Tuesday, 27 December 2016

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

"The Autopsy of Jane Doe" (2016, André Øvredal, 42, IM Global, Impostor Pictures, IFC Midnight) is an intriguing horror about a father and son coroner team, who are tasked with identifying the cause of death of an unknown woman.

Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and his son, Austin (Emile Hirsch) are a small-town coroner and medical assistant. They are clocking off, Austin planning on going to the cinema with his girlfriend, Emma (Ophelia Lovibond), when the local sheriff (Michael McElhatten) comes bursting in with an urgent case: a mysterious Jane Doe (Olwen Kelly) found at the scene of an unusual homicide. Abandoning their plans for the evening, Tommy and Austin knuckle down to determine the cause of death.

As they begin to investigate the corpse they become more and more convinced that things are not as they seem....

A creepy, engaging and inventive film which has the right balance of slow eerie build up and action to keep things moving. The viewer discovers the secrets of Jane along with the characters, keeping a good plot flow. The setting and effects are very effective and the film achieves a gruesomeness without actually being too gory.

The film is very dark, both in subject matter and in lighting style, and really filled the 99 minute run time without becoming dull. It's not without its cheesiness, but this adds to the experience.

All in all, a very entertaining film.

[Image: IM Global et al]

Saturday, 10 December 2016


"Krampus" (2015, Michael Dougherty, Legendary Pictures, Zam Pictures) is a Christmas horror about St. Nicholas' demonic counterpart, Krampus.

Tom (Adam Scott), Sarah (Toni Collette) and their kids, Beth (Stefania LaVie Owen) and Max (Emjay Anthony) are preparing for Christmas at home with Tom's mother (Krista Stadler). Sarah's sister, Linda (Allison Tolman) also visits with her brash husband, Howard (David Koechner), their new baby and other, older, rude children, Stevie (Lolo Owen), Jordan (Queenie Samuel) and Howie Jr. (Maveick Flack). They also bring Sarah's disapproving, demanding aunt (Conchata Ferrell). As the night progresses, Max begins to feel that the Christmasses of his childhood are over and, in his anger, he unwittingly unleashes Krampus on his family...

The film starts out very much like any other non-horror Christmas movie. Then, the horror aspects are introduced with cheesy relish. The cast are good, the action is silly, but fun and the film delivers a good holiday horror that doesn't try to take itself very seriously. The result is a film which isn't especially scary, but manages to deliver a fun holiday romp which feels a little like "National Lampoons' Christmas Vacation" meets "The Demonic Toys", but with better production value.

Definitely one I'll be watching again.

[Image: Legendary Pictures]