark you can’t see what’s going on.  Tension mounts throughout in nice beats that up the ante, so suspense is great even though we all know not everyone is going to make it out alive.

The Bad:  This ties in with the female.  The ‘lead’ female is a body on the bench getting repeatedly violated by men.   It’s a classic suspense film, with no females.  There are also definitely some cliches such as the son deciding this is his LAST autopsy with his dead before quitting the biz (Classic ‘I’m one day from retirement!).   There’s the shaking set, the cat dying (what up with cats having to die?), and of course – some of that dialogue around the men trying to figure out what happened to the Jane Doe and empathizing with what she went through.

The Female:  There were three.  This is no way came close to passing the Bechdel Test (2 women, speaking, to each other, and not about a man)

Jane Doe:  She’s a naked body with her mouth agape the entire time.  Oh!  And they comment on how small her waist is.  Sure, you can say this is a plot point because they realize it’s due to corsets and sets light to her age being older than now, but many times they comment on her waist.  Because waist size is important.  Her eye color is also important (and it’s important to note they never get it right, lol, because it’s clouded until like, 3 seconds of brown and then clouds again).  She is cut open.  They try to set her on fire but she resists fire.  She has charms branded on the inside of her flesh.  And she’s dead, she never talks OR gets a real name.

Random Girlfriend:  The young guy, son of the main morgue guy, has a girlfriend.  He wants to leave with her or something.  She might have died, I couldn’t tell.  I think she did, it was hard to tell.

Female Police Person:  I think?  Not quite sure.  Maybe had one line.

So, it was a’ight but nothing to write home about.  And it was not progressive when it comes to gender at all, if anything it REALLY reflected our times, where men think they can examine a mute female and feel sympathy for the life she lived and what led her to that position, w/out actually talking to other females in their lives.  Oh, and they can be horrified by what it’s like to live as a woman but still make her the villain of the movie.