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The Autopsy of Jane Doe
The Jane Doe Identity

UK 2016
produced by
Rory Aitken, Fred Berger, Eric Garcia, Ben Pugh, Stuart Ford (executive), Matt Jackson (executive), Steven Squillante (executive) for 42, IM Global, Impostor Pictures
directed by André Øvredal
starring Brian Cox, Emile Hirsch, Ophelia Lovibond, Michael McElhatton, Olwen Catherine Kelly, Jane Perry, Parker Sawyers, Mary Duddy, Mark Phoenix
written by Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing, music by Danny Bensi, Saunder Jurriaans, visual effects by Automatik VFX

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Tommy (Brian Cox) and young Austin (Emile Hirsch) are a father and son team of coroners, and do get on splendidly at that, even if Austin's girlfriend Emma (Ophelia Lovibond) wants him to quit. Then one night, almost after closing, they're presented with a wholly mysterious body of a Jane Doe (Olwen Catherine Kelly): Even though the body was found buried in the ground hours ago, rigor mortis doesn't seem to have set in yet, and there's no obvious signs of how the woman might have died. Even weirder, even though her blood ought to be all coagulated, it's still very much liquid in substance. Opening up the body only deepens the mystery though, as many of her organs seem to be damaged, and with intent, but since the body doesn't show any signs of a previous entry, there's no explanation for this. Meanwhile outside, a cyclone is setting in eventually shutting the two men into their mortuary. But the cyclone isn't the only thing scary, because more and more creepy stuff happens in the place. And then Tommy and Austin peel their Jane Doe's skin back to discover she's tattooed with runes on the inside of their skin. Eventually, they put all the evidence together and find out she must have come from Salem, and from the time of the witch trials, and it's very probable that the tortures and humiliations at the hands of the witchfinders have actually made her into the thing they feared most - a witch. And now the witch has come back and wants her revenge on humankind - and she doesn't care that Tommy and Austin have nothing but sympathy for her - she's just pissed and will take it out on whoever's in her way, and she raises the other dead bodies in the mortuary to help her ...


This film has pretty much the worst premise thinkable to come up with a good story: Two guys in a mortuary examining a body. And yet, The Autopsy of Jane Doe has turned out to be a pretty great movie: Its narrative structure really helps making things interesting, the mystery the two men are investigating is a good one, and the characters are well fleshed-out, believable and relateable. Add to that a fine directorial effort heavy on atmosphere, nice sets and a pretty great cast, and you've got a film that actually draws you in before it goes all horror in its third act. Well worth a watch for sure.


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD