the autopsy of jane doe

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The Autopsy of Jane Doe

Theatrical release poster

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Directed byAndré Øvredal
Written by
  • Ian Goldberg
  • Richard Naing
Produced by
  • Fred Berger
  • Eric Garcia
  • Ben Pugh
  • Rory Aitken
  • Emile Hirsch
  • Brian Cox
  • Olwen Catherine Kelly
CinematographyRoman Osin
Edited byPatrick Larsgaard
Music by
  • Danny Bensi
  • Saunder Jurriaans


  • 42[1]
  • Impostor Pictures[1]
  • IM Global[1]
Distributed by
  • Lionsgate (United Kingdom)[2]
  • IFC Midnight (United States)

Release dates

  • September 9, 2016 (TIFF)
  • December 21, 2016 (US)

Running time

86 minutes[3][4][5][6]
  • United Kingdom[1]
  • United States[1]
Box office$6 million[2]

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a năm nhâm thìn supernatural horror film directed by André Øvredal. It stars Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch as father-and-son coroners who experience supernatural phenomena while examining the toàn thân of an unidentified woman (played by Olwen Kelly). It is Øvredal's first English-language film. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, năm nhâm thìn, and IFC Midnight released it on December 21, năm nhâm thìn. It grossed $6 million at the box office. The critical consensus at Rotten Tomatoes calls it "a smart, suggestively creepy thriller".


The corpse of an unidentified young woman is found at the scene of an inexplicable multiple homicide. Sheriff Burke finds no signs of forced entry, and Lieutenant Wade suggests that the victims were trying lớn escape.

Emma Roberts visits her boyfriend, Austin Tilden, and his father, Tommy, a small town coroner. Sheriff Burke arrives with the toàn thân of the Jane Doe and tells Tommy that he needs the cause of death by morning. Austin postpones his date with Emma lớn help his father, promising lớn meet her later that evening. Tommy and Austin perform the autopsy and quickly become confused. There are no external visible signs of trauma, but her wrist and ankle bones had been shattered. Her tongue has been crudely cut out, one of her molars is missing, her lungs are blackened as though she had suffered third degree burns, and her internal organs reveal numerous cuts and scarring. Jimsonweed, a paralyzing agent not native lớn the area, is found in her stomach. The condition of much of the toàn thân suggests that death had just occurred, while cloudiness of the corpse's eyes suggests she has been dead for several days.

Other mysterious events occur. The radio spontaneously changes stations, and Austin believes he sees people standing in the morgue's hallway. Investigating, he finds their cát mortally wounded. Tommy mercifully kills the cát and reluctantly incinerates the corpse. Continuing the autopsy, Tommy finds the woman's missing tooth wrapped in a piece of cloth in her stomach. The cloth has Roman numerals, letters, and an odd diagram. Similar symbols are found on the inside of her skin. All the lights in the room suddenly explode. During the confusion, they realize other corpses in the morgue have gone missing. They decide lớn leave, but the elevator does not work, and a fallen tree has blocked the exit door. An unseen figure leaves bruises on Tommy when he goes lớn the bathroom.

They return lớn the autopsy room and again examine the corpse. When the door locks itself, Austin hacks it with an emergency axe. Through an opening, they see one of the missing corpses. Unable lớn get lớn the cremation furnace, they mix the corpse ablaze in the exam room. The fire spreads rapidly; Tommy puts it out with an extinguisher but is disturbed lớn find the toàn thân has not burned. When the elevator turns back on, Tommy and Austin try lớn escape, but the doors will not close. Panicked, Tommy uses an axe against what he believes lớn be one of the animated corpses. When he and Austin exit the elevator, they discover he has killed Emma, who had returned lớn meet Austin.

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Certain that Jane Doe's corpse has been preventing them from finding out the truth about her death, they return lớn the examination room. Tests determine that Jane Doe's brain tissue cells remain active. Further examination of the cloth determines that the markings refer lớn Leviticus 20:27, which condemns witches, and the year 1693, the date of the Salem witch trials. Tommy and Austin reason that in their attempt lớn punish a witch, the Salem authorities instead transformed an innocent woman into a witch, rendering her immortal and allowing her lớn feel all of the pain her toàn thân endures even though she appears dead. Tommy offers himself lớn the corpse as a sacrifice, hoping she will spare Austin. Tommy's ankles and wrists shatter, mimicking the corpse's wounds. As the wounds occur lớn Tommy, the corpse's own wounds begin lớn heal. As Tommy reaches for a knife lớn cut out his own tongue and complete the ritual, Austin stabs his father in the chest lớn over his misery. Believing he hears the sheriff outside, Austin approaches but realizes the voice is another hallucination. Startled by a vision of Tommy's corpse, Austin trips over the railing and falls lớn his death.

The police arrive the next morning and are confused by another inexplicable crime scene. The corpse, showing no signs of trauma, is taken lớn Virginia Commonwealth University. During the ambulance ride, the radio spontaneously turns on, and the corpse's big toe twitches.


