If, like millions of others, you’re completely mesmerized by Megan Fox’s hotness then no doubt you’ve already decided that her latest horror-comedy flick, Jennifer’s Body, is for you. Clearly, however, not everyone is that mesmerized because the film only managed to pull in $6.8M in its opening weekend, effectively making it one of the worst performers of the week.
If Megan Fox can’t do it alone, the question begs: is the film worth seeing on its own merits? I’ll let you answer that question yourself. To help you, here’s a few excerpts from the myriad of reviews that have turned up online together with the trailer, a few clips, and a selection of images from the film. I’m guessing you will find plenty in this article to help you make up your own mind on whether or not you’ll help this struggling flick to improve its big-screen performance.
Jennifer’s Body was written by Diablo Cody (Juno / United States of Tara) and is directed by Karyn Kusama (Aeon Flux / Girlfight). It stars Megan Fox as Jennifer Check, a cheerleader who becomes possessed with an appetite for human blood. The story follows Jennifer as she begins to kill her male classmates one by one, whilst her friend Needy Lesnicky (Amanda Seyfriend) strives to uncover the truth behind Jennifer’s transformation and find a way to stop the bloodthirsty rampage before Jennifer kills her own boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons).
If you haven’t seen the trailer, watch it now:
Here’s what various randomly sampled reviewers have to say:
From Rope of Silicon:
Perhaps this movie would have worked had an actress other than Megan Fox taken on the lead role…Jennifer’s Body ends up a disappointment. There are plenty of “what ifs” and the major one for me would be What if they gave it to a better director? but unfortunately we are left with what we have here and as it turns out it just isn’t that good.
From The Movie Fanatic:
A film headlining Megan Fox should serve as a warning to anyone expecting a decent cinematic experience…as it turns out, the script for Jennifer’s Body is actually pretty great. The blame, then, must fall to director Karyn Kusama (The L Word, Girlfight), who doesn’t show much vision, if any at all. Cliches abound, and without solid filmmaking behind them to make them, at the very best, a guilty pleasure, Jennifer’s Body just comes across as a big mess.
The film doesn’t lack for energy. It moves along briskly, and Kusama and Cody (who serves as executive producer) achieve several striking visual images involving blood, shadows and gloomy places. The film is technically smooth, too, so “Jennifer’s Body” is not a total miss. Just a stinging disappointment for Cody fans.
Even with Megan Fox ideally cast as a sharp-fanged succubus with a lusty appetite for young male (and sometimes female) flesh, this high school horror romp tackles its bad-girl-gone-really-bad premise with eye-rolling obviousness and, fatally, a near-total absence of real scares.
To describe it in one word? Schizophrenic. The film continuously switches gears…The film’s performances are pretty decent…Megan wasn’t horrifyingly bad but neither was she good…There was a scene where it’s a real big close up of her kissing another chick…(YES!!!!)…if I had to give it a rating, I’d say a 3 out of 10 .
Megan Fox and Amanda Seyfriend kiss? Is it worth going to see for that? Maybe. Or you can just watch the kissing scene in the following clip:
If Cody’s writing seems overconfident and all too self-aware then Karyn Kusama’s direction is the exact opposite. She doesn’t seem to know whether she’s making a comedy with horror in it or a horror film with humor in it. The movie zips along at a fine pace, but to what end? Jennifer’s Body would have been more enjoyable had it been a terrible movie you could at least laugh at, but instead it’s just a painfully average genre flick noteworthy only for its few good zingers and the innate sex appeal of its leading ladies. The MySpace teen set will likely enjoy the movie for its nasty wit, and horny boys will be satisfied just to watch Megan Fox, but true horror fans will find that Jennifer’s Body puts the suck in succubus.
‘Jennifer’s Body’ is a winner…The last time a horror flick tried for a distinctly female point of view the result was “Twilight,” which was more of a wan gothic romance than a chiller. Jennifer’s Body isn’t anything like that. It’s a much edgier, snappier, bloodier film, aimed primarily at young hipsters and horror fans…this entertainingly oddball offering does twist fresh kinks into a genre that’s always crying out for new blood.
From Screen Rant:
Overall Jennifer’s Body is just a boring movie – punctuated by occasional humor and fewer scares.
Jennifer’s Body has its share of problems, and in the final equation, it makes for neither great horror nor great comedy. But it has some interesting things to say while presenting a woman’s perspective in a genre traditionally dominated by misogynistic stereotypes. That plants it firmly in the category of “pleasant surprise,” an unexpected gift that–like all such gifts–should be enjoyed without suffering from undue scrutiny.
