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I grew up listening to the sounds of Hole and other bands with similarity - and when I saw this - I was incredibly surprised that the song "Jennifer's Body" by Hole wasn't featured, as it was definitely the first thing I thought of! The movie itself is okay at best, but I'm just speaking from not being a huge fan of "horror" movies in general. I did like Juno quite a bit - so I'm sure that if I was a bigger fan of (and please excuse my lack of other description) cheesy horror flicks, I'd like this much better. It is, however, worthy of music-video-ness even though, sadly, no Hole. Also, the rule of not judging a "book" by its cover does not apply here. I saw exactly what I expected to see just by looking at the cover.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Passable teen-oriented horror drama and part vehicle for sexpot actress Megan Fox stars her as high school student Jennifer, who undergoes a nasty change, to the consternation of her best friend "Needy" (Amanda Seyfried, who's substantially more appealing), your standard geek-who's-really-quite-attractive in the Hollywood tradition. Without spoiling too much, something causes Jennifer to morph into a monstrous predator who must now feed on assorted unlucky guys, including jock Jonas (Josh Emerson) and "emo" kid Colin (Kyle Gallner). Adult characters such as teacher Mr. Wroblewski (J.K. Simmons), who in one interesting touch sports an artificial hand, and parents played by Amy Sedaris and Cynthia Stevenson (both of them too briefly seen) are mostly in the background as the movie mostly sets about charting the dissolution of this friendship, and Needy's feelings on the matter, as Jennifer now takes a delight in her frightening powers. Writer Diablo Cody would do better in the future to not sprinkle in supposedly "hip", quirky dialogue so much as it's just a distraction, and while director Karyn Kusama and crew do give this modestly entertaining movie some atmosphere, it's a little too routine overall, and has no real resonance when it's over, despite its framing device of indicating Needy's fate. (However, it's nice to note that those responsible for the whole mess do not go unpunished.) Small doses of gore are effective, and sex plays a big enough part in the story, even though some viewers are going to be sorely disappointed with the lack of any Fox nudity. The brief lesbian coupling might make up for that to some degree, though. One good thing is that Seyfried is good enough to serve as an effective anchor for the film, while Fox seems to be having some fun with her antagonistic role. Adam Brody is amusing as self centered rock "star" Nikolai, and Johnny Simmons is quite likable as Needy's sensitive boyfriend Chip. Genre fans will be delighted to note the uncredited cameo by a familiar face right near the end. Ultimately, this is underwhelming but still basically watchable; it's not clear what the point of it all is, but it's got its moments. Six out of 10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"As a movie about a flesh-eating cheerleader, it's better than it has
to be." The film is not as bad as you'd expect. It has quality to it,
but it wasn't memorable regardless.
It's almost like you don't know what the movie is trying to be, as the various genres mixed into it--comedy, horror, and serious-business "depth"--are thrown all over the place. Your emotional reactions become a little confounded. The only reason someone would consider this good is if it's compared to other movies that seriously fail when they navigate those teen-horror-black-comedy-flick waters; on its own, it's not. This is one of those horrors that try to be serious and funny, but then ends up falling flat on its face in both areas simply because it's trying too hard while not trying hard enough.
The lead character reacts unrealistically to the events that take place when the craze first begins (if I saw my best friend in my kitchen in the state that she did, I would've been hysterically trying to figure out the cause of her condition, tending to her, or calling 911, not whispering "Gosh, what happened?" and having meek chatter with her as she raids through my fridge in blood-covered jeans) and some events that happen are unrealistic in general ("Let's get in his really cool Van...") as if the script just glazed over itself. The bond between the two friends that Cody gave herself far too much credit for became meaningless, left-fielded, and shallowly comical over time whereas Cody felt she was telling a legit story between them the whole way through. Cody was unable to balance the comedy and the sincerity behind their friendship near the middle-end to keep you convinced of what she was trying to communicate to the audience.
Parts of the plot just didn't do it for me; I felt like the writer should've paid more attention to the story's body language or how certain scenes should've been executed instead of how witty and teen-fun-cheesy the dialogue could be. I daresay that the gore is handled with more care than anything else in the film.
The famous kiss was also an attempt to look meaningful and symbolic on Cody's part (as said by her), but it was placed at a-too-random time to look anything other than superficial and "Lolwut?" like one of those, "let's throw this in here to make the movie look hot" devices for no necessary reason.
