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(2009)

Directed by:

Karyn Kusama

Rating: 7/10

Running Time: 102 minutes

US Certificate: R UK Certificate: 15

Horror fans have been talking and Tweeting about and passing around screenshots of Megan Fox from Jennifer’s Body for so long that by the time it finally came out, I was one, not that interested, and two, afraid that even if it WAS good, it would sink under its own hype. Add in that it’s the sophomore effort from Academy Award-winning screenwriter Diablo Cody, and there were probably as many people ready to hate it as to love it. So, stripping all that away, the film is funny at times, does the gore quite nicely, and, while not horror, necessarily, does an interesting job of genre-straddling.

To sum up—hot girl cheerleader Jennifer (Fox) is BFFs with the somewhat needy Needy (Amanda Seyfreid), and one fateful night, the two of them barely escape a fire at a dirty bar. Jennifer, mistaken for a virgin by an indie band looking to make a pact with devil, is sacrificed, but her lack of virginity means she gets to live on as a hungry demon. Needy tries to be a good friend, but as local boys start coming up gooey dead guys, she realizes her friend isn’t who she used to be … or, at least, she’s a much more dangerous version of her.

So, yeah, Megan Fox is everywhere, and I’m definitely on the boat of people who are sick of her, but that’s not enough of a reason to dismiss her movie. She’s actually pretty good, and where some might say she can’t act, I think, at least here, it’s more that she acts exactly like she should for her role. Also, sure, she does the hot girl thing, but she’s also not afraid to look downright gross, so yay her. Seyfried also taps into all the issues of Needy (this is a long way from Mamma Mia!), and much of the dialogue between her and Johnny Simmons (unlucky boyfriend Chip) offers some of the best parts of the whole she-bang. As for Cody, well, just like with Juno, her dialogue is polarizing, but when she’s not being overly hip and attempting to create her own cool kid language, it’s a decent script that tweaks a lot of clichés (Fox may be hot, and her M.O. may be killing boys after seducing them, but none of them seem all that interested). One thing—if you’ve seen clips, you’ve seen the Fox/Seyfried kiss. Now, I’m all for girls kissing girls, and there’s definitely a vibe coming from Little Miss Needy throughout, but even for a horror film, a genre known for its superfluous Sapphic action, it feels forced, kinda lame, and seems like a scene put in to draw in boys who would’ve seen it for Fox anyway.

All in all, the movie’s not scary, and Fox was right when she said in a lot of interviews that it’s really “not horror,” but who needs genre labels anyway, right?

It Needs: To back away from the quirky dialogue, to be a little less horror move self aware

Alternatives:

Carrie, Halloween, Halloween, Scream

Summary

People will despise this movie for its quirky dialogue and its over-exposed lead, but given a chance, Jennifer’s Body is entertaining, a little bit different, and deserves better than it’s gotten, despite some obvious flaws.