Jennifer’s Body (2009) Movie Review
Written by: LFG
Edited by: Grave Reviews Staff
Director: Karyn Kusama
Producers: Daniel Dubiecki, Mason Novick, Jason Reitman
Writer: Diablo Cody
Date Released: September 18, 2009
Megan Fox as Jennifer Check
Amanda Seyfried as Anita “Needy” Lesnicki
Johnny Simmons as Chip Dove
J. K. Simmons as Mr. Wroblewski
Amy Sedaris as Toni Lesnicki
Adam Brody as Nikolai Wolf
***May contain some spoilers***
The film follows best friends Anita “Needy” Lesnicki (Amanda Seyfried) and Jennifer Check (Megan Fox), both living in a small town called Devil’s Kettle in Minnesota. One school night, Jennifer invites Needy to watch an unknown indie band called Low Shoulder at their local pub. Jennifer manages to catch the eye of the band’s lead singer, Nikolai Wolf (Adam Brody), but their flirtation was interrupted when a suspicious fire breaks out while the band was performing. Panic ensues but Needy and Jennifer escaped unscathed. Jennifer ended up leaving the fire scene with the band, unknowingly submitting herself to be the “virgin girl” whom the band planned to use as a human sacrifice to the devil that night, expecting fortune and fame in return. This turned out to be the main reason why the band decided to play at Devil’s Kettle. Jennifer survives the ordeal; however, she becomes fully possessed by a succubus and she now needs to feed on human flesh on a regular basis to survive. She then starts a killing spree, victimizing random boys in her high school. Her best friend Needy finds out and decides to put a stop to it on the night of their school dance.
There were a handful of graphic scenes full of blood and gore, most notably the ones where Jennifer would attack and feed on her victims. She lures her prey and pretends to seduce them before disemboweling them with her sharp fangs. The visual effects when her face would transform into a succubus were decent, but the makeup was much more impressive and creepier, especially when Jennifer had that demented smile on her face after murdering a local boy. The one scene that stood out the most was when a disemboweled corpse of a high school boy was left to rot in the woods with a deer eating some of flesh off him.
The Grave Review
The premise of Jennifer’s Body (2009) is very straightforward and has a lot of cliché elements to it since it is set in a typical small-town American high school and the characters are not exactly unique. It slightly gives off a bit of teen rom com vibes with its witty dialogue and saturated cinematography, but then the amount of gore and creep factor reminds the viewers that this is not a happy film.
Acting wise, Megan Fox did the title character justice. She was in her full element playing a sexy, angsty, and very hungry maneater. Her portrayal of an insecure and manipulative teenager was surprisingly believable. It is also clear that this film celebrates women, in a weird and gory way, as most male characters were portrayed weak—that is, weak enough to be a monster’s meal.
The movie, while gory, has some soft moments to it, specifically the flashback scenes of Jennifer and Needy as kids. It was clear even then that Jennifer was the leader and Needy was the blind follower. This really established how superficial their supposed “deep” friendship was, which would lead the viewer to sympathize both characters, especially when Needy ends up ultimately killing her best friend turned monster.
Jennifer and Needy’s final showdown in the bedroom, which led to the title character’s death, was not all impressive and surprisingly ended rather quickly. A few extra seconds or minutes of them fighting would have made it more enjoyable to watch. Also, the ending would have been a lot more satisfying if the band’s hotel slaughter scene was played out more. The still images of the group’s dead bodies strewn around the hotel room was not enough. It would have been more effective to see how Needy actually killed each band member of Low Shoulder, considering the damage they have done not only to her friendship with Jennifer, but to the entire town. The ending also leaves room for the viewers to hope for a possible sequel. Overall, the film is an easy watch as it strikes the balance of being fun yet scary enough to keep you up at night.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews gives Jennifer’s Body (2009) two and a half graves out of five graves.
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