The Autopsy of Jane Doe Review

Share.

An unexpected, horrifying Christmas treat.

2016 has been an inarguably great year for horror films, from chilling arthouse outings like The Witch and The Monster (both, interestingly enough, came from A24), all the way to horrifying studio films like The Conjuring 2, Don’t Breathe, and Ouija: Origin of Evil. By all accounts, this will likely go down as a milestone year for the genre, which has already been on a steady climb back to greatness over the past few years, and with just a few more weeks to go until 2016 is over, the year still has one great horror tale to fill our nightmares with.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a single-location film that at times, feels just as much like a supernatural horror story as it does an engrossing, blood-filled mystery. Starring Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch, the film centers around father and son duo, Austin (Hirsch) and Tommy (Cox) Tilden, who work feverishly as their Virginian town’s go-to coroners out of their family’s underground, labyrinthian morgue. Both experts at deconstructing dead bodies and determining cause of death, the two are just about to call it a day when the film begins, before agreeing last minute to examine the body of an unidentified Jane Doe, delivered to them by the blunt Sheriff Sheldon (Michael McElhatton).

Found at the center of a gruesome triple murder, the body (Olwen Kelly) was discovered buried and untouched in the basement of the house where the murders took place. Where the three deaths in the house seem like they could be written off as a simple B&E-gone-wrong, the body’s inclusion in the crime throws a wrench into that explanation, as one of the officers ominously theorizes that it seems like the three victims weren’t trying to get in when they died, but were possibly trying to get out.

Got feedback on our player?

We want to hear it.

Looking for answers, Sheldon tasks Tommy and Austin with determining Jane Doe’s cause of death as quickly as possible, and if they can, why she was at the scene of the crime in the first place. On the surface, it seems like an easy in-and-out case and when we meet them, both are listening to loud rock music in the morgue while dissecting a body, and their relationship is established effectively when Tommy proceeds to give Austin (and us) a lesson in not always declaring the most obvious solution as the correct one. To them, Jane Doe is just like any body, but as they begin to uncover more and more strange mysteries about the body itself, it becomes clear fairly quickly that nothing is as it seems, as Austin and Tommy are eventually trapped by an unknown supernatural force in their basement.

Marking the first English feature from director André Øvredal, following 2010’s Trollhunter, the filmmaker has created a thrilling, complete, and inventive horror film in a year that was already filled to the brim with them. Unfurling with a calculated intensity, The Autopsy of Jane Doe only grows more and more terrifying and personal with each inspection and discovery found inside of the film’s titular body, and like with many of the other, recent horror outings we’ve seen, the film succeeds because of its admirable attention to character. Both Hirsch and Cox give some of their best performances to date as Tommy and Austin, filling the characters with enough soul to make them a believable duo, simultaneously providing the film with the emotional backbone it desperately needs in order to work as a whole.

The screenplay by Ian B. Goldberg and Richad Naing is one crafted with a razor sharp precision, taking several tired horror genre conventions and plot points and breathing new life (no pun intended) into them in their own unique way. The blood and physical gore may be too intense for some viewers, and I’ll admit to turning away even during some of the film’s more… intense medical procedures, but because of the Tildens’ occupations and the characters’ disconnected approach to the autopsies they perform, none of it ever feels gratuitous either.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe  Review

Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch in The Autopsy of Jane Doe

The film moves at a brisk pace as the events in the morgue grow even scarier and more demented, but unlike some other haunted house films of recent memory, The Autopsy of Jane Doe is wisely allowed time to breathe along the way, never making its characters fall too far behind what’s going on, and never ends up feeling too much like an amusement park ride. It’s not perfect by any means, and there’s more than a few times when it feels like Austin or Tommy are edging dangerously close to becoming the kind of frustrating, clueless horror movie protagonists that have plagued the genre for years.

Thankfully, they’re never taken advantage of by the film’s plot and script like lesser horror films have been known to do with their characters, and Øvredal trusts his actors to do their jobs in bringing Austin and Tommy to life with the kind of care that The Autopsy of Jane Doe needs, and luckily, both Hirsch and Cox live up their end of the bargain.

The same can be said for the entirety of The Autopsy of Jane Doe, which thanks to its unique and inventive premise, starts out with the kind of potential that doesn’t come around very often, and thanks to Øvredal’s clear enthusiasm, the film is able to live up to that potential from beginning to end. The filmmaker uses every aspect of the central morgue to his advantage in creating his set pieces, from the actual steel coffins Austin and Tommy keep the bodies in, all the way to a unique use of the duo’s radio that surprisingly gives the film some of its more effective and chillingly heightened moments of horror. All of this eventually leading to a crescendo conclusion to the film’s second act that’ll likely be remembered by those who see The Autopsy of Jane Doe as nothing short of iconic.

