Parents' Guide to

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

By Jeffrey M. Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 17+

Great characters, setting in clever but gory horror movie.

Movie R 2016 99 minutes
The Autopsy of Jane Doe Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 16+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 18+

Dreadful Horror Masterpiece

The scariest movie I have ever seen. Absolutely not for kids. Full frontal nudity of female corpse throughout the film; said corpse is operated on and dissected with surgical tools. Morgue setting contributes to choking sense of dread through the whole movie. Character killed with an axe to the chest and is shown bleeding out. Dead bodies are shown and reanimated to hunt the living, one of which has a self inflicted shotgun hole through his face. Cat is gravely injured and put out of its misery. Was on the edge of my seat the whole time. Wonderfully and expertly made, an example of how jarring and terrifying horror can be when it builds slowly without cheap jump scares and gore. Do not let your kids near this.
age 14+

It’s a horror Masterpiece

First of yes she is naked throughout the entire film, but she is dead and any 14 year old should be able to handle it and that is the only sexual bit in the film, secondly the violence, most of it is just shown at the operating table as they, well operate on her. A brain and a couple other bodyparts are shown as well but nothing to brutal, there is a bit of blood spraying and a cat has to be put down, but that about it. Honestly my opinion is that any 14 year old could handle this film as it’s not as severe as some other films such as cabin in the woods or saw. Definitely worth a watch.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (26 ):

Norwegian director Andre Ovredal follows up his terrific Trollhunter with an equally smart and satisfying chiller. The Autopsy of Jane Doe is a fun, spooky movie driven by interesting characters in an interesting setting. After its gory crime-scene opening, the film takes place entirely inside the morgue, the Tilden family's business for three generations, which has expanded into a moody, sprawling, underground chamber accessible only by a creaky elevator and a storm door.

This setting is the perfect place for scary things to happen, but it's also perfect to see the father-son relationship between Cox and Hirsch. Tommy is a dad trying to teach his son important lessons, and Austin is trying to connect with his father on an emotional level. Ovredal's storytelling is sharp and coy, with beautiful, exploratory camera work and clever editing; Trollhunter was a "found footage" movie, but there's no hint of shaky-cam or quick-cutting here. Credit also goes to actress Olwen Kelly, who plays Jane Doe, expressing a kind of mystery and personality without ever uttering a word or making a move.

Movie Details

  • In theaters: December 21, 2016
  • On DVD or streaming: June 27, 2017
  • Cast: Emile Hirsch , Brian Cox , Ophelia Lovibond
  • Director: Andre Ovredal
  • Inclusion Information: Female actors
  • Studio: IFC Films
  • Genre: Horror
  • Run time: 99 minutes
  • MPAA rating: R
  • MPAA explanation: bloody horror violence, unsettling grisly images, graphic nudity, and language
  • Last updated: June 20, 2023

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