When high-flying medical student Paula wins a place at the University of Heidelberg Medical School she's excited to be following in the footsteps of her renowned grandfather. But soon after she starts, she recognises one of the cadavers as the young man she'd given mouth-to-mouth to on the train journey there. She soon starts to believe a secret anti-hippocratic society is up to no good on the university autopsy tables. Mad German scientists doing unethical medical procedures on innocent victims against their will? Surely that's too tasteless to be a plot?
What Anatomy does well is take advantage of our fears of being awake and unable to move during surgery. It subverts the unquestioning trust we give to people who have sharp medical implements and a set of scrubs. The filming locations are modern, clinical and intimidating, with cold, hard surfaces. The cinematography is interesting and atmospheric, making good use of lighting and shadows, and a moody blue/grey colour palette. The plastinated dissected 'corpses' that are posed and splayed, look horrifyingly realistic. Really, they are seriously disturbing. There's also an unusual soundtrack, featuring upbeat pop music towards the beginning of the film, slowly shifting to classical by the end.
The first half of the movie is dark and intriguing. It starts off as a gruesome mystery thriller that smells like the film Coma. Sadly by the final act, things begin to come unstitched. Paula suddenly starts speaking her thoughts aloud to herself. There's a brief scene - using a set you'd expect to find in a Dennis Wheatley movie - that looks visually out of place with the rest of the film. Events get even more silly and far-fetched, until it all turns into the final-girl sequence from a generic slasher movie.
Overall Anatomy is not a bad movie. It has a wonderfully creepy premise, and technically it's well put together. The acting performances are pretty good on the whole. But the script could have done with a bit of tightening up, and it's disappointing that the whole thing doesn't end up as original as it initially promises.