Wednesday Night Horror Review – Jennifer’s Body

I know it’s Saturday, not Wednesday. But seeing as how Wednesday was my birthday, I figured I deserved a couple days of slack after turning 25.  (I will blog about that later, with pictures of my birthday cake. It was very creatively designed by my mom and sister-in-law, Kristen. With a huge quarter and four candles, and only one lit, to signify the first quarter of my life. Inventive, no?)

So on to….

Jennifer’s Body

jennifers_body_ver2

Written by Diablo Cody, of “Juno” fame, the cast includes Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody and Johnny Simmons, among others. I was readily amused by the appearance of J. K. Simmons in make-up and wig. (Also without a left hand. It was funny.)

First, I’ve read a lot of tweets and Facebook/Myspace updates about the film. For the most part, people didn’t really enjoy the experience.

I have to respectfully disagree. If you went to the theater expecting an actually scary film, then you may have overestimated the trailers.

For those who scare easily at the “jumpy” kind of scenes, you probably will end up a little scared. But if you required a deeper, more intense atmospheric moment to scare you, then you’ll find this movie is heavily more comedy than any other genre.

I sit comfortably in the latter group. I also had no idea the film was written by the same person behind Juno, otherwise I really would’ve expected a straight-ahead comedy. Based entirely on the trailers, I was expecting it to be a B-film, filled with droll, straight faced comedy and one-liners rather than an actual horror film. The “horror” aspect was merely a frame for the amazing pop dialogue and jokes.

So, let’s start with

What I Liked

Most of all, I enjoyed the pop dialogue. As someone who’s been out of the pubescent world for seven years, I find the new slang to be highly amusing. Megan Fox carried most of the interesting “pop” dialogue, using such colloquials as “lime green jello” instead of “jealous.” And others that I can’t really remember. (Never mind. Should’ve written the review when all the dialogue was still fresh in my mind. Next time I’ll remember to bring my journal!)

I personally had a hard time getting into the “scary” moments because I was too busy listening for more interesting dialogue.  I admit, I find dialogue most intriguing. I’m a people watcher and hearing the various ways of saying the same thing have always raised a strong curiosity and interest in me.

However, there were a few good tense scenes. Quickly in the film, when Jennifer first reappears, there’s a repulsive, bloody, smiling Megan Fox who lets her psychopathy shine through. (If there’s ever a Hollywood actress I could believe would snap and murder people, I’d have to say Megan Fox is among the top ten.)

Near the end, Jennifer performs an act, that while not amazing, was certainly unexpected. The surprise in the moment is quickly lost in a one-liner, but I hung on to my surprise and joy as long as I could. (About 30 seconds.)

There’s also a rather shockingly passionate and straight-forward make-out scene between the two main characters. (Yes, the girls.) I was surprised to not hear more hooting and hollering in the theater. (Probably because most of the males in attendance were in the company of women. Couldn’t get caught hollering at a full on girl-girl make-out scene, could they?) If Megan Fox or Amanda Seyfried came out of the closet any time soon, I would not be completely shocked. They pulled off the sexual tension like they had an Ace in the hole.

What I Didn’t Like

There’s nothing, absolutely nothing, I hate more than when a beautiful opportunity is presented by the story to the author. A gift of love and creation, passed on by a benevolent Muse…. and the author refuses, for whatever stubborn reason, and turns it away.

I don’t want to give it all away, now, but there’s mention made of a scientifically interesting waterfall in the area, after which the town is named. At the bottom of the waterfall is a hole that the investigating scientists have been unable to determine where it ends… So where does the water go?

During Jennifer’s murder scene, they place the whole event near the waterfall. One of the villains stares down into the hole, as though contemplating using it. Near the end, we find out just where the water goes and it kind of ties into the plot of the film.

Yet, I can’t help but cringe. Ultimately, the possession of Jennifer’s Body is explained away by a Satanic ritual gone wrong, where the sacrifice’s body is possessed by a demon because it was unpure. (Cliche, no?)

When this is revealed, I wanted to scream at the screen.

The hole presented itself as a perfect excuse. I mean, what else lives in the dark depths of a hole that never ends? I would say demons. Could Jennifer’s body have been tossed down the hole, where it resurfaced, possessed? Forget the screwed up Satanic ritual. This was an interesting and original way of presenting the demonic possession…

Worst of all, the opportunity was gifted upon Cody. But did she recognize it for the gift it was? Apparently not. I can’t offer any theorizes as to why she decided to stick with “screwed up Satanic ritual” except that she may have been too busy coming up with interesting pop dialogue to worry a whole lot about plot.

As for another issue, in the beginning, the people who kidnap Jennifer for the ritual are an indie band, desperate to sign a contract, reaching fame and fortune. Jennifer seems to be entranced by their music and is “zombified” into following along with them docilely to her death.

Yet, I can’t help but be irked by the lack of explanation here.  One, their intended victim was unknown to them. Sure, they obviously have immersed themselves in the occult in order to attain their celebrity, but there is no way they could have woven a musical spell around Jennifer, since they had NO idea which small town girl they were going to ritualize! If all or most of the girls in the bar at their gig had been mesmerized, I could let this slide, but only Jennifer showed any ill effects after listening to their music. So, just how did they manage to hypnotize Jennifer, and her alone, when they had no idea what girl they were going to use?

I despise glaring plot holes. They do occur, I must concede this, but as an author, I can’t help but feel it is our duty to work harder to get rid of the obvious ones. I personally find this, and the above dark hole in the earth, to be glaring plot errors that could have been easily resolved with a few words and adjustments.

As creative beings, we must strive to be better.

The ending itself wasn’t entirely bad. I rather enjoyed watching Seyfried’s transformation and revenge. Though, there is the final reveal of just where the water goes, and what resurfaces at the end. Really, these details were irrelevant. Her revenge could have been carried out without it and would have been better for it.

Overall, if you like a decent B-film that can make you laugh, maybe shiver, and definitely creep you out in a few scenes, go ahead and rent Jennifer’s Body when it’s released on DVD. (Unless you can score a great deal on movie tickets, and you like girl-on-girl make-out scenes, then you might as well see it on the big screen… That’s probably going to be the biggest thrill you get out of the whole movie.)

But to end on a good note, I am incredibly jealous of the dress Jennifer was going to wear to the dance. Check it out.

megan-fox-jennifers-body

I love the way the red makes the black band and white really “pop.”

Oh, wait the red isn’t part of it? Hmm… Guess I’ll have to pre-bloodstain my dress at my next big formal event.

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One response to “Wednesday Night Horror Review – Jennifer’s Body

  1. An enjoyable teen horror with terrific performances and a nice line in jet-black humor thanks to Diablo Cody’s excellent script. Nice Review, check out mine when you get a chance!

    Like

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