Plot – A newly possessed high school cheerleader turns into a succubus who specialises in killing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror? Jennifer’s Body
Director – Karyn Kusama
Released – 2009
If you liked – Carrie, Evil Dead, The Hunt
This isn’t a perfect movie, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton to admire about Jennifer’s Body. First of all, the plot turns out to be a lot more complex than you expect from a teen horror-comedy and lacks many of the clichés you’d expect this movie to contain. A lot of this is because of the excellent writing. Sure, the dialogue is over the top, but realism isn’t what Diablo Cody was going for when she wrote the film and some of her lines are simply delicious, just like her previous work on the equally excellent Juno.
At heart, Jennifer’s Body is body horror, yet as horror goes, this isn’t a scary film, yet it uses these elements excellently. The easily predictable jump scares feel more like playful gimmicks that add to the comic book tone Kusama was going for, while the brutal blood and gore were deeply satisfying and further added to the cheesy B-Movie feel of the production that wouldn’t have felt out of place in the 60s, during the golden age of science-fiction (minus the LGBT themes and gender politics that is).
Megan Fox proves to be more than just the pretty face Michael Bay turned her into for the Transformers movies. Here she gives a wonderfully nuanced performance as the tragic antagonist Jennifer. Whereas Amanda Seyfried’s charm as Needy shines through and although you need to suspend your disbelief that anyone would see her as the nerdy/ugly friend, the chemistry that the two shared was perfect. I should also give credit to Johnny Simmons, who plays the luckless boyfriend perfectly, and Adam Brody clearly has a skill at playing men who seem friendly but turn out to be wicked, just like in Ready or Not and Promising Young Woman.
Overall, Jennifer’s Body pulls off most of what Kusama was hoping to accomplish and would recommend everyone watch at least one, to see what Fox is capable of if given material that doesn’t treat her as a piece of eye candy for the male gaze.