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Jennifer's Body (2009; Rated Rated R)

Jennifer's Body
B-
 

“Heathers meets Mean Girls”

-Richard Roeper

Jennifer's Body Review

Jennifer's Body

(2009; R)

In theaters:
Friday, 18 September 2009

Official Movie Site:
www.jennifersbody.com

Summary: A newly possessed cheerleader turns into a killer who specializes in offing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?

Genre:
Comedy, Horror, Science Fiction, Thriller

Director:
Karyn Kusama

Cast:
Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried

So far Megan Fox is a lot more interesting off-screen than in the movies. She ain’t much of an actress, but boy she says some wiggy shit on the publicity circuit. Plus she has some of the world’s worst tattoos. That Marilyn thing on her arm? Good God. There are few things more entertaining than an actress who thinks she invented cool but is trying way too hard.

In “Jennifer’s Body,” Fox is far too mature-looking to be playing a high school vixen, but she sinks her teeth into the vampy, campy title role. This movie is “Heathers” meets “Mean Girls” with a heavy dose of monster-movie gore. It’s not as scary as it should be. But I found myself enjoying the ride, thanks in no small part to the smart if overly self-conscious screenplay from Diablo Cody, who of course won the Oscar for penning “Juno.”

Amanda Seyfried, wearing glasses and unflattering hairstyles to conceal her own hotness, plays Jennifer’s worshipful best friend, Needy. Because she’s, well, Needy. The madness kicks in when Jennifer and Needy check out a big-city band playing their local rock hall. (The lead singer is played by Adam Brody from “The O.C.” Nice work here. He makes us want to slap him.) These guys are punks. Not punk rockers, just snotty little punks with a serious team evil streak. They’re willing to literally sacrifice another human being to make it big.

As the venue literally goes down in flames, a seemingly tranced-out Jennifer takes off with the band—and the next time we see her, she’s spitting up foul black liquid and acting like a woman possessed. She’s now Satan’s daughter, or something like that. All I can say is that all the True Blood in the world isn’t going to satisfy this girl’s appetite. She’s a Maneater, watch out boys here she comes…

There’s some great pop culture satire here, as when the aforementioned band releases an opportunistic tribute song to the teens killed in the fire. It sounds just like one of those treacly ballads composed in the wake of a tragedy. And the classroom exchanges are hilarious, with J.K. Simmons as a one-handed teacher who tries to connect with the kids as they snipe at one another.

I also liked the dynamic between Needy and Jennifer. Even as Needy begins to suspect her best friend is a bloodsucking freakshow, she’s still attracted to her and wants to be as cool as her. (The Fox/Seyfried kiss isn’t as juicy as Gellar/Blair in “Cruel Intentions” or Richards/Campbell in “Wild Things,” but it’s a good one.) Only when Needy’s boyfriend is in jeopardy does the girl spring into action.

Once again, all of Diablo’s characters have the ability to toss off articulate, cutting-edge, sometimes too clever commentaries. At times it’s amusing as hell; occasionally it becomes grating. Still, the woman can write. Compared to the mindless dialogue in the “Final Destination” movies, I’ll take the snappy banter of “Jennifer’s Body” any time.

And at least nobody’s falling in love with a brooding hunk of an eyeliner-wearing vampire in this movie. Come to think of it, I’d like to see Jennifer get transferred to that “Twilight” high school and shake things up.

COMMENTS(4)
 
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Mnqobi said on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 6:37:54 AM
The storyline suggests an ordinary gorefest, but I like the little snippets of dialogue in this trailer, which suggest it may be something more. Cody seems to be going for something more subversive than the usual teen horror, and if she does this with as much sass and insight as she did with Juno , I can definitely see audiences responding very well to it.

Jack Shrout said on Tuesday, April 05, 2011 9:41:30 PM
I really enjoyed this film. It's a solid 4/5 for me. What I loved was how funny and clever it was. I think too many people view it as a horror movie when really it's also a black comedy, and a clever one at that.

Tom said on Wednesday, December 09, 2009 10:54:57 PM
I agree with your review. Not a great film but there is some entertainment to be had here. Damn, Fox is hot as hell. Anywho...great review.

Christopher Zeidel said on Monday, December 07, 2009 10:28:49 PM
The horror film genre has been suffering in recent years with countless remakes of 70s and 80s horror movies.

Horror films seemed to have gotten a little better this year. Jennifer's Body and The House of the Devil are a couple of horror films I have seen this year, and I enjoyed them both. I still have not seen Drag Me To Hell, but I have heard that it is good. I also heard some good things about Orphan, which is another film I have yet to see. Maybe 2009 has been a better year for horror movies. Perhaps the genre has some future after all.

 
 
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