I was certain that the film was trying to be a joke with special effects, as Megan's character is portrayed AS a joke, which was fine, but once I read that Cody was trying to give an inspirational, serious-business message outside of the comedy, I worried about her talent as a writer. According to the film-makers, "the film being super funny or super scary" wasn't really the goal; the "execution of the message" was.
Perhaps things look better in her head than it does on screen. Either way she failed to project the essentials that she wanted without looking like a Fanfiction.net writer. She DID want the film to be deep in its own right, but it was one-dimensional no matter how you look at it.
The movie is perfect for a laugh, and that's it. Watch it, forget it, move on.
"Parts of Jennifer's Body are likable. Fox and Seyfried seem to relish the excesses of their roles, and they throw everything into their scenes; Kusama is a talented director who can frame and edit a spooky scene particularly well. But all three are hamstrung by the pretensions of Diablo Cody's script. In trying to create a modern horror take on Mean Girls, in which the protagonists redefine their rivalries through physical instead of verbal viciousness, she has merely delivered an updated, dumbed-down rehash of Carrie."
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Of all the creatures in paranormal folklore, the succubus is one entity that doesn't really get a lot of attention in Hollywood. So, when "Jennifer's Body" came out, I went into it with a modicum of interest. The movie revolves around the possible ersatz lesbian friendship of two friends named "Needy" and Jennifer. "Needy" is kind of a geek; Jennifer is white trash who is sacrificed by an occult rock band and comes back as a succubus who likes nibbling on her male classmates. It's not scary. Much of the movie drags on with the character development before the action starts, the missing details later filled in after the fact at a point where no one really cares. Truth is, the film is mostly filler to obsess on Megan Fox and place her in gratuitous lesbian scenes with Amanda Seyfried. There's an obvious lack of adults in this movie; in fact, J. K. Simmons is practically wasted in his role as a teacher. What annoys me about this movie is the sheer number of stupid moments in this film. Why go into the creepy woods with the creepy girl? Why go into the creepy house at all? Why are there no police investigations into the murders? The whole teen angst thing in this movie is really dragged down by the horror plot and vice versa. It's really stylized where it doesn't have to be and it's really missing exposition where it really needs it. However, despite its flawed script and gaps in credibility, the film is kind of a guilty pleasure. We really don't see a lot of female horror antagonists and Megan's colored multi- layered way of talking comes off as innocuous. Plus, telling the story in flashback is a plot device that isn't used very often so what the movie lacks in substance it almost makes up for in delivery.
If it wasn't for the fact that this was written by Diablo Cody, writer
of the rather excellent Juno (2007), I would probably have passed. I'm
not a great fan of horror movies, unless they're very very good, and so
a teen horror flick is usually straight on the reject pile. But with
Diablo Cody penning the words, how bad could it be? Well I'll tell you
after a short summary (as usual, summary haters please omit the next
Jennifer Check and Needy Lesnicky have been friends since kindergarten and, although Jennifer is a cheerleader and Needy is a bit of a nerd, their friendship survived into high school. Needy has a steady boyfriend, Chip Dove, who is just an average teenager. Jennifer decides to take Needy to see a band she had seen on the internet called Low Shoulder. During the show a fire breaks out and several people are killed. Jennifer ends up going with the band in their van. Needy makes it home where she is met by Jennifer covered in blood. The next day Jennifer turns up at school behaving normal. This perplexes Needy and when, over the following weeks, several boys are found brutally murdered, she begins to put two and two together. Little does she know, Chip is becoming a target and time is running out.
Although the dialogue is just as snappy and cool as in Juno, this movie is sadly flawed. I just didn't buy into the characters and found it all a little bit too ludicrous. A very decent performance though from Amanda Seyfried as Needy and honourable mentions go to Megan Fox as Jennifer, Johnny Simmons as Chip and Adam Brody as Nikolai Wolf.
I must say there is a really good score to this movie, some great indie and rock tracks, however, a great score does not a great movie make. There were one or two good moments in the film, but again, as a whole it just didn't work for me. I guess if you're a die hard fan of Megan Fox, then by all means go and see it, there are plenty of scenes with her wearing very little. Otherwise, not recommended.
