Toronto 2009 Review: Karyn Kusama's Jennifer's Body
by Alex Billington
September 11, 2009
I caught the premiere of Karyn Kusama's new horror feature Jennifer's Body, written by Oscar winner Diablo Cody and starring the luscious Megan Fox, up in Toronto tonight (where it played extremely well). I actually dug it quite a bit, I had a good time, and despite plenty of Cody's always-fresh pop-culture dialogue, I had a good time. The story is actually much more about Amanda Seyfried's character, who kicked Fox's ass, in terms of acting at least (in the movie, though, I won't say). It's not a perfect movie, but it is one of those fun kind of 80's horror throwbacks that is good to just pop in on Saturday nights with a bunch of friends.
It's always great to see a completely original story in Hollywood that isn't based on a book, toy, video game, comic book, short story, poem, or short film, and Jennifer's Body is at least that - an original story at its finest. It's gritty, it's sexy, it's dirty, it's fun as hell, it's quirky, it's original, it's entertaining. You've got all that, what more do you need, really? Were you expecting anything else? All you need to know about the plot is that the hottest girl in high school gets possessed and starts "eating" boys. Her friend, Needy (Amanda Seyfried), starts to figure out what's going on and tries to put an end to it before she eats her boyfriend, too.
Karyn Kusama is not the strongest director, but she does have some style, and puts it to good use. While likely unintentional, Kusama seems inspired by Zack Snyder, with epic slow-mo fight shots and moody cinematography, but it works well, or at least to good effect in Jennifer's Body. I think my appreciation for this comes most from my pure enjoyment of it as a throwback to 80's horror and as something I'll probably be rewatching many times in the future. How often can you pop in a DVD and enjoy every last minute of it for the 5th time? I definitely expect I'll be doing that with Jennifer's Body, and I've only seen it once so far!
I don't have much more to say except to be a bit cautious going into this. Don't expect anything brilliant, just expect a sexy horror flick with some Diablo Cody dialogue and stylized visuals, loud head-bangin' rock music playing throughout, and lots of blood. If that's all you're hoping to see, then you'll probably dig it like I did.
Toronto Rating: 7 out of 10