Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Jennfier's Body Review

Jennifer's Body, 2009
Reviewed by: Dan S.
Directed by: Karyn Kusama
Written by: Diablo Cody
Starring: Amanda Seyfried, Megan Fox
Language: English

Utilizing bright warm colors, occasional surreal imagery, and smooth camera work, director Karyn Kusama creates an ironic dreamy atmosphere for this cruel high school horror/comedy. Screen writer Diablo Cody uses deadpan humor and macabre supernatural elements to craft an ultimately tragic exploration of the intriguing, complex relationship between two adolescent girls. While the story itself is straighforward, there are some interesting themes to be found. The effects are minimal but convincing, a subtle mix of make up and CGI for reptilian eye and mouth morphing. The violence is stylized and usually off screen, the camera often lingering on the gory aftermath instead. Nudity is teased but never shown, and the film's most carefully staged erotic moment is as suspenseful as it is alluring. Theodore Shaprio and Stephen Barton`s heavy metal guitar-driven score is sometimes distracting, however the memorable main motif is a cool mood-setting throwback to 80s slashers.

Much of the comedy comes from the dumb but amusing teen dialogue, but there is also a great deal of twisted, pitch-black gallows humor. The horror of the film generates more uneases than creeps, but surprisingly, it's the melodrama and superb acting that make this one so worth while. All of the main characters are sympathetic and the spacious but impactful death scenes carry a surprising amount of weight uncommon to the genre. As the conflicted and heart broken lead, Amanda Seyfried conveys much of her emotional arc with her huge expressive eyes. As the title character, Megan Fox's dark sex appeal and effortless charisma are naturally iconic, but it's her ability to hint at repressed vulnerability that elevates her above your average evil babe. Veteran character actor JK Simmons draws a chuckle with every modest screen time as a clueless but well meaning teacher.


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