  • Emile Hirsch as Austin Tilden
  • Brian Cox as Tommy Tilden
  • Ophelia Lovibond as Emma Roberts
  • Michael McElhatton as Sheriff Sheldon Burke
  • Olwen Kelly as Jane Doe
  • Jane Perry as Lieutenant Wade
  • Parker Sawyers as Trooper Cole
  • Mary Duddy as Irene Daniels
  • Mark Phoenix as Louis Tannis


Coming off of the success of Trollhunter, Øvredal stated that he wanted lớn "prove something" – specifically that he could tự more phàn nàn found footage style films. He stated, "It's just a very specific style that you need lớn get into specifically for that project."[7] The Conjuring proved lớn be a spark of inspiration for Øvredal, and he said, "it was such a classical horror movie that came at a time where all these movies had tried lớn tự all kinds of different stuff and then suddenly it was lượt thích getting back lớn basics".[8] After watching the film, Øvredal told his agency he wanted lớn "find a pure horror script", which resulted in being sent Autopsy.[8] The script had previously appeared on the annual Black List.[8]

Martin Sheen was initially cast as Tommy but pulled out.[9] Although there are some prosthetics used,[7] the role of the corpse, for the most part, was played by actress Olwen Kelly. Øvredal felt that it was necessary lớn have an actress for the part lớn help connect the audience on a human level.[8] On some level the decision was also a practical one as Øvredal believes that doing some of the close up scenes with a prosthetic would've been impossible.[8] Øvredal said that Kelly had the most difficult role in the film, and he credited her with making everyone else comfortable on the mix. Kelly was the first person interviewed for the role. Øvredal said they performed further interviews afterward, but he instantly knew she was right for the role. One of the reasons she was selected was her knowledge of yoga, which helped her control her toàn thân and breathing.[10] Production in the UK began in London on March 30, năm ngoái.[11]

The production filmed at trang chủ Farm in Selling, Kent, which doubled as the exterior and kitchen of the Tilden family trang chủ.[12]


The Autopsy of Jane Doe premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, năm nhâm thìn.[13] It was released in the US on December 21, năm nhâm thìn.[10]

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Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reports that 86% of 110 surveyed critics gave the film a positive review; the average rating is 7/10. The website's critical consensus reads: "The Autopsy of Jane Doe subverts the gruesome expectations triggered by its title lớn deliver a smart, suggestively creepy thriller that bolsters director André Ovredal's growing reputation."[14] Metacritic gave it a weighted average score of 65 out of 100, based on trăng tròn critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[15]

Dennis Harvey of Variety called it a "taut, yet often slyly funny scarefest", though he said the climax was unfulfilling.[16] Though he praised the acting, Stephen Dalton of The Hollywood Reporter called the film an "unsatisfactory compromise" of art-house and exploitation film.[17] Richard Whittaker of The Austin Chronicle wrote that Øvredal "constructs a sinister claustrophobia", then "elegantly and disturbingly unwraps the enigma".[18] Joe Lipsett of Bloody Disgusting rated it 5/5 stars and wrote, "Øvredal masterfully balances the requisite gore with some well-earned jump scares and a foreboding sense of doom."[19] Writing at Dread Central, Ari Drew described it as "mostly effective". Drew complimented the acting but criticized the film's exposition and scripting near the over.[20]

Writer Stephen King spoke in favor of the film.[21]


  1. ^ a b c d e "The Autopsy of Jane Doe". British Film Directory. British Council Film. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  2. ^ a b "The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Box Office Mojo. IMDb. Retrieved 7 July 2017.
  3. ^ "The Autopsy of Jane Doe". IMDB. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  4. ^ "The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  5. ^ Harvey, Dennis (16 September 2016). "Toronto Film Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  6. ^ "The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Apple TV+. Retrieved 20 August 2023.
  7. ^ a b Rife, Katie (21 December 2016). "Director André Øvredal on performing The Autopsy Of Jane Doe". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  8. ^ a b c d e Gorman, Howard (13 December 2016). "Interview: André Øvredal Dissects The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Dread Central. Dread Central Media. Retrieved 27 July 2017.
  9. ^ White, James (8 March 2015). "Emile Hirsch And Brian Cox Set For The Autopsy Of Jane Doe". Empire. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  10. ^ a b Collis, Clark (27 September 2016). "How an actress played dead for horror film The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  11. ^ Kay, Jeremy (6 March 2015). "IM Global boards The Autopsy Of Jane Doe". Screen Daily. Screen International. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
  12. ^ Kent Film Office (29 March 2017). "The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Kent Film Office. Kent County Council. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  13. ^ "The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Toronto International Film Festival. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  14. ^ "The Autopsy of Jane Doe (2016)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved April 23, 2023.
  15. ^ "The Autopsy of Jane Doe Reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  16. ^ Harvey, Dennis (16 September 2016). "Toronto Film Review: The Autopsy of Jane Doe". Variety. Penske Business Media. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  17. ^ Dalton, Stephen (18 September 2016). "The Autopsy of Jane Doe: Film Review | TIFF 2016". The Hollywood Reporter. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  18. ^ Whittaker, Richard (25 September 2016). "Fantastic Fest: The Autopsy of Jane Doe". The Austin Chronicle. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  19. ^ Lipsett, Joe (19 September 2016). "[TIFF Review] The Autopsy of Jane Doe Provides Maximum Tension". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  20. ^ Drew, Ari (26 September 2016). "Autopsy of Jane Doe, The (2016)". Dread Central. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  21. ^ Collis, Clark (12 January 2017). "Stephen King says The Autopsy of Jane Doe rivals Alien in visceral horror". Entertainment Weekly. Time. Archived from the original on January 14, 2017. Retrieved 29 January 2017.

External links[edit]

  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe at IMDb
  • The Autopsy of Jane Doe at Rotten Tomatoes