Jennifer’s Body (2009)

jennifers body IMDb

I’m writing this review early because we wanted to post some horror films around Halloween. Scary movies have never really grabbed me and this is one of the few I own. I don’t see the point of going to see a movie in the hope of it terrifying you, just as I don’t see the point of watching a completely depressing film. Real life is scary enough, when I go to the movies I want to be entertained, not terrified.

Jennifer’s Body is not a great film. It stars Megan Fox as the titular Jennifer. She lives in a small town in America and is the hottest girl in school. She is always followed around by her dorky best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried). One night at a rave, Jennifer is kidnapped by a band with the intention of sacrificing her. Things go awry and she ends up getting possessed by a demon who needs to feed on teenage boys in order to stay strong. Needy and her boyfriend (Johnny Simmons) discover Jennifer’s trail of dead boys and set out to stop her reign of terror.

This script was written by Diablo Cody, the writer of Juno, and you can see the same great dialogue that Juno had. Unfortunately it is surrounded by an ordinary horror film that I did not find interesting at all. The scenes in school are a lot of fun because the teenage dialogue is so biting. It reminded me a lot of Mean Girls, especially Megan Fox. Fox will never be confused with an Oscar winner, but even she is able to deliver this great dialogue and make me laugh.

Other than the terrific dialogue, the horror scenes are pretty average. I was not scared of Fox’s succubus very much. Seyfried tries hard as her best friend, but she is better than this.

Rating: D+

Scary movies aren’t really my thing, but there are a few I do enjoy. Halloween, Alien, and Psycho are the only horror films I find entertaining enough to watch, even knowing that I will have nightmares for days as a result. Still, I will occasionally bring myself to watch a horror movie if it promises to bring something new to the genre. Jennifer’s Body seemed like a good candidate, but in reality it is just an elaborate excuse to have the two woman leads make out for way too long.

This movie is written by Diablo Cody, the writer of Juno. For this reason alone I thought Jennifer’s Body would be good. Juno was a funny and touching film, I was interested how Cody would translate her off beat humor to the horror genre. The humor is there for sure, but at times it seems forced into what is otherwise a fairly generic scary movie. (And I use the word “scary” very loosely, because I doubt this would scare anybody.) The dialogue doesn’t feel as fresh as it did in Juno, either, leading me to believe that Cody might have just gotten lucky the first time.

It’s clear that this film was inspired by other teen flicks. I can see shades of Mean Girls and Heathers in this story about two best friends: one incredibly hot and popular (Megan Fox) and the other nerdy and insecure (Amanda Seyfried). Jennifer’s Body takes these two movies one step further, making the lead a literal demon rather than a figurative one. It’s an interesting idea, and an apt metaphor for the concept of “frenemies.” Unfortunately, the execution falls flat. The movie is neither funny enough nor scary enough to succeed in either genre.

Rating: D

One thought on “Jennifer’s Body (2009)

  1. Pingback: Juno (2007) | From The Abyss to Zoolander

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