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REVIEW: Jennifer's Body
IT has been a good year for comedy horror movies, old hands in the genre went back to their roots as Evil Dead’s Sam Raimi returned to direct Drag Me to Hell and the zombie apocalypse was gifted with a long deserved big budget facelift in Zombieland.
It is perhaps to Raimi that the Oscar winning screenwriter Diablo Cody penned romp owes the most; as a demon, awakened in the body of popular girl Jennifer Check (Megan Fox) begins to reap her revenge on the male population of Devil’s Kettle: a small town in Middle America.
After a fire at a local bar, Jennifer is bundled into a van with a visiting band; despite the protests of her best friend “Needy” (Amanda Seyfried). To the complete surprise of Needy, who is distraught at the apparent kidnapping, Jennifer arrives in her kitchen some time later covered in blood. After raiding Needy’s fridge; Jennifer vomits a putrid black fluid and pins her against a wall, before disappearing as quickly as she appeared, leaving Needy to clean up the mess.
Soon after, boys start disappearing from their school and Needy suspects Jennifer is to blame.
In the past I was very critical of Tormented (2009), a British film that tried to emulate (in particular American) teen horrors of the past, but placed it within a central London school. The result was a mess of teenager clichés and uneven writing, trying desperately to hold up a flimsy plot and an unintentionally hilarious central ghoul.
Jennifer’s Body, despite its vaguely similar plot, suffers from none of Tormented’s many problems as it gives good scares, remains occasionally hilarious and centres on a gloriously sexy and evil main villain.
A couple of problems persist however, problems that I would also level at writer Diablo Cody’s last feature script Juno (2007); being that the writing occasionally seems forced, veering from “would a teenage girl actually say that?” to moments that are taken just a little too far to remain funny.
These are minor however and Jennifer’s Body is great fun, as all horror comedies should be, never taking either side too far as to envelope the other.