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Rreview: Jennifer's Body

PUBLISHED: 18:00 05 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:12 05 October 2010

"JENNIFER'S BODY" Ph: Doane Gregory

Jennifer s Body, penned and produced by Juno s Diablo Cody, is an extraordinary fall from grace for the en vogue Hollywood screenwriter. Her coming of age-story about a teenage girl s unwanted pregnancy was smart, funny, and an indie hit, picking up a Bes

Jennifer's Body, penned and produced by Juno's Diablo Cody, is an extraordinary fall from grace for the en vogue Hollywood screenwriter.

Her coming of age-story about a teenage girl's unwanted pregnancy was smart, funny, and an indie hit, picking up a Best Picture nomination at last year's Oscars and landing runner-up spot at the Toronto Film Festival.

Yet this second full-length feature - starring Megan Fox as a possessed man-eating High school bitch - is a disaster from start to finish.

It appears to be pitched as a post-feminist comic update of Carrie, with Fox one-by-one dispatching her leering male classmates.

"It's a horror film told from a female point of view, starring women, and written and directed by women," explains director Jason Reitman.

Yet any attempt at satirizing the male-dominated genre falls on its face, the comedy is non-existent, and the plot a mess.

The heroine is a high school nerd, Needy Lesnicky (Amanda Seyfried), who is best friends with Jennifer, the ultra-hot most popular girl in school.

One evening, the pair take themselves to an out-of-town dive of a bar to see an obscure indie band called Low Shoulder.

Jennifer is hypnotized the band, and afterwards, finds herself lured into the tourbus by the charismatic lead singer.

Then the tourbus takes off, the venue mysteriously burns to the ground, and Needy takes herself home distraught.

Later that evening, a possessed Jennifer turns up at Needy's house, coughing up blood and desperate for raw meat.

The next day, she is back at school, looking as perfect as ever, and apparently ignorant of the events of the night before.

However, we soon discover she has been turned into a vampire zombie type thing, who needs to snack on human flesh to survive.

Cody, who shot to fame after writing of a memoir of her time as a stripper, clearly wants to say something about revenge, objectifying women, date rape, and the convention of the genre that usually dictates a string of beautiful high school girls are bumped off by a bloke in a threatening mask.

Unfortunately, the only worthwhile star is Jennifer's body herself, which is leered over for much of the running time.

In what appears to be a desperate attempt to boost this flagging corpse of a movie, it relies on cheap titillation, including a totally superfluous lesbian scene in which Jennifer and Needy get it on.

Am I missing the clever sexual politics and role reversals? No, Jennifer's Body is just devoid of ideas.

And what strikes you most is the clunkiness of the script. It's not hip, it's not clever, and it's sure not funny.

Peter Sherlock


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