Valentine’s Day is right around the corner! Give your loved one some chocolates, put on your best sexy attire (read: sweatpants), and watch a horror movie so filled with plot holes you can stuff three chocolate covered cherries into. Let us begin.
Tommy (Brian Cox) and Austin (Emile Hirsch) are a father/son coroner duo. They cut apart bodies while investigating, deducing, and reminiscing on past crimes and their lives. I will always have a hard-on about a Brian Cox movie (two dick references in one go) so I was eager to see this one. There are other characters such as the Jane Doe (Olwen Catherine Kelly) herself, the sheriff (Michael McElhatton) that you may recognize as a baddie from Game of Thrones, and Austin’s easily creeped-out girlfriend, Emma (Ophelia Lovibond).
One dark and stormy night, the sheriff brings in a body that has no bullet holes, no clear wounds, and died under mysterious circumstances. He asks both men to investigate because he honestly has no clue what happened. Watching Tommy and Austin dissect the body and the clues is fascinating. Having a somewhat weak stomach for gore-porn style films, I was honestly unfazed by the autopsy and found myself glued to what they were doing. They discover that the girl has been through unspeakable horrors and as they’re starting to figure out what and who she really is, everything hits the fan.
Let’s start with the pros of this film. Brian Cox. His performance in this is terrific as a father who has been through heartbreak and is struggling to understand reality vs the supernatural. He is dedicated to using logic and reason. Another pro is Emile Hirsch as his son. He wastes no time saying “Weird shit is happening and I blame this chick.” There’s no “What could it be” Scooby Doo style investigating. Austin knows something’s not right and he’s prepared to basically nope the fuck out of there. Another major pro is watching them investigate like an episode of CSI. If you’re not a fan of crime shows, you may be a bit bored.
Now let’s get to the cons. Holy shit, how many plot holes can you fit into one film? We have a girlfriend who manages to teleport into a hospital with only one exit and that’s through an elevator that doesn’t work. We have a body that, upon inspection (spoiler alert), is covered with tattoos on the INSIDE of her skin. How did they get there? What do they mean? What was the purpose? Do we ever find out?! lol nah.
Getting back to the teleporting girlfriend, she serves no purpose to really move the story along. She’s creeped out by her boyfriend’s job, she wants him to change careers, and she comes back at a random time in the film to basically (spoiler alert) be killed when mistaken for a corpse. This whole scene feels random! Why is she there? Why did he mistake a girl wearing boots for a barefoot, bell-wearing dead guy? Also, apparently Jane Doe can make the corpses wake up. They do nothing except spook Tommy and Austin and chase them around. So don’t look for too much on who they are and what their purpose is other than to be spooooky.
The film knows how to play up the intense factor but then it lets you down with those scenes that feel so promising. I kept holding my breath waiting for a huge scare. I think it’s an entertaining film to watch as long as you keep your expectations down. Watch for the performances, watch for the twist at the end, but don’t expect to scream. You can save that for Valentine’s Day night instead 😉