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Jennifers Body
Genre Horror
Year: 2009
 
Review:

Every now and then a movie comes along that blows our minds... well, Jennifer's Body is not that movie. It blows alright... but not in a good way. The creators of Juno must have been high on Oscar fever (or cocaine) when they decided to make Jennifer's Body. Imagine the setting in the creator's board room or hot tub...

Jim: Right girls, it's all True Blood and Twilight right now, so let's do a horror. Let's star Hollywood's new Angelina, Megan Fox, fresh off the Transformers runway...
Sally: And what about exploiting Amanda Seyfried, that cute spring chicken from Mamma Mia!?
Mel: Yes, she'll do and I think we should recruit Karyn Kusama, who directed that Aeon Flux movie with Charlize Theron - she's got the right sort of experience we're looking for.
Summer: While we're at it... let's give Diablo Cody the script in exchange for the odd "cheese and fries" or "freaktarded" Juno comment. 

While they were all patting themselves on the backs for a movie well done, they failed to realise that the movie had already been made, cheaper, grittier and better. It's called Ginger Snaps.

Sally: No worries, let's just flip it on its head, and bankroll it on the back of True Blood, we'll even use the same poster. 
Jim: Yeah, it's a sure money-spinner. Megan Fox is hot right now, guaranteed to draw the crowds... plus there's a wicked girl-on-girl kiss to top Sarah Michelle Gellar's on Cruel Intentions!

Shut up, Jim!

While Megan Fox would make a fine Baywatch babe, she's no Meryl Streep... on that note Meryl Streep should not be caught dead on Baywatch. Will she have to get ugly or old before we recognise her acting ability... probably. The film should have been called Megan's Body... why hide the fact that you're relying on a celebrity's sex appeal to sell a movie?

Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh, but the film feels like a magical mystery tour of Diablo Cody's head with one foot in Donnie Darko and the other in Ginger Snaps (she used to be a stripper). The end result is a manufactured horror thriller with a loose coming-of-age predator plot, a femme fatale wannabe and an extraordinary amount of crucifixes.

Needy (Seyfried) is bestest friends in the whole world wide web with Jennifer, who is Ms Popularity. When Jennifer is mistaken for a virgin, after the Mandy Lane, *cough* Melody Lane bar burns down during a performance by a Maroon 5 type band... she becomes increasingly bloodthirsty... ravishing and then ravaging helpless schoolboys.

The dark, brooding atmosphere of death and destruction is reminiscent of Donnie Darko, the plot parallels Ginger Snaps (except it's "lesbian" friends, instead of sisters and a demonic vampire, instead of a werewolf), the femme fatale allure of Decoys is there and a carbon copy of Drew Barrymore's character from Never Been Kissed is thrown in to swell the pot.

Is it a comedy or is it a horror? The question remains unanswered as Megan Fox goes through the devastation of Jawbreaker mood swings ranging from: drop dead gorgeous to bad hair days. Jennifer's Body is put to shame when contrasted with the likes of Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell, which was bloody scary, hellishly funny and full of surprises. Jennifer's Body tries to use sexuality as its primary (more like only) connection with the audience, trading peeks at twin peaks in exchange for our attention.

The film never fails to entertain (unless you've seen Ginger Snaps), but it's always super superficial and skims along at a merry pace, with titillating themes and average CGI, providing the odd bit of vampire gore. All in all, it's a half-baked horror show for tweens that borrows from other films, feeds into the mystery with a delayed yet inevitable narrative device and fails to measure up to its influences.

The performances are as good as you get from the likes of Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfried, and if the highlight of the film is rooted in a kiss - then you've got to ask yourself, why? It's an unnecessary star vehicle for Fox, whose body could've been listed as the title character... oh, wait it was. The film-makers probably chose the title as a warning to parents with impressionable teens, but also as a warning to prospective viewers... like a "That's All Folks!" from Porky Pig.

It all boils down to your libido. If you can't stay away from Megan Fox's body... then I guess you better go and see it. However, if you'd like to see a solid horror/thriller in the same high school environment with better performances, freakier horror and an engaging narrative, then you must try and find Ginger Snaps. I know the whole werewolf versus vampire thing has almost been played to death with Skinwalkers and Underworld, but if I were an unsuspecting victim, I'd rather be eaten alive by Ginger Snaps than Jennifer's Body... less predictable, far more entertainment value. 

The bottom line: Toothless.

 

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