My score: 5.2/10
As I liked what I saw in the trailer and Megan Fox, I decided to watch
this movie and I ended up liking it. I can honestly say that some will
and won't find it disappointing. A geeky friend called Needy (Amanda
Seyfried) and hot cheerleader Jennifer (Megan Fox) are the best of
friends even though they both don't share the same interests with each
other. They have even less in common when Jennifer becomes possessed
and has a thirst for human blood after a mysterious fire at a bar one
night. When the males of the school fall under her charms and kills
them gruesomely, Needy must try and save the males and stop Jennifer
from killing before she kills Needy's boyfriend.
So Jennifer's Body may not be the type of movie to take a girl out on a date to see but it is quite good for a teen horror-slash-comedy movie. The story is mediocre which would be expected in this type of movie but the witty one-liners all the way through the movie make up for it. Character development was timed correctly in the movie and also the cinematic relationship between Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried was believable and great to watch as an on-screen duo. The acting was actually quite good and I thought the cast worked very well for the movie. I also liked the music from movie-band Low Shoulder.
I would say that the story is actually decent but I thought the ending almost spoilt the movie entirely as it was just ridiculous, you'll see what I mean if you see it. I would say to see this if you haven't already. Girls will like it because of the bitchiness and story and the guys will love it because uh Megan Fox!
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Jennifer's body. So much is said about this movie before it came out, see all the interviews in those magazines and see how much Fangoria spend on it. Much was said when it finally came out and it wasn't that good and of course a lot was said about the body of Megan Fox. First of all, you know it's going to be a major release so mostly they aren't that gory like the independent or those on a smaller label. So I didn't know what to see and what to suspect. But hey, as a real geek in the genre this particular movie surprised me. First of all, I've seen the 15 add on it so I knew before that nudity and gore were left out of it. Still, I enjoyed the extended version. The storyline is great and indeed it was made for the youngest between us. It's good for a starter in the genre. It never is indeed gory but the blood flows and the acting is great, both Amanda Seyfrield and Megan Fox did a great job. And I agree, their should have been some nudity in it, the so called nudity shown is well, no nudity, you indeed see the shape of Megan's breasts and some part is shown and indeed you see her coming out of the water but only her back. But you had to known before that she wouldn't show anything. And see, that's what I am talking about and what everybody is talking about. But let me say, the hype of Twilight was bigger and that's just a piece of crap, isn't it. And I agree, some things you can see it coming like the fact that Megan is going for the lover of Amanda. It is just a nice flick to watch with your friends or as a teaser for the kids to become a genre geek. They should have renamed it and everybody would be happy.
While women or womanhood have always played a prominent role in the
horror genre, their capacity disappointingly proves almost exclusively
some variation of victimhood or sexualisation. So, to see not only a
horror film written and directed by women, but also starring them as
both struggling protagonist and satanic adversary seemed as
progressively radical a change as any in terms of breathing fresh,
off-kilter life into the genre. And what proves particularly
frustrating about Jennifer's Body, the resulting concoction, is that it
demonstrates so many promising roots of being exactly that kind of
genius, offbeat horror comedy, but follows through on so few of them,
leaving a final product intact with much to appreciate but little to
genuinely sink one's teeth into.
"Hell is a teenage girl" is the film's opening offering, suggesting a thematic exploration of the struggles of young womanhood, crises of identity and motivation through conflicting influences from peers, parents and media. And to a minor extent the film does pursue such questions, but ultimately appears uneasy about delving into them in any degree of depth (and oddly enough it is the film's men who are given a more drastic bout of stereotype bending - sensitive, intelligent and compelling, rather than the usual collection of dumb, sex-obsessed jocks). In fact, such uneasiness permeates the film on the whole, indecisively wavering between sending up horror clichés or banking on them (making the film neither particularly funny nor scary), aiming for pseudo-profundity or trashy entertainment and tweaking mainstream narrative conventions and expectations or succumbing to them. It is as if lauded screenwriter Diabolo Cody and director Karyn Kusama initially aimed for a far edgier and funkier film initially (the sporadic Evil Dead references suggest gunning for a more irreverent tone than the one achieved) but were stopped in their tracks part of the way through the planning process, whether through self-doubt or studio interference. Regardless, it is unlikely that any parties involved and their conflicting attempts could have found the uncomfortable squirm of a result particularly satisfying, nor will the majority of prospective audiences.
