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Jennifer's Body

4 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

Described by director Karyn Kusama (‘Girlfight’) as ‘a tribute to the fierce power of oestrogen’, this coming-of-age horror comedy typecasts beautiful ‘Transformers’ star Megan Fox as Jennifer, a high school alpha female in the ‘Heathers’ or ‘Mean Girls’ mould. However, by going against the grain of the ’80s horror movies to which it pays affectionate homage – ‘Carrie’, ‘Fright Night’, slasher movies in general – the script by ‘Juno’ writer Diablo Cody explores the toxic friendship between Jennifer and her nerdy, speccy bosom buddy, Needy (Amanda Seyfried). ‘Sandbox love never dies,’ so they are best friends forever. But when Jennifer’s encounter with a diabolical indie band ends with her being sacrificed and transformed into a literally maneating demon, Needy must see through her one-sided girl-crush in order to end Jennifer’s bloody reign of terror.

A welcome antidote to the sexless romanticism of ‘Twilight’, Kusama and Cody’s female-driven horror comedy explores the premise that ‘hell is a teenage girl’. When the far from virginal Jennifer transforms, she simply becomes herself, but more so: her sexual power is magnified, she glows with health after feeding, and her cruel selfishness goes into overdrive. But not even Needy’s sensitive boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons) will believe that Jennifer’s body is now the embodiment of evil.

There are weaknesses: Kusama’s set-piece scare scenes aren’t always frightening, Cody’s trademark teen slang is occasionally more forced than arch, and the mysterious psychic connection between Jennifer and Needy is never explained. But by tapping in to the same vein of ‘hormonal horror’ as the excellent ‘Ginger Snaps’, this offers a witty, subversive look at the darker side of teen friendship.

Release Details

  • Rated:15
  • Release date:Friday 6 November 2009
  • Duration:102 mins
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