Cannibals Made Quirky

Jennifer’s Body is a fun movie experience that somehow still manages to leave the audience unsatisfied. The film serves up an array of quirky dialogue that is surprisingly funny and refreshing. There are also a few effective horror sequences towards the end that clearly reference other horror films. However, the movie cannot live up to audience expectations and does not ultimately deliver a great horror movie or a good comedy, unlike the classic films it references.

Jennifer’s Body is set in a small, generally uninteresting town called “Devil’s Kettle.” Jennifer (Megan Fox) is a gorgeous and manipulative cheerleader at the local high school. Her peculiar choice for a best friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), is the opposite of Jennifer in looks, personality and general popularity. When the friends go out to a bar one night to see Jennifer’s favorite band, a disaster takes place and the bar is burnt down. The girls and the band get out alive and the band’s creepy lead singer (Adam Brody) decides to take Jennifer with them to calm her nerves. After that night, Jennifer seems different; she is more beautiful than ever, and almost seems as if she is immortal. As time passes, some of the male students from the high school go missing.

When some of the bodies are found half-eaten, Needy decides to get to the bottom of the mystery.

Megan Fox plays the dim-witted, self-centered high school cheerleader very well, and shows more range than in her previous films. Amanda Seyfried is shockingly convincing as the prude nerd, and her transformation works well throughout the film and is the backbone of the story. Johnny Simmons, who plays Needy’s boyfriend, Chip, comes off as annoying and pointless but somehow garners a great deal of screen time. The primary problem with the characters is the lack of exposition surrounding their relationships.

The audience is never told why Needy and Jennifer are such good friends despite their obvious differences, making it difficult to believe that the friendship is real.

The script is a paradox in this film. Although the dialogue is what makes this film refreshing and fun, it is also its downfall. Screenwriter Diablo Cody (Juno) has a unique ear for dialogue that might work in a quaint indie film like Juno, but feels awkward in Jennifer’s Body. Much of the dialogue seems forced and too quirky for the characters. While some audience members might not like the slang terms or humor, true Diablo Cody fans won’t be disappointed as every character has its dose of Cody-isms.

Another problem with the film is the direction. Director Karyn Kusama (Girlfight) seems to have trouble ending and beginning scenes, and this provides many awkward moments. There are times when the soundtrack for the next scene starts playing while characters are speaking, which kills any suspense that might have been built up, and distracts the audience. However, the film is photographed beautifully.

Unfortunately, Jennifer’s Body leaves more to be desired based on what is promised.

Nevertheless, it is still a fun film to watch with friends and have a few laughs at the moments that do work. Additionally, there is a more than satisfying add-on scene during the credits, which is both funny and scary. If only the film didn’t wait until the credits to finally get it right, it would be worth price of admission. As it stands, Jennifer’s Body should probably be watched at home, where the price of the movie ticket is not a concern.