That said, the film boasts enough bite to make it a worthwhile experience, overall wasted opportunity or not. Like in universally acclaimed prior work Juno, Cody's hip-lingo stuffed script offers a welcomely skewed take on the usual teen clichés (though those who found it to be too much in Juno will be similarly bemused with her offerings here), and there is fun to be had in many of the vindictive punchlines ("you're killing people!" "no, I'm killing boys"). The real shame is that such a sense of fun isn't carried over into the supernatural carnage on the whole: largely left off-screen or hampered by tedious CGI, Jennifer's demonic rampage feels altogether too tame and drawn out to evoke much of a sense of threat (which makes it somehow fitting when the town barely reacts to the strange slew of killings, yet still befuddling in terms of narrative continuity), making the film lag and feel somewhat devoid of a real purpose. The sporadic laughs and lively soundtrack pick up the slack somewhat, but as it stands, Kusama's film feels a murky soup of conflicting, underdeveloped ideas and aims.
It is refreshing to see Megan Fox in a role which requires more than her, in tight clothes, interacting with giant robots, and as Jennifer she demonstrates an unprecedented command for both comedic timing and enjoyable nastiness, even if her 'superficial bitch' routine feels a little too familiar to fully function as a standout performance. Amanda Seyfield breathes appealing innocence and charm into her straight laced 'frumpy friend' Needy, though she particularly excels as the film approaches its close and she is finally given more breathing room in terms of her character. Johnny Simmons feels a breath of fresh air as a boyfriend figure who balances charm and sensitivity with endearing daftness while still believable and likable. Adam Brody is a riot, sending up the 'indie rock band headliner' cliché with malicious joy, and J.K. Simmons similarly works comedic magic on a thankless 'exposition vehicle' teacher role, complete with a voice tuned to nasal perfection, a mop of curls and a hook for a hand.
Had the film been used as either a vehicle for gender exploration and stereotype bending, an outlet for trashy horror entertainment or out and out comedy, the film could easily have proved a noteworthy contemporary genre classic, but through instead pitching a muddled mix of somewhere yet nowhere in between, it offers only traces of promise. At best, Jennifer's Body only grumbles where it should howl in demonic glee - hardly a total waste, but lacking the guts to truly sink in.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Following a fire at a small town bar one night that claims a few lives,
pretty Jennifer Check (MEGAN FOX) accepts a ride with the cute boy band
that was playing at the bar, despite her best friend Needy's pleading
that the band members are up to no good, when Jennifer visits her
friend Needy later that night, Jen's a bloody mess, who has a seemingly
unquenchable hunger, appears very distant & can vomit up a lot of black
goo. Jennifer leaves Needy with no explanation as to what horrible
thing happened to her, but the next day Jennifer shows up in class
looking as sexy as ever & acting as though nothing happened & that's
when the terror really begins, when Needy finds out her friend now has
an unstatable taste for human flesh, which entails quiet a few brutal
grisly murders. As it turns out Jennifer was actually a victim of a
satanic ritual by the boy band, who used her body as an offering to
Satan in exchange for stardom beyond their wildest dreams. However as
in most horror films, their plan succeeds alright, but Jennifer has now
come back from the dead with an ability to morph into a saw toothed
demon, that uses her good looks & body, to lure her victims away to
their horrible fates. With the body count mounting & her boyfriend in
her former best friends eyes, as her next hot meal, Needy realizes she
may have to murder her best friend in order to save her boyfriend,
herself & the rest of the school. But can she, or will she too wind up
on Jennifer's menu? JENNIFER'S BODY wasn't to big of a hit upon it's
theatrical release, surprising, considering MEGAN FOX'S current
popularity as the new dream girl of Hollywood & the films offbeat
premise. I guess the fact that it wasn't a really bad, PG-13 remake of
a horror classic that stars some current snobbish WB actresses, that
killed off the chance of anyone getting behind it. Which is a shame
because JENNIFER'S BODY is actually pretty entertaining, a well acted &
directed horror/comedy that has plenty of good, juicy, gory bits, a
sexy female lead & some pretty humorous jabs at such things as small
town life/high school life/boy bands/goth subculture & so much more.
