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Since the entirety of October is officially Halloween this year (shut up, you!), we at Psycho Drive-In have decided to attempt to fill the month with thirty-one recommendations for horror-related movies, comics, books, TV shows, toys, games, and everything in-between. It’s gonna be a grab-bag of goodies we feel you should be exposed to, whether you like it or not! But don’t expect your standard suggestions for Halloween fun, we’re digging into some stuff that we love in the hopes that you might make this October a little bit weirder than usual.

Weirder in a good way. Not like what’s going on outside in the hellscape of 2020.

There’s nothing better at Halloween than a good ghost story and I’ve got a great one picked out just for you. Full of bloody murder, impossibly placed cadavers, ancient evils, and a father/son redemption story just to tug at your heart strings. The Autopsy of Jane Doe from Director André Øvredal (Trollhunter, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark) is one of those stories that had so many possibilities it could have been written as anything. Cultish conjurings and bizarre postmortem rituals could have been the hallmark of a deranged new serial killer. A rural morgue on a stormy night is the perfect backdrop for a zombie uprising. And of course, there’s always the creepy necrophiliac rapist narrative like The Body of Anna Fritz. Still, The Autopsy of Jane Doe does it’s best to keep the audience guessing about what’s really happening until the very end.

The plot revolves around a father and son mortician duo (Brian Cox and Emile Hirsch) tasked with autopsying a recently murdered young woman (Olwen Kelly) found in a gruesome crime scene. As they begin their investigation, they find that the body has been prepared in an unbelievable way that, with a bit of research quickly points to an ancient rite designed to trap evil. Of course, at this point they’ve meddled too much, and the evil begins slipping out in ways both physically and emotionally devastating.

This is another gem of a film released in an age where storytelling and practical effects have taken a back seat to green screens and incessant meta commentary.  The Autopsy of Jane Doe spends time developing the relationship between the audience and characters which makes it all the more devastating as the terror gradually ramps up.

The combination of practical effects and CG make for some intense moments, not only with the titular Jane Doe, but with a handful of other corpses waiting in drawers in the morgue. A steady sort of madness creeps in on the protagonists as one by one their worst nightmares become real. If you’re looking for a good ghost story, a little struggle with paranormal evil, then The Autopsy of Jane Doe is what you need.

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