The Verdict

If there was only one word to describe The Autopsy of Jane Doe, it would be “effective.” Featuring stellar performances from both Emile Hirsch and Brian Cox, the film marks yet another exciting addition to André Øvredal’s growing resume. It’s one of this year’s many unexpected, last-minute surprises that will hopefully avoid flying too far under-the-radar amidst a crowded month of intergalactic space operas and serious Oscar contenders.

IGN Unfiltered Episode 14: Naughty Dog Co-Founder and Oculus Exec Jason Rubin

Share.

Naughty Dog, THQ, Oculus — what a career Rubin has had!

Naughty Dog co-founder Jason Rubin started making games at age 14 and hasn’t stopped. In this hour-long interview, he discusses the creation of Naughty Dog, the Crash Bandicoot and Jak and Daxter days, selling the company to Sony, trying to save THQ, and his new role as the head of content at Oculus, including what he believes the future of VR entails.

If you’d rather listen than watch, here’s an audio-only download link.

Here are a couple of clips, first of Rubin explaining his decision to sell Naughty Dog to Sony:

Got feedback on our player?

We want to hear it.

And here’s Rubin discussing Naughty Dog’s “darkest” days:

Got feedback on our player?

We want to hear it.

Catch up on every episode of IGN Unfiltered here.

Next Heroes of the Storm DLC Character Revealed

The next DLC character for Blizzard’s MOBA, Heroes of the Storm, has been revealed. The developer announced today that the warlord Zul’jin is coming to the PC game in early January 2017.

Zul’jin is a troll who can throw an axe “murderously fast,” according to Blizzard; he also becomes more dangerous the more damage he takes on. Blizzard announced Zul’jin for Heroes of the Storm and provided an overview of his abilities during a Facebook livestream; watch it below.

Blizzard also released a full rundown of Zul’jin’s traits, abilities, and talents; scroll down further down the page to get all the details, as written by Blizzard.

In other Blizzard news, the developer today teased the content coming to Overwatch in 2017, including new heroes, maps, modes, and more.

Next Heroes of the Storm DLC Character Revealed

Zul’jin Traits and Abilities:

Trait

  • Berserker
    • Activate to increase Basic Attack damage by 25% but consume 2% of your maximum Health per attack.
    • Passive: Zul’jin attacks 1% faster for every 1% of maximum Health missing.

Basic Abilities

  • Grievous Throw (Q)
    • Zul’jin throws an axe forward, dealing damage to the first 2 enemies hit and marking them for 8 seconds. Marked enemies take 50% bonus damage from Zul’jin’s next 3 Basic Attacks against them.
  • Twin Cleave (W)
    • Throw 2 axes in a large circular arc, dealing damage and slowing affected enemies by 15% per axe for 2 seconds.
  • Regenteration (E)
    • Channel Zul’jin channels to regenerate 25% of his maximum Health over 4 seconds. Moving or taking damage while channeling will interrupt this effect.

Heroic Abilities

  • Taz’dingo! (R)
    • Zul’jin is Unkillable for the next 4 seconds, and cannot be reduced to less than 1 Health. Taz’dingo!
  • Guillotine (R)
    • Zul’jin throws a massive guillotine blade into the sky that crashes down on enemies in the targeted area. The lower Zul’jin’s Health, the more damage it deals.

Zul’jin Talents

Hero Level (Tier)

Talent

Description

1 (1)

[Q] Boneslicer

Grievous Throw now pierces through enemies. Bonus damage increased by 15%.

1 (1)

[Passive] Arcanite Axes

Twin Cleave cooldown reduced by 0.5 seconds for every Hero hit. Ability Power is increased by 25% while below 50% Health.

1 (1)

[Passive] You Want Axe?

Every 5 Basic Attacks used against Heroes increases your Basic Attack damage by 1.5. Upon reaching 24 Stacks, permanently gain 20% Range.

4 (2)

[E] Troll’s Blood

Increases Regeneration healing by 75%.

4 (2)

[Passive] Let the Killing Begin

Enemies killed by you increase your attack speed by 6% for 10 seconds, stacking up to 5 times. Attacks refresh duration.

4 (2)

[Passive] Headhunter

[!] Quest: Kill all unique enemy Heroes. Reward: Activate to reveal all enemy Heroes for 4 seconds.

7 (3)

[Q] Vicious Assault

Increases the number of charges to 6. Basic Attacks against afflicted Heroes reduces cooldown by 2 seconds.

7 (3)

[W] Wrong Place Wrong Time

If an enemy is hit by both axes at the same time, deal bonus damage.

7 (3)

[Trait] Recklessness

While below 50% health, gain 25% bonus Attack Damage.

10 (4)

[R1] Taz’dingo!

Cannot be reduced to less than 1 Health for the next 4 seconds.

10 (4)

[R2] Guillotine

Throw a massive axe into the air that crashes down on enemies, dealing damage based on how much Health you are missing.

13 (5)

[Q] Eye of Zul’jin

Hitting an enemy Hero with Grievous Throw increases Movement Speed by 25% for 2 seconds.

13 (5)

[E] Forest Medicine

Regeneration no longer has to be channeled. Damage still breaks the heal.