Unlike most horror/comedy's, JENNIFER'S BODY'S jokes fall preciously
into place & has a few sexy moments thanks to Megan Fox as the demonic
succubus. However those expecting to see Megan nude will be sorely
disappointed despite some cleavage shots & a few shots in the trailer,
she never once gets nude in the film. KATHERYN KUSAMA making up for the
horrible AEON FLUX does a better job at directing here & delivers a
fairly amusing & gory treat for horror fans. Highly recommended to
horror fans wanting a glimpse of what really good, smart horror items
used to be & not some overly gross, really bad, torture porn film we've
been subjected to lately.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Jennifer's Body is set in the small town of Devil's Kettle where a
nerdy & socially inept high school student named Anita 'Needy' Lesnicki
(Amanda Seyfried) has been best friends with the glamorous & popular
cheerleader Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) since childhood. Jennifer ask's
Needy to go to a local bar with her in order to see an indie band
called Low Shoulder, during the performance the bar catches fire &
several people are burned to death but both Jennifer & Needy manage to
make it outside safely where Low Shoulder singer Nikolai (Adam Brody)
offers to give Jennifer a lift in the band's van leaving Needy behind.
As news of the tragic fire spreads through Devil's Kettle the town
mourns, all that is except Jennifer who seems quite happy despite the
events of the previous night. Then over the next few days two dead
bodies are found, two bodies of male teens who were mutilated &
partially eaten. Needy discovers that Jennifer was to be offered as a
virgin sacrifice by Low Shoulder but since Jennifer wasn't a virgin the
ceremony went wrong & Jennifer is now possessed by a demon who needs to
eat human flesh...
Directed by Karyn Kusama this black horror comedy was written by Cody Diablo supposedly back in 2006 who had previously wrote the screenplay for Juno (2007) which won her an Oscar, some of the same teenage themes are present as are the quirky dialogue & dark humour which her fans might like but I have to say that I didn't really like Jennifer's Body that much without totally hating it. The central relationship is a hard one to accept, Needy & Jennifer seemingly have nothing in common & quite why they are best friends I don't know. The script also feels like a teen melodrama like Dawson's Creek (1998) at times with it's middle class teen cast, high school problems, peer pressure, social status & fitting in crossed with a teen targeted version of The Exorcist (1973) with it's story about demon possession. It just felt a little awkward to me & I didn't like the feel or tone of the film that much, it tries to be funny & quirky without ever trying to be laugh out loud hilarious yet also tries to be sinister & scary without really ever going full blooded. The script also gives a very modern & mildly amusing reason for the initial virgin sacrifice as the indie Low Shoulder want success but bemoan the lack of opportunity for small indie bands & decide to get a helping hand from Satan in their quest for fame & fortune like the guy from Maroon 5. Available in both the original theatrical version & a director's cut released on home video I saw the longer 107 minute director's cut so my comments are based on that version which is apparently five minutes longer & has around seventy alterations & changes which are mostly brief, this 107 version drags a little in places & takes a while to get going but has a reasonable pace even if I wasn't exactly glued to the screen it did just about keep my interest.
The look & sound of Jennifer's Body reeks of a low budget indie production, the soundtrack & it's constant use of indie songs in particular but also the somewhat quaint style in the way it's shot. The title Jennifer's Body apparently comes from the Courtney Love song of the same name. There's a brief & mild lesbian scene between Needy & Jennifer & Kusama direct's in a way to show off her star's sexuality, especially the ever awful Megan Fox who does look nice but offers little else in the role. There's a bit of gore, there's some blood splatter & Fox is seen eating from the inside of someone's ripped open stomach but generally Jennifer's Body isn't that graphic & certainly doesn't dwell or linger on the gore. The CGI computer effects are kept to a minimum & are well done.
With a supposed budget of about $16,000,000 this flopped at the US box office & didn't even make back the fairly modest amount spent on it. Filmed mainly in British Columbia in Canada. Jennifer's Body is actually the first Megan Fox film I have seen & it's easy to see why she is universally disliked. Amanda Seyfried puts in a better performance while genre legend Lance Henriksen has a small cameo right at the end.
Jennifer's Body wants to be lots of things, it wants to be a cool & quirky teen film, it wants to be a tense & scary horror film & a funny black comedy but never quite gets any aspect right & ends up leaving us wanting more. While not a total disaster I didn't really like Jennifer's Body that much, I can see why it did so badly at the box-office.
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