Movie review: "Jennifer's Body"

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A vocal fan of horror movies, screenwriter and Entertainment Weekly contributor Diablo Cody has literally set her follow-up to Juno within their world. Jennifer's Body exists in a reality defined not by Main Street but by Elm Street, in a high school that's part Carrie, part Heathers. The problem with this approach is that we already know the territory too well.

Hot girl on campus Jennifer (Megan Fox) and geeky girl Needy (Amanda Seyfried) have had an unlikely lifelong friendship, with Needy always going along with whatever Jennifer suggests, including a trip to a suburban dive bar to see an emo band from the city. The night ends with a raging fire and Jennifer being swept up into the band's van by eyeliner-sporting lead singer Adam Brody.

She returns bloody and spewing black bile, and in short order the boys who've always lined up to date Jennifer become her buffet menu, while Needy becomes her adversary to protect boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons).

Cody's dialogue is still sharp and she does bring a couple of uniquely fun plot developments, and director Karyn Kusama tries to add atmosphere with shadows and wide shots emphasizing characters' vulnerability, but neither has much of a flair for the genre. There's just nothing here that's particularly scary.

The only thing sure to get some people's hearts racing is the already notorious kissing scene between Fox and Seyfried.

"Jennifer's Body"

Opens Friday

Grade: C