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
Reader Feedback - 24 Comments
Eat me. Please Megan Fox, eat me. Forget Shia. I've got more meat on my bones.
Big Red Moose on Sep 11, 2009
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSymGHqbZhA Megan Fox tribute
leaflinks on Sep 11, 2009
Ginger Snaps is better.
Nathan D on Sep 11, 2009
You didn't even discuss any of the performances...
Itri on Sep 11, 2009
sure he did. megan fox was average at best and the other leading girl kicked her acting ass. "t3h" end. seems appropiate enough for a mindless horror flick with rock and blood...lol
buggy166 on Sep 11, 2009
lousy review its like something you'd find on the back of a dvd cover
twispious on Sep 11, 2009
It's a simple, neutral, spoiler-free review. Understandable! This flick doesn't open 'til next week.
Spider on Sep 11, 2009
-97 points for Diablo Cody's "always-fresh pop-culture dialogue"
Henry Jones Sr. on Sep 11, 2009
I don't know why everybody expected this to be an oscar worthy film, its exactly what it set out to be a fun teenage horror flick, Fox is a good actress, and those on the Fox sucks Bandwagon shoud at least be willing to give her a chance. Sure she has a mouth on her but who dosen't? Working in Hollywood kinda requires it, So I'm just gonna give her a chance, and yeah...
Xerxex on Sep 11, 2009
HAHAHA...Fox is not a good actress. She is just another Hollywood famous ho. Diablo Cody is a brilliant writer (if you have read anything else other than Juno or this film). And yes, the review was terrible, its more "i liked it, you will to if you expect nothing!" Total joke.
one on Sep 11, 2009
alex- it's quite sophomoric to reason that because of "moody cinematography" and "slo-mo fights", kusama is inspired by zack snyder (even unintentionally lmao). and why do you always reiterate a summation of every other online journalist reviews? you obviously gain a lot of your perspective from interaction with those who know more, defying you of a legit, independent opinion. but i can't expect much of a review from someone who gave texas chainsaw: the beginning an 8, now can i? and if you were to minus diablo cody's name or reitman's, etc.-- the review would be much more negative. it's okay, alex. it's okay. 🙂
WaveRider812 on Sep 11, 2009
"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." Really!? Just admit it, it was Megan Fox that made it so "enjoyable".
Brian on Sep 11, 2009
One who are you to judge her? Does calling her a ho make you feel proud? Come on man don't just write her off, unless you've actually met her then you can judge until then judge her by her acting. And I'm hoping she makes better career choices. I'm not naive, if Fox ever met me, I'd probably get talked bad to, but I'll probably never meet her so I'm going off her acting jobs, and so far so good.
Xerxex on Sep 11, 2009
Megan Fox makes me feel good just looking at her lol. Diablo Cody is a great writer and the plot sounds solid especially based on the fact it's an original story. i'll be seeing this in theaters!
Kalladin on Sep 11, 2009
I hate this movie. I haven't seen it. I don't want to. I'm not gonna. Don't need to. Megan Fox has no appeal to me. She reminds me of a really spoiled 11 year old. This movie should not have been thought of. I hope this movie bombs and so does Sorority Row.
d on Sep 11, 2009
#14 "I hate this movie. I haven't seen it." thanks d, that's awesome!
Kalladin on Sep 11, 2009
I won't knock this movie! I know what I'm going into: a throwback to 80s horror movies; blood and gore; Megan Fox; written by Diablo Cody. I'm not bitchin'! I'm there!
Blue Silver on Sep 11, 2009
Megan Fox stars it, for those who are going to watch it, no one thinks it will be brilliant, for that simple fact.
M on Sep 11, 2009
I saw this movie at tiff and was dissapointed. As always the best parts were in the trailer, and nothing was "fresh" or original about it. I will say this, if you go into it with no expectations and just want to see Megan Fox in her underwear then you'll love it. If you're not a teenage boy, you will be dissapointed. Too bad...I had high hopes.
Bruce on Sep 11, 2009
Megan Fox is the new Jessica Alba, acting-wise.
Governor on Sep 12, 2009
I won't support anything that "starts" Megan Fox. I know I'm being a bit judgmental but the way she has come across with her insults towards Bay for example have rubbed me the wrong way. How about if you have nothing nice to say don't say anything. Bay I'm sure is far from perfect but to shit on the person that brought you of obscurity and gave you chance in a huge tentpole film which is responsible for you been the household name you are now. On top of that you haven't shown to be a decent actress yet, maybe you'll grow to be but you're not there yet. I'll see this on cable or maybe I'll sneak in at the megaplex if I'm that interested
foxtrot on Sep 12, 2009
foxtrot not trying to start something but what did she say, I read the Hitler comment, but was there more to it, because I found the Hitler comment amusing, did I miss another comment about Bay?
xerxex on Sep 13, 2009
right after the makeout scene. as she was explaining what happened with the band. EVIL DEAD poster on Seyfried's character's wall. awesome easter egg
-Peter- on Sep 18, 2009
This film is a watered-down version of Bible Black, sans the switchblade aspect.
Lord_Vadus on Oct 1, 2009
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