Starring: Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, Ophelia Lovibond
Director: Andre Ovredal
A father and son (Cox and Hirsch) practice their trade as coroners in the morgue under their house, the second and third generation to do so. After a particularly odd and bloody murder of a local family occurs, the body of a recently buried young woman is found in the basement, and is brought to them for autopsy. The girl is a strange case, as her cause of death is not immediately apparent. She looks freshly killed, but shows little signs of outward trauma initially, but it appears that something very bad happened to her, and something very sinister.
As they investigate, things start to get stranger and stranger. Who is this Jane Doe?
I don’t want to say too much about what happens, because I had fun not knowing what was coming next. But I can tell you that it’s one of the more enjoyable horror films of last year. It builds in slow but solid increments, and is carried essentially by the two leads, who are masterful performers, and takes place almost exclusively in the basement morgue location. This gives you plenty of time to get to know them, and care about them, and also lends you a sense of claustrophobia in the space they’re working in. It really ratchets up the tension as things start to get weird and creepy.
It feels like a small story, but with the budget well spent on good effects, and relying on thought and story to keep you guessing and engrossed. It’s not a film where characters do things to keep the story going, these are men whose life is based on science, and their actions and choices all make sense.
I really enjoyed this movie, it got under my skin a bit, which most horror films don’t manage to do, and I loved the twists, and the ending. A really enjoyable and scary film.
See It If: you like murder mystery thrillers and the supernatural. It’s a solid, scary film.