It’s not hard to tell what demographic Jennifer’s Body is aimed at. It looks down the scope, takes the shot, and hits its 14- to 17-year-old target square between the eyes. This is a horror movie for high school kids, and as long as you can accept that, you won’t be totally affronted by some of the uncomfortably forced dialogue coming at you from Megan Fox. In the end, you may feel like it was just a typical teen drama with a twist of horror, but if you can transport yourself back to those most awkward four years of your life, you’ll be able to more fully appreciate just what this movie is.
If you’re like most guys over the age of 23, you likely said one of two things when you saw the trailer for the latest Diablo Cody opus, Jennifer’s Body: “Dude, Megan Fox is so hot, we gotta go see this, brah!” or “Holy shit, what a waste of time.” Unfortunately for both archetypes, being unable to shut off either mentality will prevent you from really getting exactly what this movie is, a horror movie aimed solely at awkward teenagers dealing with sexuality and friendships the best way they know how. It may be hard to appreciate that if you’re not going through it yourself, but if you can dig through those repressed memories you’ve got buried deep down in that brain of yours, you’ll be able to have a lot of fun with it.
The friendship of Needy (Amanda Seyfriend) and Jennifer (Megan Fox) runs deep. So deep in fact that their friendship transcends their high school status, Needy being the dorky bookworm and Jennifer being the most popular girl in Devil’s Kettle. It’s sandbox love, and nothing can take that away from them. Well, nothing except a bloodthirsty demon using Jennifer’s body to sate its hunger for human flesh. Jennifer has been killing boy after boy in order to keep up her strength, but when she sets her sights on Needy’s boyfriend, Chip, all bets are off and Needy stops playing Mrs. Nice Nerd.
Jennifer’s Body exploits possibly the scariest being walking the planet today; the popular 17-year-old girl. Frightening enough just when she’s prowling her natural habitat, Jennifer’s Body gives the popular girl some fangs and a real mean streak toward the opposite sex. If you’re able to picture that situation in real life even for a moment, it makes her infinitely more terrifying. Who wouldn’t be reeled in by the prospect of a hand job in the woods? That sort of power should never be wielded by someone so willing to abuse it.
The script is Diablo Cody as hell. After the wild popularity of Juno gave her not only a huge star on the Hollywood map but also a shiny golden statue, it makes sense that she’d take that same style and apply it in heaping layers to the movie’s title character. Like the movie as a whole, if you’re not able to unhinge yourself from the depressing reality of your life then the dialogue will be lost on you, but if you can forget for a minute than you spend 40 hours a week sitting in a cubicle and remember for two measly hours that you used to be a kid, too, you’ll wish you were half as clever as Jennifer, or Diablo.
The look and feel of Jennifer’s Body is nearly perfect. It’s not so over-the-top dark that you feel like you’re watching a Kubrick film, but it still achieves that creepy feel while maintaining enough high school sensibility to keep the film grounded in some sort of twisted reality. There are some scenes in this film where director Karyn Kusama abandons all the Diablo Cody charm and just allows Jennifer’s Body to be genuinely scary, and it works very well every time. It’s nothing that will have you looking for a change of underwear, but if you’re looking for a healthy dose of blood with a side order of the creeps, you’re definitely going to get it.
Not surprisingly, Megan Fox shines as a douchebag jock princess, mostly because that’s probably who she is in real life. Diablo Cody's dialogue suits her very well and it’s easy to let yourself believe she’d eat the flesh off of any living creature to sustain her life. Amanda Seyfried as always brings those doe eyes that can do no wrong, and even the relative newcomer Johnny Simmons as Chip showed up to the party and left us with a memorable performance.
Saying Jennifer’s Body is a great movie is a vast over-statement, but it’s undeniably fun, and you can’t blame it for that. Will this movie be liked by everyone? Absolutely not. But will the MTV generation eat it up? Most definitely.
I’m a firm believer that a gag reel can sell a movie. Just look at all those Jackie Chan movies. You can’t deny that your anticipation is at its peak just before the credits start to roll. Unfortunately for the Jennifer’s Body disk, the gag reel just isn’t all that gaggy, and after about two minutes just becomes a music video cut to clips from the movie. It’s disappointing.
On the bright side, however, there’s a huge amount of behind-the-scenes footage involving the movie’s big “dead pool” scene. Not only is there a 15-minute piece dedicated just to the making of that one scene, obviously the most involved scene in the film, but there’s also several “video diaries” shot by the actors during that three-day shoot as well. You’ll leave this Blu-ray with a vast knowledge of how to shoot a fight sequence in a scummy pool. It’s up to you to do something interesting with that knowledge.
The commentary on the theatrical cut is just alright. Diablo Cody and Karyn Kusama spend two hours patting each other on the back and telling each other which scenes they liked. Not that this is much different than most commentaries, but if you’re looking for any deep understanding of the film, don’t bother.
Finally, the most self-indulgent special feature you could ever hope to find appears on this disk, and it's called “Megan Fox Is Hot.” I shit you not, it’s really called that, and it’s just about 45 seconds of shots of Megan Fox looking…well…hot. I couldn’t help but laugh at the ridiculousness of it. So bravo to the great minds at Fox for that one.
For those of you looking for something to test your philosophical muscles, Jennifer’s Body is not the film for you. But if you want a couple of hot girls spraying blood everywhere and dropping some occasionally clever one-liners, go grab this Blu-ray and have some fun with it.