Jennifer's Body (2009)

Comedy, Horror
Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody, Johnny Simmons
A newly possessed cheerleader turns into a killer who specializes in offing her male classmates. Can her best friend put an end to the horror?
Jennifer's Body features occasionally clever dialogue but the horror/comic premise fails to be either funny or scary enough to satisfy.
  • 20th Century Fox Company:
  • R Rated:
  • IMDB link IMDB:
  • 18 Sep 2009 Released:
  • 29 Dec 2009 DVD Release:
  • $16.0M Box office:

All subtitles:



Trailer:

A worthy film not deserving of all the hate.7/10
It has been some time since I've written a review on this site, but I felt this movie and its current underwhelming performance at the box office warrants some good press. "Jennifer's Body" is a very entertaining film, and is sure to be one that many discover in its DVD release, which according to interviews, director Karyn Kusama has material she is anxious to release.

Make no mistake, JB isn't an Oscar contender, then again, it's not trying to be. It is attempting to throw the viewer into a world of heightened teenage brutality, and in that it succeeded. Diablo Cody, who seems to draw a love her/hate her reaction from audiences, writes a script that perhaps has one too many pop culture references or quirky word choices. But, that is Cody's world. Why say someone is good looking when you can say they're "salty?" It may not make a whole lot of sense, but Cody captures "teen speak" in her dialogue and it is a lot of fun to watch her characters say such unusual things with such ease and normalcy. Cody's writing is what separates this film from other "evil-teen" horror films. Also impressive is when Cody is able to create some genuinely sincere moments between the characters amid the violence and chaos occurring.

This film does not apologize for its odd premise nor does it try to compensate for it. JB plays it straight, recognizing the plot is entirely superficial. This premise doesn't hold the film back. The plot throws enough fun details in the mix that drive this film forward, making it a fantastic platform for the starts of the film, obviously the cast and Cody's writing.

About the cast: As Jennifer, Megan Fox is quite great! Not only does she have the looks to support her character, she creates a girl you love to hate. Jennifer is the ultimate high school goddess, but underneath the sexy exterior and projected confidence lies a tortured soul...physically personified by the demon within her. Fox is sexy when she needs to be, but wrecked when it calls for it. One short scene has possessed Jennifer, disgusted with herself, smearing makeup across her face in a very desperate fashion, desperate to hide her insecurities from the world. It is an impacting moment. Fox is another love/hate personality these days who draws just as much backlash as praise. Say what you want about her prior efforts, but Megan took charge of her character and was creative with her.

Amanda Seyfried stood against Fox well. Naturally, Fox is a force to be reckon with these days and Amanda, playing the gawky, nice girl who hides her beauty, holds her own. The girl can act, and also creates a very sympathetic and relatable character. She manages to create some very humorous moments while being natural. Her admiration for Jennifer is quite clear and Seyfried manages to capture it nicely, without making the character seem obsessive.

The guys in the cast, most who are present so Jennifer can have a meal, are each unique. Props to Kyle Gallner who disappears in his emo-goth role. I had only seen him in the bland "Haunting in Connecticut." Adam Brody, who plays the lead singer of the band that sacrifices Jennifer, had a lot of fun with his role. He creates a character that is so selfish and evil, but seems like a guy who would be fun to have drinks with...if you knew he didn't want to kill you.

Finally, Kusama's direction is swift and competent. She captures the film well not overusing horror techniques and keeping the look of the film fresh. The film's soundtrack is also offbeat and unusual for the genre, but is filled with some great music. The song sung by Brody's band, "Through the Trees," has a great rhythm and lyrics. It's the sort of song that if actually released would undoubtedly be a chart topper.

Is JB the best film you will see all year? No. Is it the worst as many have been claiming? Not by a long shot. JB is different. It's star has been the center of a media obsession. JB is taking the brunt end of this. Behind the harsh criticisms of reviewers who seem to be shifting their disappointment lies a very entertaining and well-made film, despite its subject matter being quite superficial. Forget what you've heard against it, forget what you were expecting. If you like horror, Cody's style, clever films, character films or any combination of the above go see Jennifer's Body. This film deserves a better box office. I for one would like to see more films like this made, and that will only happen if people go see them. Make it happen ya'll.
Am I the only one?3/10
Am I the only one that thinks Diablo Cody is a terrible writer? Though I did enjoy it, Juno was extremely overrated, and this piece of crap cements it for me. I hate Diablo Cody as a writer. Her contrivance and witty attempt at being hip and relevant just doesn't fly. I will give her credit for trying to look at dialog from left of center, but people don't talk like that....well except maybe Diablo Cody. But I didn't go to see a movie full of Diablo Cody's, I went to see a movie with moving characters you care for. If they die, I should care, which I didn't. and the "twist" ending made the Happening look like Citizen Cane, and I'm talking in this day and age where my future unborn children already know what rosebud is. It is still more of a reveal than this movie. It was a shame because there were same great actors in this movie and Megan Fox. Though I will give both Cody and Fox credit, because she actually fit the dialog well, but it doesn't make me hate it less. I found myself bored, and bored in a horror movie is unacceptable. I've seen some awful horror movies too, but never have I been this bored. I gave this movie 3 stars, one for Amanda Seifried, one for the (in my opinion) under appreciated Kyle Gallner, and one for the few interesting shots throughout the movie. Notice NONE for Diablo Cody!
It's a "horror" film, alright....1/10
"Jennifer's Body" is the kind of film that should remind us all that it takes a lot more to be clever, hip and interesting, then merely spouting a few modern slang terms and a sexy pout. They try to play up a campy teen angst kind of thing here, but it never rings true. It's more like pseudo-angst, thought up by a focus group of Hollywood suits, that tries to play to what they think teenagers would find "cool," only to fail miserably in the attempt.

