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Blu-ray Review: Jennifer’s Body

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Written by Pirata Hermosa

The story begins with Anita (Amanda Seyfried), “Needy” as her friends call her. She’s narrating the story to explain how she ended up in the mental hospital where we now find her.

Just a few months earlier she was a nerdy girl in high school, hanging out with her boyfriend, Chip (Johnny Simmons), and her best friend, Jennifer (Megan Fox). They all lived in a small town called Devil’s Kettle, which was named after a nearby waterfall that emptied into a bottomless hole in the ground.

Jennifer and Needy had been best friends since they were little kids. Needy was the quiet reserved type, while Jennifer was the wild one getting them into all kinds of crazy situations. And to live up to this reputation, Jennifer convinces her friend to accompany her to some dive bar where she’s looking to hook up with the lead singer of a barely known band from the big city called “Low Shoulder”.

The band is your typical bunch of sleazeballs led by Nikolai (Adam Brody) who seems more interested in figuring out if Jennifer is a virgin than the music he’s playing. In the middle of the performance, one of the lighting rigs catches fire and within minutes the entire building is on fire. The two girls manage to escape through the bathroom and run directly into Nikolai. While the girls are still in shock, he leads Jennifer over to the band’s van and drives away with her.

Later on, when Needy can’t contact Jennifer on her cell phone she becomes worried. But shortly afterwards, Jennifer shows up in her kitchen covered in blood and vomiting up black bile. Just as quickly as she appears, she disappears and leaves Needy terrified.

While Jennifer appears to be her normal self and acts like nothing happened, she is actually killing and eating the boys around school. Nobody in town suspects who the cannibal is, but Needy knows that something is wrong and has her suspicions confirmed when Jennifer shows up in her bedroom and confesses that she is the killer. She also tells her how the guys from Low Shoulder drove her out to the falls and used her as a virgin sacrifice to Satan.

Needy does some quick research in the occult section of the school library and discovers that they performed the ritual incorrectly. They needed to sacrifice an actual virgin, which they did not. Instead when they sacrificed non-virgin Jennifer it allowed a demon to escape from hell and possess her body. Needy must now find a way to defeat the demon and save the town.

Starring what some consider one of the most beautiful women in the world, in a film called Jennifer’s Body, you’d think you might actually see Jennifer’s body. But no, there’s no nudity, no slow camera pans over her figure, or even an ounce of sexiness in the film.

Overlooking that, you might be able to forgive it because it’s supposed to be a horror film. But once again it fails because it’s not very scary or filled with any gore. Most of the horror aspect is only alluded to with the cameras turning away before you see anything or what is done is via silhouette. Even the format in which it’s told as one big flashback removes any suspense as the audience already knows that Needy lives through it all.

The writing is bad as it’s obvious that the writer is trying to make up new terminology that we should be using, such as “Salty” for someone who is hot looking and “Jell-O” for being jealous, and a number of the plot points just don’t make basic sense. Nobody in the world would have chosen Jennifer, dressed like a hooker, pushing alcohol, and aggressively flirting as "the virgin" over the timid, mousey, plain-looking, nerdy girl. Would you? The satanic ritual performed by the band was taken off the Internet and contained about three words. Why would the demon come to Needy and confess to her that she was the murderer? What small town would have a giant occult section in the school library?

For a film that almost puts you to sleep, the ending was actually pretty cool. It’s the only part of the film that actually makes you want to see more, probably because it’s about five minutes long and is done in a montage sequence where you see Needy escape the mental institute and deal out some vengeance to the boys of Low Shoulder.

The Blu-Ray version is presented in 1.85:1 widescreen with DTS-HD Master Audio and includes two discs. The first disc is a digital copy for your computer. The second disc includes both the theatrical and extended versions of the film, plus all of the bonus features. The video quality of the disc is a little grainy, but with most of the scenes shot with limited lighting the quality didn’t matter as much. There were some issues with the sound mixing. The dialogue was much too quiet compared to the music. I had to have the remote control in hand throughout the film as the music would suddenly just start blasting at full volume from my stereo system. I even checked the settings of my equipment just to make sure it wasn’t my fault. The actual sound quality seemed just fine, but I must confess that I am not a big fan of any of the songs on the soundtrack

The Bonus Features include:

A commentary by director Karyn Kusama and writer Diablo Cody on the theatrical version only and a commentary by Kusama on the extended version.

Deleted Scenes: most of these scenes were deleted for good reason, but there is a scene in the girls’ locker room that should have been left in. It’s actually pretty important as it helps make sense of why Needy is afraid of Jennifer going to the dance, and why Jennifer goes after Chip.

Gag Reel: there’s just a couple of bloopers and then it becomes a music video mixed in with random footage.

"Jennifer’s Body: The Dead Pool" is an in-depth discussion and behind-the-scenes look into the film’s climax where the two girls fight one another in a pool to save Chip’s life. Not only does it discuss the motivation, but it also shows you how all of the special effects were done.

Video Diaries of the cast members as they run around with handy cams taking uneventful home videos.

"Megan Fox is Hot" is not really a feature, but 30 seconds of Megan Fox close-ups from the movie.

"Megan Fox Peer Pressure PSA" starts off as a serious PSA announcement about peer pressure in school that talks about how you should be yourself and then completely changes gears when you realize it’s being told from Jennifer’s demonic point of view.

"Fox Movie Channel presents Life after Film School with Writer Diablo Cody": three film students do a serious interview with the writer. They discuss how she became a writer, her life as a stripper, and what it was like to win an Oscar.

Overall, Jennifer's Body is kind of a blah film as it feels like everyone is just going through the motions. The acting is pretty uninspiring and Megan Fox’s performance is just terrible. The storyline is just a regurgitated version of prior horror genre films that did a better job of telling the story the first time around.

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