One night, Jennifer decides to seduce Nikolai (Adam Brody), the lead singer of local rock band Low Shoulder, and ends up the victim of the band's attempt to offer a virgin sacrifice to Satan in exchange for fame and fortune. Because Jennifer is nobody's virgin, though, she's possessed by a demon who needs to feed to maintain its power. Like a succubus, Jennifer uses her feminine wiles to lure unsuspecting teenage boys to their doom, like a raging hormone smorgasbord.
Only Needy realizes what's going on, but can this mousy girl stand up to her controlling best friend now that she's genuinely evil, "not high school evil"?
The End Result
Despite the demonic elements, the plot is largely character driven, a refreshing change of pace for the horror genre. The Jennifer-Needy relationship provides an intriguing peek into adolescent female dynamics, but it's not explored to its full potential. Likewise, elements that could provide insightful or unique commentary -- from the sexual politics of high schoolers to Jennifer's monthly feeding cycle mirroring a menstrual cycle -- are left at basic face value. And when the character elements sputter, the movie suffers because the genre elements prove to be a ho-hum, by-the-numbers retread.
In the titular role (insert crass pun here), Megan Fox proves to be more than a pretty face, embodying Jennifer's shallow insecurity and effortlessly selling silly Diablo Cody slang like "salty morsels" and "you're so Jell-o." Seyfried is equally adept in the heroine role, with a wide-eyed yet snarky likability that proves a grounded compliment to Fox's character. In fact, a Jennifer-Needy movie without the distractions of the perfunctory genre plot might make for a more interesting film. For reals.
- Acting: B (The whole cast sells the material nicely, particularly Fox and Seyfried in the main roles.)
- Direction: B- (Karyn Kusama provides fun visual flair, although the horror elements are less successful.)
- Script: C+ (Interesting characters are wasted on a predictable horror plot.)
- Gore/Effects: C (Tame gore and mediocre CGI in place of good old-fashioned makeup effects.)
- Overall: C+ (Frivolous, enjoyable, but uneven fun.)
Jennifer's Body is directed by Karyn Kusama and is rated R by the MPAA for sexuality, bloody violence, language and brief drug use. Release date: Sepember 18, 2009.