Saturday, September 19, 2009

Jennifer's Body

I'm glad I didn't bet anyone money that I'd pan Jennifer's Body because I ended up thinking it was pretty damn cool. Juno was a movie that I had no love for and I thought I was done with Diablo Cody's brand of dialogue but now I think it's just Ellen Page and Michael Cera I must've hated because found myself in the groove of Jennifer's Body right from the start. It doesn't reinvent the genre but it's distinctly different from its competition and that alone is commendable.

The advertising campaign is totally misleading, though. The online ads bear the tagline "Revenge Is Sweet" and that has nothing to do with the movie. It implies that once Jennifer becomes demonic that she sets out to avenge herself against whatever tormentors or high school nemeses she might have. But what I liked about the movie is that demonic Jennifer isn't so different from pre-demonic Jennifer. Once she becomes demonic, it's not as though there's any scores to be settled - after all, this is a girl who already ruled her high school. After the change, she's just a slightly more heightened version of what she already was. The film is really about her best friend Needy (Amanda Seyfried) waking up to what a shit Jennifer is - but I guess that's a more difficult sell for a studio than "revenge is sweet."

Deceptive marketing aside, I hope this movie finds its audience. It isn't sneering down its nose at anyone who actually came looking to enjoy a fun horror movie and it's smart to boot. Check out my full review at Shock Till You Drop.

9 comments:

Planet of Terror said...

I had absolutely no desire to see this. Now I do. Great review!

Matt-suzaka said...

I have been up and down on my wanting to see Jennifer's Body. The trailers were terrible, and seemed to give a lot of the movie away, a movie that looked like cliche after cliche.

But...something about it still appeals to me, maybe that it looked like a fun horror and possibly gory horror movie that suffers from the stigma of having an uber sex-pot as the star and written by everyone's favorite new writer giving it more attention than it would have gotten.

I'm very curious to see how this one does at the box office after the poor performances of White Out, and Sorority Row.

Jeff Allard said...

PoT, thanks! Hope if you do see it that I haven't steered you wrong!

And Matt, I agree that the trailers were terrible. In fact, I think almost everyone agrees because based on the early estimates, this has not pulled people into theaters this weekend. For most fans, JB is going to have to be a DVD or cable discovery.

Bob Ignizio said...

I thought this was a very good film. Not sure if it even qualifies as "horror", since it seems more interested in exploring the relationship between its two main characters than in scaring or shocking the audience. Whatever it is, and while I kind of doubt it will do big business at the box office, I think it will eventually find a cult audience.

Jeff Allard said...

Yeah Bob, this definitely has cult film written all over it. It's not a conventional horror film at all and the marketing did nothing to hint at that. I don't know if it would've gotten a big turnout anyhow but as is, I feel like an interesting movie got thrown under the bus by a cheeseball ad campaign.

Cheap Beer said...

I've got to say, I wasn't a big fan. It just didn't seem like any of the horror, comedy, or gore were quite up to par. It had a couple funny lines, a few interesting ideas, but was never more than a decent TV pilot to me. Also, I think the Station Nightclub fire was a bit of a launching point for a couple ideas in there.

Jeff Allard said...

Hey CB, I agree that the Station Nightclub fire must've been on Cody's mind. While it's mostly East Coasters who are aware of that tragedy, it did make national news.

Geof said...

Jeff, I 'm kinda jumping in late in the game to this post and all, but I had absolutely ZERO desire to see this film. You top off so many people who have been urging me to see this one, so maybe I will soften my stance and see it when it gets to DVD. I agree with most of your selections so I will give your recommendation some merit.

BTW - I am laughing at your one comment because like you, I always tell people that I don't think I hated Juno because of the film itself. It must have been Page and Cera. Lol!

Jeff Allard said...

Geof, this is definitely worth a look on DVD. Like I said in the review and what not, I'm surprised that I dug it. And as for Page and Cera - there's something about the two of them I just can't stand. Given that, I guess Juno never had a chance with me.