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Film Review: Jennifer’s Body (2009)

SYNOPSIS:

Nerdy, reserved bookworm Needy and arrogant, conceited cheerleader Jennifer are best friends, though they share little in common. They share even less in common when Jennifer mysteriously gains an appetite for human blood after a disastrous fire at a local bar. As Needy’s male classmates are steadily killed off in gruesome attacks, the young girl must uncover the truth behind her friend’s transformation and find a way to stop the bloodthirsty rampage before it reaches her own boyfriend Chip.

REVIEW:

From the onset, Jennifer’s Body appears to be a wickedly enticing, new and fresh, sexy, bloody, violent and hip two-hour trek into psychological horror. The film then settles in and growing questions begin to arise.

Through her narration we find out that Needy (Amanda Seyfried), now convicted of murder, staring out prison window bars, reflecting on the past and cause of her dilemma, suddenly she goes ballistic on a woman guard, kicking and viciously knocking her a sizeable distance away where she falls bruised and bloodied. Needy is then dragged off to solitary.

Flashback to high school, where Needy, a compassionate protective friend to shallow and slutty thrill seeker Jennifer (Megan Fox) go about their day attending classes and sharing locker small talk, usually about some guy Jennifer has her eye on. And, having previously seen the prison version of Needy in action, it’s quite hard to believe that this is the same person. Obviously something drastic has occurred and it is compelling to watch it unfold.

When a not so popular rock band comes to the local watering hole to play a gig, Jennifer is rather excited, having made plans to have her way with the singer. Needy, privileged to the plan, as usual, let’s it go in one ear and out the other, but, also as usual, attempts to dissuade to no avail. As the singer is prepping for the show, Jennifer, full of innuendos surrounding virginity, introduces herself. The singer shows interest, but along comes Needy to break up the conversation.

The music starts and a lighting pot catches a curtained wall on fire. It doesn’t take long for the building to be fully engulfed in flames, but not before Needy leads Jennifer out of a bathroom window to safety.

Standing outside watching the fiery heap collapse, a distraught Needy voices concern for their lost friends. Jennifer, on the other hand, vividly shows her shallow colors, discouraged that her plan will not materialize.

However, unbeknownst to either, the band has also escaped and the singer approaches them, offering solace in his van. Needy declines and Jennifer climbs in, taking a seat alongside other band members. In a most chilling scene the two make eye contact as the singer slides the door shut. Clearly this is the film’s turning point and obviously Jennifer is embarking on a journey that will take and keep her on the dark side.

Back home and alone a fearful Needy, questioning her friend’s motives, hears the doorbell ring. She opens the door to find no one, but the long shadows protruding from a room behind her beg to differ. A short spat of typical horror film clichéd filled suspense follows before we learn that the shadows were from a bloody and odd acting Jennifer. Needy, more concerned than frightened, attempts to prod Jennifer as to what happened, but she ignores and runs screaming out of the house into the darkness.

The following day at school, a normal Jennifer approaches Needy acting as if nothing occurred. Needy is quite confused, but also happy to see that her friend appears to have returned safely.

However, all is not what it seems and not wanting to be a spoiler, lets just say that while watching, it’s inevitable that shades of typical vampire flicks will probably fill your head. And, you couldn’t be more wrong. Of course, while now reading and knowing this, you are probably reconsidering and might be looking toward the opposite side, switching your conception to the werewolf genre. And to that, I will say guess again. For this a type of monster we rarely get to see.

Sleekly shot with a popular beat driven soundtrack, this fast paced film will leave you guessing, at least until they fill you in on what actually happened. Afterward, the film turns on a dime into a friend versus foe tale, with the friend getting something she hadn’t bargained for, but eventually uses to her advantage.

While it’s safe to say that the lead actresses play their parts well, they never seem to fully congeal and this will more than likely leave the audience wondering how the two could be so close. And, if one role had to be chosen as the stronger one, it would have to be Amanda’s.

Humor effectively played a vital part in the film, but also took away much of the suspense when it was incorporated at least opportune times. This film could have been explored much deeper.

Of course that is not to say that the film isn’t entertaining, because it is. However, had it maintained the grip the opening scenes began with, it certainly would have been more memorable.

Jennifer’s Body (2009)

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