The Autopsy of Jane Doe

A father and a son who are running a coroner business from their own home, need to identify the body of a young woman who was found in a house full of brutally murdered bodies. The other bodies were that of the family living in the house…but in the basement, the police found the half-buried corpse of that young woman. The corpse is pristine, there isn’t even a scratch on her or any blood. As the old saying goes, however: looks can be deceiving…

When they start their “work” on her (and if you are queasy when it comes to body horror, you’ll probably be squirming in your seat while watching it) they soon find out that the girl appears to have been through extreme torture before she died. Her tongue has been cut out, one of her teeth are missing, and from the inside it appears that she’s been burned…but still, her outside is intact, like if nothing ever happened to her. The girl harbors a dark secret, however, and soon weird shit starts to happen.

«The Autopsy of Jane Doe», directed by norwegian André Øvredal (known for «Troll Hunter», aka «Trolljegeren»), has given us a really atmospheric and creepy film that easily manages to get under your skin. There are several scenes that are outright bone-chilling. Well recommended if you enjoy dark psychological horror movies.

The Babadook

«The Babadook» is Jennifer Kent’s debut movie based on her short film from 2005 titled «Monster». It’s the story about a widowed mother, Amelia, who is still struggling with trying to cope after her husband’s violent death. Plagued with nightmares and depression, she’s also having more than a handful with her son Samuel, a 7-year-old with a really needy personality with hyperactive periods and often throwing tantrums. To top it all, he’s got a fear of monsters that he believe are lurking around in the house. One night she decides to read a book for him in order to make him calm down and sleep, and she finds a book in her own home that she can’t remember having seen before. The book is titled «The Babadook”…and after reading from it, she also starts to sense what her son has been sensing: that something evil lurks around in their house…which later manifests itself as the evil spirit «The Babadook».

One could argue wether «The Babadook» is more a horror tale of a mother that is slowly going insane, or a monster movie. Seeing how the strugglig mother is trying to cope by balancing her work with her needy son and her trauma is somehow chilling by itself, because it’s so down-to-earth, even without any kind of monster mixed in. In many ways, the movie could be seen as some kind of metaphor for the pain and struggles of motherhood. There’s many ways to interpret this movie and what happens in it, especially the ending, which is also similar to the ending in the short film «Monster».

 

Oh, and the book featured in the film was actually printed as a real pop-up book where people could pre-order one in a crowd-funding campaign. Vanja actually pre-ordered one of these, and below are some photos. This is the first print run, autographed by Jennifer Kent (and it doesn’t look like there’s going to be a second print run, so this is a rare gem):

Mister Babadoo

Mister Babadoo

Mister Babadoo

Mister Babadoo

Mister Babadoo

Mister Babadoo

Mister Babadoo

Mister Babadoo

Obscure amateur horror films seem to be bred like fruit flies these days, and let’s be honest and admit that very often they are pickings from the bottom of the barrel. However, when it comes to this one, which I came across on Amazon.com as recommended to me, it immediately sparked my curiosity. Michael Berryman on the cover, and not a 3.2 on imdB? Let’s check it out.

Dennis is a young mentally retarded man living with his big brother John. He has no friends, and is isolated at home where he is struggling with trippy nightmares. Because of Dennis, John has had to put the love of his life, Lydia, on hold. Lydia would like for them to get a life together, but him being tied up with his mentally retarded brother makes this difficult. One day, John comes home with an antique mirror that he places in Dennis’s room…a mirror Dennis had previously dreamt about before it even came into the house. Soon, Dennis begins to talk to his own reflection…and it talks back. Inside the mirror there is a demon that manipulates Dennis into believing that he can become smart and get rid of the resilience by killing people.

«The Evil Within» is a psychological horror movie that explores the grotesque nature of the human mind, and after just a few minutes you’ll understand that this is not a conventional movie. We get thrown right into one of Dennis’s trippy and bizzare nightmares, where we get a glimpse of the demon entity which later manifests himself in the mirror. We spend a lot of time with Dennis, who is slipping more and more into madness, and thanks to the brilliant acting by Frederick Koehler, it never gets boring. He really plays his role believeable with his facial ticks, overall body form and the way he delivers his lines, makes him really disturbing.

It’s overall a pretty dark movie with a moody, depressive tone, and with the right state of mind the film works like a interesting character study.

And some trivia: It took director and writer Andrew Getty six years to shoot the film and another seven years to get it into post-production. Sadly, he died in 2015 due to a history of drug addiction, which made this his first and last movie. He didn’t even get to see the final product, one of his producers finished the film.