4
Nov 09

Jennifer’s Baddie

Do You SeePost a comment • 157 views

There is a point about two thirds of the way through Jennifer’s Body when Megan Fox’s Jennifer visits her best mate and explains to her exactly why she has been acting weird (where weird = not being grief stricken about mass deaths / eating boys). And the flashback takes us through the fatal night when she was to be sacrificed as a virgin, but because she wasn’t quite so pure she ended up sharing a body with a succubus. Its a clever conceit, and an original movie monster, but the problem is the film stops whilst this happens. Its not as if there has been any mystery, we have already seen Jennifer eat one boy. And while this explains a slight change in her behaviour, it doesn’t really make much sense for her to tell her bff Needy, unless she feels she really could do with a nemesis.

This is the problem with Jennifer’s Body: there are a lot of good ideas in it, but the mechanics of making its plot work clunk on more than one occasion. No-one is going in cold to this film, we know the basic plot is Megan Fox is a maneating evil high school girl. So the fact she has a geeky bff does not make much sense. When they score some shots in a bar, underage, and then abandon the drinks to see the band, it leaps out at you again. Little things, beyond the suspension of disbelief for the succubus, don’t make sense. Nor does the tagged on coda, which doubles as an odd superhero origin.

What is also interesting here is that horror movies are predominantly seen by female viewers. Forget the mis-step of the advertsing of Jennifer’s Body (teeenage boys will get something out of it, but not what they think*), what we have is a monster flick where the monster is a teenage girl. Fine, but while it may be smart to portray the queen bitch of the school as a flesh eating devil, it forgets that given the chance EVERYONE would be the queen bitch of the school. And how bitchy can someone be when they still hang with their geeky friend? Jennifer, as defined with her relationship with Needy, is actually a lot nicer than – well anyone in Mean Girls. So despite playing with a clever idea for a teen horror, it eventually plays down its effect by making everything a bit off. Its not a scary horror movie, there is not enough action for an action flick and it certainly hasn’t got the laughs beyond a wry symbolic gag or two. The film it most reminded me of, not quite tonally, but just with its misjudgement of its audience, was the Buffy The Vampire Slayer movie.

I wouldn’t put money on a successful Jennifer’s Body TV series any time soon however.

*Actually there is something almost offensive in a film directed by a woman, and written by a women apparently trying to play up to a horny teen boy audience. Having the climactic fight in a swimming pool to ensure wet T-shirts for all, the lingering kiss between Amanda Seyfried and Megan Fox are calculated in a way that makes it almost worth it flopping.

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