The premise of this tale, is about how a teenage babe (played by Megan Fox) is sacrificed to Satan, by a loser indie band in the hopes they may be granted fame and fortune, only for her to become a flesh eating demon, because she wasn't a virgin when she was sacrificed. No, really, that is the basic plot outline here.

The film tries to come off as an edgier mix of "Mean Girls" and "Scream," but ends up as merely a putrid pile of trash, that is way too self-absorbed and into itself, and comes across as thinking it is way more clever and hip than it actually is. Most teenage horror-comedies are an extremely superficial affair, but this one is shallow at BEING shallow. There's nothing here beneath the surface at all. No insights, no meaning, no message. Heck, there's no real laughs or scares, either (unless you count the row of 18 year-old guys up in front of me, who giggled at the make out scene with Fox and Seyfried). Like some vapid teen pretty girl, the film never looks out of it's own self-induced tunnel vision, thinking itself way too smart and cool, and the film loses any chance to be relevant or entertaining. It's not just style over substance, but a self-deluded and half-formed idea of style over substance. Why have a coherent story and plot? Look, Megan Fox is swimming naked in a lake! Isn't that just so awesome?! It seems little thought was put into the script, direction, or anything else. It is merely a vehicle for Megan Fox to look ultra-sexy (in that slutty way she usually does). No one ever bothers to go beyond this, as everyone else is just some stereotype or cipher character, used for the demands of Fox's character, who looks like she has a totally vacant expression throughout the whole movie (the very same one you'll probably have, after you watch this crap). The only thing it goes to show, is that Fox is truly a horrible actress and is certainly not up to the task of headlining a film. It takes a lot more than a few cute slang terms being thrown around, and some pathetic attempt at controversy (with a little girl-on-girl make out moment), to make a worthwhile story. Honestly, the thing feels like it was written by a couple of 13 year-old boys, who got a look at their father's Playboy collection for the first time, and thought this would be a great idea for a film. It is just a blatant attempt to appeal to the "teeny-bopper" crowd, who love films like "Twlight" and the like, and has absolutely no regards to the intelligence of the target audience (or any other audience, in general).

This is, without a doubt, the worst movie I've seen all year. If this doesn't register on many a film critics and film fans "worst of" lists for 2009, I fear for the mental sanity of the industry. "Jennifer's Body" is honest as a title for this travesty of celluloid, though, as the only thing the film ever concerns itself with is how "hawt" the title character looks. Unless you are a hormone-raging teenage boy, with Megan Fox as your ultimate fantasy plaything, avoid this dreck at all costs! Heck, even if you are one, you should avoid it, as even hormone-raging teenage boys deserve to be marketed to better than this.
The Incompletion of Great Premise...6/10
When Jennifer's Body was first announced to me, I met the idea with cautious curiosity. The idea of Megan Fox playing an evil high school beauty queen who eats the boys she seduces sounded... interesting, to say the least. When the trailer finally emerged, I got excited. Seriously. The combination of thrilling and funny hadn't been explored well at the theater in a long time.

Unfortunately, it still hasn't been explored well; at least not very well. The movie understands what it's going for: a comic horror film with just enough gore and jumps to be jarring and plenty of witty dialogue to stay fresh. The problem is, the two don't seem to meld together very well at any point. It's hard to say whether this has more to do with Diablo Cody's script or Karyn Kusama's direction; neither is at it's full potential here. Although, on recollection of the film, the too-random use of humor sometimes seems to have been the biggest problem.

But let's talk about what works. The leads are both very good. It was Megan Fox who got lots of good buzz about proving she could actually act, but Amanda Seyfried really impressed me more with her edgy role. The performances of both are worthy of accolades. They bring honesty and realism to what could have become total caricatures, and their performances help paint the deeper themes of the movie quite well.

Yes, there are deeper themes. It's not too hard to spot what Ms. Cody is trying to talk about here: The relationships girls have with each other. The whole 'Frenemies' idea that so defines high school girls. It's an interesting concept to examine, and it could have made for a truly entertaining AND thoughtful film.

But it simply isn't. While it wants to get there, it gets too lost in trying to be hip and current and 'alternative' to really become a film. And while the tension builds decently toward the finale, it all leads up to a climax that... doesn't really climax.

However, this is not to say Jennifer's Body isn't worth watching. Hell, I was entertained, and there are some sexy little scenes in there. The disappointment lies in thinking about what the premise promised, a promise that sadly wasn't quite fulfilled... 6/10 stars

Jay Addison
There isn't anything wrong with a movie being fun8/10
Clearly this is a movie that polarizes opinion, but I'd urge anyone with a taste for black comedy to give Jennifer's Body a chance. Having finally seen it, I enjoyed myself so much that I was left a little mystified that so many people seem to hate it.

Let's be straight about this, Jennifer's Body isn't awards material, but neither is it trying to be. It's a deliberately cheesy and darkly comic movie that definitely harks back similar movies from the 80s. Some of the darkest parts of the movie had me stifling guilty giggles; that's good black comedy in my book.

I thought the performance from the two leads was solid and enjoyable. Megan Fox played up Jennifer's sexiness, but gave her a subtle undercurrent of insecurity which gave tension to the character. Amanda Seyfried's Needy might not have been the cheerleader but was really the more settled and self-assured of the two characters.

Friendships held since childhood can become somewhat ambiguous as people age. This movie captured that well. To me the kiss between Jennifer and Needy really showed the low-key battle that was constantly raging between them, one they weren't consciously aware of most of the time.

Funniest scene for me involved some extremely shallow hipsters involved in some very dark dealings. Deliciously silly.

So, in conclusion, give this movie a try. There's a strong chance that you'll have a very good time.