As most of you who read my blog know, I’ve been waiting for “Jennifer’s Body” since July when the redband trailer first hit the next. And it appears that, unlike most people, I was one of the very few who knew it was a comedy. It seems to be the fault of Fox’s mis-marketing this movie as a horror film that “Jennifer’s Body” has done so poorly at the box office so far. But that doesn’t mean that this movie is without it’s horror elements, and with a better studio who would know how to market a movie like this, it could have created some pretty iconic moments. Which is a shame, because it’s a movie that really needs to be seen in theaters with a large audience to get the full enjoyment.
The movie begins with a bang. “Hell is a teenage girl,” Needy (Amanda Seyfried) muses, in one of the best opening lines in recent memory, as she’s locked in a mental institution for her involvemnt with Jennifer over the past few months. “I didn’t always used to be like this,” Needy claims after getting into a fight with a security guard and being sent to solitary confinement. “I used to be normal. Well, as normal as any hormonal teenage girl can be.” And with that, we’re off!
Cut to a few a months earlier and Jennifer and Needy are still best friends who are “exaclty like their yearbook pictures.” The plot for “Jennifer’s Body” is both original and completely exploitative and trashy, which is exactly what makes it so fun. After dragging her BFF Needy along to see the new up-and-coming indie rock band Low Shoulder at a local dive-in bar, Jennifer (a spot on Megan Fox) becomes the band’s virgin sacrifice in order to gain success. Only problem is, Jennifer’s not a virgin. She hasn’t been since junior high and the sacrifice winds up turing her into a demon who must eat people in order to survive. So Jennifer goes on a killing rampage of various boys at Devil’s Kettle High after seducing them. Needy seems to be the only one who has any idea of what’s going on, but her loving boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons) doesn’t believe her, and instead encourages her to get some help.
“Jennifer’s Body” succeeds at being a throw-back to the classic horror films of the ’80s and brings to mind the classics “Heathers” and “Carrie” in many scenes which is what makes it so entertaining. Screenwriter Diablo Cody knows her audience and doesn’t hesitiate to amp up the trash in certain scenes and go for a few gratiutous moments like the girl-on-girl make-out scene between Seyfried and Fox, which yes, lives up to the hype. (Let’s just say the previews don’t even show half of it–they wind up in bed too) The other brilliant thing about “Jennifer’s Body”, is that there’s not one flawed performance. Everyone plays their characters dead-on with stand-outs from Simmons, Seyfried, and Fox. Simmons especially surprised me as being capable of turning a cliched role like the doting boyfriend into someone who got some of the biggest laughs in a raunchy sex scene between Chip and Needy or making his character so likeable. Amanda Seyfried also impressed me as she holds her own as a character that requires her to go from weak, meager best friend to crazy girl in the span of the movie. While certain movies like “Mean Girls” and “Mamma Mia” only showed certain aspects of her ability as an actress, she lets it rip in this one. And then there’s Megan Fox who will definitely be blamed for the box office failure of this movie and is about to get a media sh-t storm like no other, which is really unfair because I honestly can’t imagine anyone else playing Jennifer with such narcissitic brilliance. Fox has a knack for Cody’s hipster-ific dailogue and completely gets her character. She also has the specialty of being both creepy and funny all in one scene. Great performances also come from the under-used Amy Sedaris as Needy’s mother and Adam Brody who bares absolutely no resemblence to Seth Cohen.
Like I said in the beginning of the review: In a just world, movies like this, “Black Snake Moan”, and “Grindhouse” would have been the box office hits that they so deserved to be. And that’s unfortuante because “Jennifer’s Body” truly is an awesome, original, and great movie.