Jennifer's Body (2009)
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Megan Fox, Johnny Simmons, Adam Brody, and J.K. Simmons
Director: Karyn Kusama
Rating: Five of Ten Stars
When an evil indie band sacrifices popular high-school girl Jennifer (Fox) to Satan in exchange for fame and fortune, they should have listened to her best friend (Seyfried) when she told them Jennifer had lied about being a virgin. Their sacrifice returns from the dead as the vessel demon who must consume the body and souls of her classmates.
"Jennifer's Body" is actually a better movie than I had been led to believe. It had been described to me by someone whose opinion I usually trust as "a badly done and dull high school chick-flick jazzed up with a killer demon."
While I guess I can see the chick-flick aspect--the driving force at the heart of the film is the relationship between "Needy" and Jennifer, a relationship so close and full of love that it survived even the destruction of Jennifer's soul and "tainted" the demon that had taken her body--I hardly found it to be badly done. While it didn't really contain any surprises, but what's here is well executed, the actors all give a good accounting of themselves, and the script moves forward at a steady and logical pace.
Of course, it could be that I like this film better than many horror films with a high school setting because I could actually recognize the characters in it. This is one of the very few high school movies where the characters and their interactions rang true to me. I even recall saying some of the lines uttered by characters in the film.
All that said, I can see why it was described to me as "dull." Even before Jennifer decided to tell her former BFF what had prompted the transformation in her, I found myself wishing the film would get to the point where "Needy" kills her/releases her soul and somehow takes revenge on the men who turned her best friend into a monster. Yes... the film is about a flesh-rending demon on a rampage in a small-town high school--and it's a pretty good one as far as that goes--but there was another story I was more intererested. And that story wasn't where the film's focus was. The revenge seemed like it needed to be part of the story, because there was such a close relationship between Jennifer and "Needy"... it, unfortunately, the film ends without delivering on that.
Well, sort of. Stick around for the end credits, and you'll see what bumped this review from a Four-rating to a Five. Better late than never, as they say... and proof that a satisfying ending really does color the perception you walk away from a movie with.