Halloween Party: Jennifer’s Body

While nobody is going to be putting out book-length analysis of the Great Works of Megan Fox, that doesn’t mean everything she makes is total crap. Much of it, sure, but not everything. And thus, I had no trouble passing on her magnum opus Jennifer’s Body when it hit theaters. This being the Evertime Realms Halloween Party, though, I knew that I had to subject myself to horror in all its forms, and Megan Fox’s acting certainly qualifies, so I decided to brave it.

To my shock, it actually wasn’t that bad.

Fox plays the titular Jennifer, a girl who goes mysteriously missing after a party one night, only to return to school changed. Her best friend Needy (seriously, “Needy“) is the only one who thinks there’s anything wrong with her, even when the boys at school start turning up brutally murdered.

The biggest thing this movie has going for it is that, despite the DVD cover and every piece of marketing, Fox wasn’t really the main character. Amanda Seyfried, who plays Needy, is the real protagonist of the film — a dowdy girl (well… “Hollywood” dowdy, which means “hot, but with glasses and her hair pulled back”) who somehow has maintained a friendship with the far more popular Jennifer into their teen years. Needy is not just the smart one, but as the film goes on, she increasingly becomes the tough one, the determined one, and the powerful one. In fact, by the end of the film I felt like I could have been viewing an alternate origin story for Tim Seeley’s excellent horror comic Hack/Slash. Seyfried has made some clunkers, but she’s by far a superior actress to Fox in almost every way, so placing her in the true lead role makes for a stronger film.

Fox is the villain, although the way she becomes the villain makes her a bit of a victim as well. At various parts of the film she can come across as an airheaded bimbo or a coldblooded monster, and she actually does both of those roles better than many others I’ve seen her in. In another case of inaccurate marketing, the film isn’t nearly as sexually charged as most of the marketing made it out to be. There’s plenty of teasing and torment, but the sex stuff doesn’t go past anything that could be shown on network television. The gore, on the other hand, is way beyond what you’d see on TV. Which, in a horror film, is what you want.

If you passed on this film because Megan Fox doesn’t inspire you with confidence in a film’s quality, I don’t blame you. And this is by no means a masterpiece of modern cinema. But it’s actually not bad, and if your goal is to throw together a Halloween marathon of recent monster movies or even (to a degree) girl power flicks, this one wouldn’t be bad to include.

2 Responses to “Halloween Party: Jennifer’s Body”

  1. October 4, 2010 at 6:18 pm

    I passed on this bc I refuse to give Fox any more of my money, but also bc I’ve come to like Diablo Cody less and less. Her first film, Juno, was a nice, but overrated film that was successful despite it’s penchant for being an over-written, pop-buzz laden hipster film. I have no idea if Jennifer’s Body suffers the same problem, but I won’t be renting it to find out.

    Also? Casting Megan Fox as an airhead bimbo and a soulless monster doesn’t require acting.

  2. 2 bigwords88
    October 5, 2010 at 6:55 am

    I made it through to the hour mark before giving up. It’s not brilliantly written, the cast annoys me, and it’s really not a terribly nice looking film. One of these days I’m going to try and watch it, but I normally prefer films which aren’t laden with characters hit by the idiot ball.

    @ Adam – “Casting Megan Fox as an airhead bimbo and a soulless monster doesn’t require acting.” is the quote of the day. 😀

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