“Trust me, this is a storm that you don’t want to get caught up in.”
Story: Police find the body of a young woman at a strange crime scene, and bring it to a morgue staffed by a father and son. As they conduct the autopsy, strange things start to happen. Then things really get weird.
Scares: Lots of high quality tension and suspense, along with all the creepy.
Splat factor: Check the title.
Closing scene “shocker”?: not so much shock than a pleasantly creepy final moment.
Remake, Sequel or OG (Original Ghoul)?: Original.
Trick or Treat?: Directed by André Øvredal, who also helmed the fantastic Nordic monster throwdown Troll Hunter, Doe is a creepy story that slowly creeps toward a startling finish. As the two main characters work through the autopsy, things get unsettling, then downright supernatural.
As father and son, Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch give riveting performances, which helps the “two people in a room” concept. The script is smart, allowing the characters to make intelligent decisions, lending credibility to the plot. The movie feels like a short story playing out onscreen; think a longer, more horrific Twilight Zone episode.
The climax is equal parts horrific and heartbreaking, drawing on history and lore much the same way Troll Hunter did. Bonus points to Olwen Kelly for portraying Jane Doe, a role that looks easy – just lie on the slab – but without moving, breathing or twitching? It’s much more than I could ever do (Plus, keep an eye on her expression, as it shifts slightly throughout.)
A good, quick bit of fun for horror fans looking for a slow burn creep-fest along the lines of Netflix’s The Haunting of Hill House.
Score: 4 out of 5 pumpkins.