Jennifer’s Body (2009)

Jennifer’s Body was pretty heavily slated on its release, and I can see why. It seems undecided about what genre it wants to be. It has elements of horror, teenage angst, romance, and revenge, but it switches from one to the next without really covering any of them properly. A lot of the plot goes unexplained and important parts, such as Jennifer’s transformation from high school evil to actual evil do not seem to have been thought through properly. However, considering the current film obsessions with most things demonic, not to mention Megan Fox,  i’m still surprised it wasn’t received better.

The film is based in a town called ‘Devil’s Kettle’ and revolves around the friendship between two teenage girls, Jennifer (Megan Fox) and Needy ( Amanda Seyfried). As her name suggests, Needy dotes on Jennifer and clings to every offering of friendship she doles out. The two are polar opposites, with Jennifer being the school’s most desired female and Needy being her uncool sidekick. The friendship takes a severe beating when after a virgin sacrifice gone wrong, Jennifer transforms into an evil demon with an appetite for human flesh.

The main problem with the movie is that too many things go unexplained. Jennifer turns into a demon but it is never really explained what type of demon she is. It’s clear that she is evil, but it’s not clear what happened to make her evil. All we are told is that an occult sacrifice has gone wrong. Flashbacks take us to a gruesome knife attack on Jennifer, which apparently kills her. Then the transformation happens. We do not see the transformation take place and no proper explanation is given, so the viewer is just left confused.

The soundtrack is the best thing about the movie. It is very retro cool and actually has the effect of keeping you engaged with the film. All the songs are well timed, and match the action that they are being played though. Without them, I probably wouldn’t have been able to watch the film to the end.

Amanda Seyfried is good at playing the long suffering friend ‘Needy’, but her transition from uncool friend to mentally unstable is not that convincing. Megan Fox is pouty as usual playing Jennifer and it’s easy to understand why every guy in the school wants to date her. It’s less easy to understand the random lesbian scene between Jennifer and Needy, which seems completely unnecessary. Needy does not appear to be attracted to women and actually has a serious boyfriend who she is obviously in love with. The lesbian kiss seems to be nothing more than a cheap stunt by the filmmakers to get more men to see the movie.

To conclude, Jennifer’s Body is poorly planned and disappointing. It is quite a cool and hip concept but not enough attention was paid to the dialogue or plot. As a result, it leaves the viewer feeling unsatisfied and unconvinced. I’d pay good money for the soundtrack, but not for the movie.

rating: 4

Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody

Dir: Karyn Kusama

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