13 (5)

[Active] Voodoo Shuffle

Activate to remove all Slow and Root effects.

16 (6)

[W] Swirling Death

Axes cycle twice and can hit enemies on each revolution but cooldown is increased by 4 seconds.

16 (6)

[W] Lacerate

Increases Slow amount of each axe by 15%.

16 (6)

[Trait] Ferocity

Increases the Attack Speed bonus of Berserker by 40%.

20 (7)

[R1] Amani Resilience

Restore Health equal to 50% of the damage you dealt while using Taz’dingo.

20 (7)

[R2] Buzzsaw

After impact, the Guillotine continues rapidly forward, dealing damage to enemies in the line.

20 (7)

[Active] Ensnare

Throw a net forward, rooting the first enemy hit.

Filed under:
Heroes of the Storm
PC

Atlus Reveals New Fantasy RPG From Persona Director, Artist

Share.

Project Re Fantasy will be an entirely new game separate from Shin Megami or Persona.

Atlus has established a new internal studio called Studio Zero and announced its first project, a new fantasy RPG from Persona series director Katsura Hashino, artist and character designer Shigenori Soejima, and composer Shoji Meguro.

According to details in the latest issue of Famitsu translated by Gematsu, the game is currently codenamed Project Re Fantasy. It is an entirely new project not connected to the Shin Megami Tensei or Persona series.

While few details about Project Re Fantasy beyond its fantasy setting have been revealed, images in Famitsu show off soldiers fighting a dragon, a young woman who appears to be an elf, and characters riding in carriages and on horseback.

Atlus Reveals New Fantasy RPG From Persona Director, Artist

The first artwork from Project Re Fantasy (Image via Famitsu)

Atlus company director Naota Hiraoka confirmed to Famitsu that Soejima and Meguro will still be involved in the Persona series moving forward, and that Soejima will be part of a new Atlus Artwork Team. No specific platforms or release window for Project Re Fantasy have been confirmed, and Hashino notes that “while the supported hardware is currently undecided, we’re making this for those who like home console games and love Atlus games.”

In a statement on Studio Zero’s official site (translated via Persona Central), Hashino said he has “crafted my projects as games that are a counter to the norm.”

“Now, in continuation to these projects created by Atlus, comes forth a new one,” he wrote. “What is the next concept to tackle and address in RPGs? To challenge the norms naturally consumed by gamers for decades. I think that this, in particular, is a challenge to the genre. The challenge is about to begin right now. And I would like you to stand with me as we start the challenge—as we start from zero.”

Atlus will reveal more information on the project in a Niconico live stream on December 23 at 8:00 PM JST (3:00 AM PST).

Hashino, Soejima, and Meguro previously collaborated on Persona 3, Persona 4, and Persona 5, as well as 2011’s Catherine. Persona 5 was released in September 2015 in Japan, and will be released in the West in April 2017.

Andrew is IGN’s executive editor of news and his favorite Soejima character is Koromaru. You can find him rambling about EarthBound and cute animals on Twitter.

Overwatch Director Teases New Heroes, Maps, Modes, and More

Blizzard has posted a “Year in Review” video for Overwatch in which director Jeff Kaplan talks at length about all the major updates to the game following launch in May. He also teases what might be coming to the shooter in 2017.

Kaplan also talked about Sombra balance changes, saying Blizzard is being deliberately slow with tweaking her balance to avoid a situation like the one the studio found itself in with another DLC character, Ana. Blizzard has ideas for how to tweak Sombra, but is waiting to deploy them until the studio sees a “mastery curve” for the character.

The director also confirmed that the new DLC map, Oasis, is on track for launch in early 2017, which is the timing that Blizzard announced at BlizzCon. It’s currently on the PTR.

Overwatch fans should also expect more in-game events in the New Year, some of which are expected, themed around holidays, and others will surely catch you off guard, Kaplan said.

Additionally, the communication wheel is being updated with more customization options. This will include the ability to add up to four voice lines and emotes, Kaplan said.

He added that Blizzard is working on more Overwatch DLC characters, though he cautioned that some are only prototypes and they may never come out. One of the new characters is looking “promising,” and is moving through the development process in the area of art, Kaplan said.

Additionally, Blizzard is making new Overwatch maps beyond Oasis. But again, some are more experimental in nature, Kaplan said, adding that at least one of them is shaping up well. The studio is also working on new modes, though Kaplan didn’t say anything about them.

Finally, Kaplan said an area of focus for Overwatch in 2017 will be a server browser for Custom Games, so people can find them more easily. This has been a top-requested feature, Kaplan said, adding that he’s excited to launch an initial version of it in in early 2017.

“We want to thank you for what an awesome year 2016 has been for the Overwatch community, for all of us together,” Kaplan said. “And on behalf of all of us on the Overwatch team and at Blizzard, we want to wish you and your family a very warm and special holiday season. Thank you for everything you have done for us. We appreciate it.”

Filed under:
Overwatch
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
PC