The first thing you should know about Jennifer's Body is that this movie is not terrifying. Yes, there's a bit of gore and a few cringe-worthy moments (like when Jennifer smiles through a mouthful of blood), but the scariest parts are given away in the trailer. It's more of a high school comedy than a slasher flick, and you can see the transitions from funny to freaky coming a mile away.
The second thing you should know is that this movie is not Juno. Though the two films penned by Diablo Cody fall into different genres, I was still hoping for some of the same magic from her award-winning little movie. Instead, certain elements — like the invented teenage slang — didn't bother me in Juno but really annoyed me in Jennifer's Body.
The movie's not all bad though, so to read more of my thoughts, just read more.
Cody sets the scene in Devil's Kettle, a small town that rarely sees a scandal worthy of its name. As Jennifer, Megan Fox is that girl we all knew in high school — gorgeous, but not unrealistic. Bitchy, but not made of stone. Like Mean Girls' Regina George, every girl wants to be friends with Jennifer, though her nerdy BFF Needy (Amanda Seyfried) gets most of her attention. Jennifer and her cropped hoodies are the object of desire of most of the guys at school, and even Needy is kinda obsessed with her in a sexual way.
When a night out goes horribly wrong, Needy loses track of Jennifer and when they reunite, nothing is the same. Needy quickly learns that Jennifer has been possessed, but her boyfriend and the rest of the community are too distracted by a local tragedy to hear Needy's story. She's constantly struggling to make sense of Jennifer's newly evil ways, though at the same time she's still mesmerized by Jennifer's charms just like everyone else.
Though Cody gets certain aspects of high school down cold, there are other parts that drove me crazy. The movie has some very funny moments, and I found myself laughing along with the audience a lot more than I had expected. The bad news is that a lot of the humor just feels so forced. We get it: Megan Fox is hot and it's funny to exploit her sex appeal. Does that mean it should be shoved down our throats? Some things are better left unsaid.
The central focus of the movie is Megan/Jennifer and her body (speaking of nonsubtleties) and her relationship with Needy. Amanda Seyfried is fun to watch once again, providing layers and depth to a character surrounded by shallow plot lines. As the only person who is onto Jennifer's secret, we watch as Needy goes from average teenage girl to terrified best friend, torn between honoring her friendship and saving her town from evil.
Surprisingly, the best characters in the movie are the guys. I've unabashedly had a crush on Adam Brody since his Seth Cohen days and loved seeing him back on the big screen. Brody plays the stereotypical, guy-liner wearing lead singer of a band, but with an evil streak. Despite some truly disturbing antics, he and his band have some of the funniest moments in the film. I also really liked Johnny Simmons as Needy's boyfriend Chase, and Kyle Gallner as one of the students who has his eye on Jennifer. After seeing so many movies centered around misogynistic high school boys, it's refreshing to see the roles reversed for a change as Jennifer is the one preying on the unsuspecting, innocent guys.
The bottom line: this isn't the worst move you'll ever see, but don't expect greatness. If you're interested enough to shell out $13 bucks for a ticket, you probably won't be disappointed — but I don't think you'll regret waiting for the DVD either.
Photos courtesy of 20th Century Fox