High School

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

jennifers body

Jennifer’s Body is a dark horror comedy narrated by and starring Amanda Seyfried (Mean Girls, Mamma Mia!) as Needy. When we first meet Needy she is locked in a high security mental institution and is clearly several sandwiches short of a picnic but on hearing how she landed in there her attitude is a lot easier to understand.

In the small US town of Devil’s Kettle (named after a waterfall with no bottom) Needy is a quiet nerdy teenage girl. Needy’s best friend is Jennifer, played by Megan Fox (Transformers) and she is the complete opposite, popular, outgoing and a cheerleader. It is very hard to see why the two are friends as they have very little in common and frankly Jennifer is a bitch, this sentiment is shared by Needy’s boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons, The Perks of being a Wallflower) but being a bit wet himself he puts up with it.

Things start to go wrong for the girls when they go to see Low Shoulder play, a “city” indie band trying to make it big. A horrific fire breaks out in the bar killing several townspeople (there appears to be no fire safety measures like fire exits, alarms or extinguishers). The girls manage to escape unharmed but Jennifer leaves with the band who sacrifice her to the devil in order to get fame and fortune. Whilst the ritual goes as expected there is an unforeseen circumstance, because Jennifer was not a virgin she does not die but rather becomes a succubus, a woman who needs to consume human flesh to survive.

The characters in Jennifer’s Body are pretty one dimensional and mostly unlikeable, you don’t find yourself rooting either for or against Jennifer. The difference between Jennifer before and after her transformation isn’t obvious so it is easy to see how nobody but her best friend has noticed. What is less unclear is how she wasn’t caught after the first dead body turned up, surely there were enough DNA/finger prints/teeth impressions to point to her but nobody except Needy even suspects her.

Jennifer’s Body is a pretty entertaining film to watch, especially if you don’t want anything too taxing. The supernatural storyline sets it apart from the usual teen horror film which is inevitably a serial killer (e.g. Scream) but I feel director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) could have taken it up another level, especially with such a star-studded cast. A lot of the scenes have a really strong visual look, especially the finale in a derelict swimming pool but makes little sense (why is the pool still full of water and not properly decommissioned? How long has it been there is there are now plants growing in the pool?)

Rating: 3/5

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Fun Fact: If you do watch Jennifer’s Body don’t forget to watch the credits to see what happens to Low Shoulder after their foray into the occult…

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