Jennifer’s Body

By Thom

magic_hands and I went to see the new Diablo Cody movie on Monday. Most people know Diablo Cody from Juno and this movie is a lot like her first except for the fact that Jason Reitman is a better director than Karyn Kusama, nobody’s pregnant in Jennifer’s Body, and there are more gory death scenes. We do still get a smart and quirky female protagonist, her cute but somewhat clueless boyfriend, small town folk waxing poetic about the City, and J.K Simmons. It will be interesting to see if this becomes a pattern. If they make a film version of Candy Girl and J.K. Simmons isn’t in it, I have to admit that I will be a little disappointed.

Megan Fox is the one on the movie poster, but this is really Amanda Seyfried’s movie. Fox plays the popular Jennifer of the title, Seyfried plays Anita “Needy” Lesnicki, and both of them have been Best Friends Forever since childhood. Jennifer drags Needy to a seedy club in their small town where Low Shoulder, a band from the City, is going to play. Needy wants to leave when she hears the band discussing the likelihood of Jennifer being a virgin, a fire starts at the club that burns the place to the ground, and the band takes off with Jennifer in their van. When Jennifer finally shows up again at Needy’s place, she’s a little different.

From then on it’s your standard virgin sacrifice becomes demon-possessed corpse who must feed on the flesh of the living and only her best friend suspects the truth movie. Boys start dying around town, Low Shoulder becomes nationally known and get a hit song out of the tragedy, and Needy tries to figure out a way to destroy a demonic BFF before the above-mentioned cute yet clueless boyfriend becomes the next one to die.

It’s equal parts comedy and horror. If you liked the snappy dialog in Juno, you will like this. If you like gruesome murders and lone person against unstoppable evil plot lines, you will like this. If you appreciate a good Wikipedia joke, you’ll like this. Fox does a fine job of playing a snarky selfish bitch. Seyfried steals the movie as the quiet and quirky girl who becomes a ruthless slayer o’ evil. We also get great character actors like J.K Simmons, Amy Sedaris and Cynthia Stevenson (Dead Like Me).

It’s not a perfect movie. Some of the rules change (it’s very important that Low Shoulder find a virgin to sacrifice so they can make a deal with Satan for fame, except the virgin part turns out to not really matter) and Karyn Kusama is a bit too fond of the slow motion shot, but it does do a very good job of mixing comedy and horror. That’s not the easiest mix to pull off, but it makes a great story when it is done right.

Jennifer’s Body does it right.