One thing that the T.v. series, Supernatural has taught me that even if you know how electricity works and have studied science and you know what radio-waves are, if the lights start flickering and you hear static on the radio. There is only one thing you should do. RUN! Run shamelessly.
STORY – The story begins with a father-son duo who are coroners and they do their work in what looks to be their ancestral morgue. On one such night, as they are wrapping up the last job of that night another body is brought into the morgue by our very own, Roose Bolton. As they begin to work on that, yes, the lights start flickering, the radio changes to a certain channel and Tommy(Brian Cox) and Austin(Emile Hirsch) begin to extract the most oddest of things from the body. As you may be expecting, everything goes south and now they are trapped in a morgue with dead-bodies walking around. My only complaint is that they should have banked on the eeriness and claustrophobia instead of the jump-scares. Don’t Breathe(2016) is a prime example of that, but I think a pure horror flick needs jump-scares. Though the entire affair reveals nothing about the origin of the Jane Doe, but the scenario was very interesting until the last half hour or so.
DIRECTION – Ok, jump-scares. Andre Ovredal does a brilliant job in bringing out the essence of the horror movie. The guy knows what he wants to focus on, and that is the claustrophobia but somewhere down the line probably the panic kicked in. That led to the cliched tropes of using fake jump-scares and a fake-out. Let me explain the problem with both of them. Fake jump-scares can be compared with a pinch to one part of your body. If you keep pinching that same area, after a while it becomes numb and then you don’t even feel the next pinch. Similarly, multiple uses of jump-scares numbs the senses of the audience due to which they loose their effect when used later in the movie. The problem with a fake-out is that if it is not done properly then it creates a plot-hole. The death of Emma defies logic. She couldn’t have reached that exact spot where the corpse was and where Tommy threw the axe. So, the concept was really good but stuff like these just hindered the movie from reaching it’s full potential. Other than all the above mentioned problems, the movie was very creepy and claustrophobic. The entire autopsy sequence made me very uncomfortable.
CINEMATOGRAPHY – Right from the opening shot, I was sure that the movie will be well shot and I wasn’t wrong. After the opening sequence the entire movie is in that morgue and Roman Osin does a bang on job to give that creepy vibe to an already creepy setup. I think there was minimal use of CGI. The rest of it was practical effects. So major props to the make-up department and proper use of lighting to make it look even more realistic and puke-worthy.
ACTING – I saw right now in Imdb that the dead body of Jane Doe has a credit so well done Miss Olwen. Couldn’t have been easy. Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch are both great actors. They give the most realistic portrayal of two people stuck in a morgue. Some movies have those over-the-top gasps and screams. That doesn’t add to the horror in any way.
FINAL VERDICT – Let me get rid of the negatives first. There were clearly many editing mistakes. Not many, but some of them will clearly stick out. Trust me. A few scenes didn’t make any sense at all, like the scene where they lock themselves up and something attacks Tommy and then just leaves!? What happened? Did the corpse become polite all of a sudden? Also that last scene doesn’t make sense too because she isn’t dead anymore but still her eyes are grey. She isn’t the one with the bell but when she moved her toe, there was the sound of the bell chime. Ok, now the positive. I loved the “Oh shit!” moment where Austin thinks that help has arrived but then the voice changes to a man singing the song from the radio. It was great. The movie is extremely creepy and it is bound to make you uncomfortable. It is very difficult to come about decent horror movies. Most definitely watch it. It’ll be even better if you watch it alone because I am sure you don’t want everyone to know how melodious your scream is.