tek's rating: ½

Jennifer's Body (R / unrated)
Dread Central (Blu-ray/DVD); Fox Digital HD; IMDb; Kindertrauma; Rotten Tomatoes; TV Tropes; Wikipedia

Caution: potential spoilers.

This came out in 2009, but I didn't see it until 2014. The DVD had a theatrical version, which I watched, and an unrated version, which I didn't. I wanted to see this movie mainly because it was written by Diablo Cody, who previously wrote Juno, which I liked a lot. As it turns out, I didn't like this one nearly as much, but it was okay. I don't really think it's possible to predict what you'll think of this movie based on what you thought of Juno. It's got some of the same style of writing, so if you liked that in Juno, you'll probably like it in this and if you hated it in Juno, you'll probably hate it in this. Personally I loved it in Juno, but I thought it was a lot less noticeable in this movie, and what I did notice of it, I liked less than I did in Juno. Others might find it more noticeable here; I'm not sure why, maybe it just doesn't fit as well in a movie of this genre. In any event, the movie isn't all that scary, and I didn't find it all that funny, either, but it wasn't unfunny. And at least I thought the characters were reasonably well written and acted, and some of the plot points were reasonably clever. Now, the other reason to see the movie is that the two main characters are hot. (There are parts of the movie that I'd call almost soft-core porn.) Jennifer is played by Megan Fox, and Amanda Seyfried plays her "plain" best friend, Anita, aka "Needy." (I'm guessing this is the first and last time you'll see any of Seyfried's characters called "plain.") There are some other good actors in the film, including J.K. Simmons and Adam Brody.

Anyway... it begins with a very brief scene of Needy creepily standing outside Jennifer's bedroom window, looking in while Jennifer is in bed. Then we flash forward to Needy as a prisoner (whether it's in jail or a mental institution, I'm not sure, but I assume the latter). And Needy narrates the film, which then flashes back to when everything was normal for both girls. They were in high school, and they'd been BFFs since early childhood. Jennifer is the hot, popular girl, and Needy... isn't. But she's got a nice boyfriend named Chip. One night, Jennifer and Needy go to a local bar in their small town, where a band Jennifer likes called Low Shoulder is playing. (Brody plays the lead singer.) The singer is interested in Jennifer, but Needy overhears the guys saying some sketchy things, so she doesn't want Jennifer to get involved. Then there's a fire, the bar burns down, and a number of people die. Jennifer and Needy both get out, but Jennifer decides to go with the band in their van, over Needy's protests. So Needy goes home, and later that night Jennifer shows up, looking like a murder victim, but acting like a demon. Which of course freaks Needy out. But the next day at school, Jennifer seems fine. Except that she's a total bitch, now.

Throughout the rest of the movie, Jennifer kills (and eats) some boys. And Needy, who has always had a vaguely psychic connection to Jennifer, begins to realize her friend is behind the deaths. Eventually, Jennifer explains everything to her. I don't really want to say anything about the explanation, except that there's a flashback which is one of the film's high points. Nor do I want to say anything about how the movie ends. Anyway, it's not a bad movie (despite what some critics might say), but it's not great, either. It did sort of grow on me as the story progressed, but I don't think I'd ever feel like watching it again. It was definitely worth watching once, though.


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