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Jennifer’s Body (2009)

by on 2011/09/10

Hell is a teenage girl.”

* * * *

School is hell. I know.

This September, will be looking at movies that deal with the hellishness of school and growing up in general.

Or rather, I will. Hacker Renders will be gazing down from his ivory tower, I’ll be rooting around in the boiler room.

In fact, to demonstrate just how low I’ll go this month in my studies, I should confess right now that I cribbed the line above from the smart kid on this site. (You know who you are).

Jennifer’s Body is so much more than an excuse to put the lovely Megan Fox (Jonah Hex) into a cheerleader’s uniform. A twisted black comedy in the gory, sneering tradition of Ginger Snaps, Jennifer’s Body introduces us to Anita ‘Needy’ Lesnicky (Amanda Seyfried) and Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) two unlikely best friends in down in a backward town called Devil’s Kettle.

Needy is bespectacled, nerdly and soft-hearted. Jennifer is lithe, vapid and ruthless. Needy is in Jennifer’s thrall, as are all of the males in Devil’s Kettle high school.

When Jennifer orders Needy to join her at a concert at a local bingo hall/bar featuring  fledgling indie band Low Shoulder, things start to get really tragic-weird for the folks at Devil’s Kettle.

The smarmy big-city indie band has a hidden agenda. With Satan. “You know how hard it is for indie bands. “Satan is our only hope. We’re working with the beast now.”

Funny stuff.

Written by Diablo Cody, the dialogue is too-cool-for-school millennial speak. Maybe I’m getting old, but I found the meat and meter of Cody’s signature scriptwriting intolerably irritating in the first few minutes of her other work Juno.

For some reason, I quite liked it in Jennifer’s Body. Perhaps because I’m soft on the matter of high school being the seventh circle of hell. Perhaps because the arterial spray prevented any of the characters in Jennifer’s Body from become twee. (See? I copied that too).

It was amusing and forked-tongue-in-cheek. Case in point:

Needy Lesnicky: You know what? You were never really a good friend. Even when we were little, you used to steal my toys and pour lemonade on my bed.

Jennifer Check: And now, I’m eating your boyfriend. See? At least I’m consistent.

Fox is convincing as a boy-devouring succubus. Seyfried is great as the nerd turned avenging warrior.

Director Karyn Kusama does a terrific job setting up the terror and the humour, creating moments of flesh-tearing butchery in beautiful lakeside clearings. Who knew deers were carnivorous?

All and all and all, I found this film both clever and creepy. Jennifer’s Body is now taking up a permanent spot in my horror collection.

Live from the boiler room I am, Gru.

* * * *

102 minutes

Rated R for ravenous succubus and Diablo Cody language

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