I went to see a matinee of the new Megan Fox movie, JENNIFER’S BODY. I guess I’m one of these people who actually believe the hype about Fox being one of the hottest women on the planet, but I couldn’t bring myself to go see those Transformers movies she was in. This sounded a little more up my alley, an R-rated horror movie with Fox in the lead.
It wasn’t a great movie by any stretch, but it was okay. Fox plays Jennifer, a cheerleader type (although she doesn’t seem to have any cheerleader friends) who looks like a full-grown woman, and whose only real friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfriend) is a total nerd. When they go to see a demonic indie rock band, Jennifer is transformed into a succubus (the band tries to sacrifice her, but she isn’t a virgin) , who then goes on a killing rampage, mostly targeting all the jerks at school. Needy figures out the truth and tries to stop her best friend from turning the school into an abbatoir.
It’s not the most clever plot ever conceived (and writers Skipp and Spector did a way better version of the demonic rock band thing in their 1983 novel THE SCREAM), but the acting is likable enough. Fox isn’t exactly Helen Mirren in the acting department, but she isn’t totally awful and she looks so good, it doesn’t matter that much. And she was believable enough as a sexy killer demon. Seyfried takes up the slack in what is easily the best acting role as Jennifer’s best friend. Most of the rest of the cast, including J.K. Simmons in a cameo as a sensitive teacher with a hook hand, is also pretty good.
If there’s one weak link, it’s the script by Diablo Cody (who wrote the much praised JUNO). Like most non-horror people who decide to go “slumming” in the genre, she wallows in the same clichés that a true fan of horror would have avoided. Her famous witty comments might have worked well when Ellen Page was spouting them in JUNO (even then, they didn’t always seem genuine), but here they mostly fall flat, showing just how mediocre her writing really is. With a better script, this could have been a truly subversive and interesting flick. But as is, it’s just so-so.
I also found it dismaying that it’s rated R, yet the only thing that earns the rating is the language. There’s no nudity, and the gore is pretty restrained. So much for true transgression.