Watch another clip:
Finally, this movie won’t change your opinion on Megan Fox nor does it intend to. She is sexy. She knows how to deliver Cody’s dialogue. She occasionally gets to be threatening but even her threats sound a little sexy…This film really belongs to Seyfried and she does a fantastic job by playing the role not as a scream queen but as the unlikely heroine who has to choose between her love for her best friend and protecting everyone else, especially her boyfriend….The failure of “Jennifer’s Body” lies with the partnership between Kusama and Cody. They fail their movie in the one area where it could be something more than just a monster flick featuring a hot actress. Rating – C minus
From Film Junk:
With a little more focus and a steadier tone, Jennifer’s Body could have been something memorable. A lot of the right elements are there, but the movie gets caught up in being cute and fails to give any sense of urgency or truly biting humour. A shrug of the shoulders is about all it earns from me, although I suppose it is the kind of movie that may eventually develop a cult following on DVD.
From Screen Daily:
Though clever and generally amusing, the horror-comedy Jennifer’s Body runs into problems on the fright front. Working from Diablo Cody’s first produced screenplay since her Oscar-winning script for Juno, director Karyn Kusama and star Megan Fox seem uncertain if they’re satirising the conventions of teen gore-fests or simply catering to their core audience’s expectations….Despite its selling points, however, Jennifer’s Body can’t help but feel unsatisfying.
Adjust expectations accordingly…On the Megan Fox front, Jennifer’s Body contains no nudity, moderate cleavage, and one lesbian make-out sequence. On the horror front the film contains a paltry four kills, all of which occur resolutely off-screen, the closest we get to actual carnage being silhouette shots and a few quick glimpses of the aftermath. Those hoping for a full blooded horror film will leave disappointed…That said, Jennifer’s Body is also a much sharper than normal stab at PG-13 horror comedy and a film that will, no doubt, play strong to its intended audience.Is Jennifer’s Body a revelation? No. Does it somehow confirm Diablo Cody’s wildly overstated reputation as the new Christ of female screenwriters? No. But it is a pretty solid piece of work, and an entertaining night out.
Watch a featurette that looks at the film’s story, and the relationship between Needy and Jennifer:
Ultimately, it’s impossible to think about this film without considering your personal feelings about at least two, if not all three of the women who are at the forefront of its creation…the movie is perhaps best looked at like one of the girls at the center of its story – namely, as something that seems intriguing, but doesn’t know well enough what it is to convince anyone else that it’s genuinely interesting…Jennifer’s Body is a far more accurate representation of teenage females than it is an examination of them, while the experience of watching it is horrifying without managing to qualify as an actual horror movie.
From Inside Pulse Movies:
With an Oscar on her mantle already, Cody has accomplished more then most screenwriters ever will. And with a stinker like Jennifer’s Body on her cinematic resume, she’s accomplished what hundreds of other screenwriters have done as well: write a bad, bad movie.
From Fear Net:
It’s certainly got its strong points: Cody delivers a small handful of amusing quips, slang-isms, and one-liners; the painfully pretty Amanda Seyfried is (as usual) a sweet and affable onscreen presence; the production design and cinematography are pretty much top-notch…but that’s where I sort of dry up. Ultimately Jennifer’s Body feels like nothing more than a creaky old screenplay that Cody had lying in a drawer, and she punched it up for a project-hungry producer, who gave it to a woefully unprepared director, and they anchored it to a “flavor of the month” hottie who might not be the world’s greatest actress, but boy is she sexy.
From Film School Rejects:
Jennifer’s Body is a slight and wispy contribution to the horror comedy genre, but it is a pretty funny movie with a fair amount of blood, gore, and violence. The tone between the two halves never quite gels, and we end up with a light-hearted romp about high school girls and demons, and it seems on the edge of saying so much more about the dangerous power of girls’ friendships, but instead it says just enough. There’s also a dash of Heathers-like satire in how the school reacts to the murders which again is not fully explored. None of this means the movie is a failure though as it’s still a fun and fast ride complete with lots of laughs, a few chills, and a very sexy sapphic make-out scene.
I think that’s about all the excerpts you need (and is definitely all the reviews I can stomach at this point). From hereon, know that the film has managed to average out a 6.0 rating on the IMDB, and currently has a 42% rating at Rotten Tomatoes. In fact, it is perhaps Rotten Tomatoes that most succinctly sums up all of the reviews I’ve read:
From Rotten Tomatoes:
Jennifer’s Body features occasionally clever dialogue but the horror/comic premise fails to be either funny or scary enough to satisfy.
I’ll leave you with one more clip, another “Megan Fox as a cheerleader” promotional image for the film (courtesy of Empire Mag), and a foreign poster.
Jennifer’s Body is currently playing in theaters around the US and Canada. Release dates elsewhere include:
Australia – 29 October 2009
UK – 6 November 2009