Jennifer's Body (2009) by Karen Kusama

Director: Karen Kusama
Year: 2009
Country: USA
Alternate Titles: N/A
Genre: Creature Feature; Possession

When her best friend begins acting totally different, a girl finds that she's been used by a rock band as a sacrifice for their success and is responsible for the blood-soaked rampage through town, forcing her to stop it.


Frankly, this one became quite an enjoyable and entertaining creature feature. One of it's better elements is the rather fresh and original take on the possession angle which really does this one well. By using the possession to become a crazed flesh-eating demon with supernatural powers, there's a difference to this that causes a lot to like here in how she behaves to makes this a lot of fun. The ability to hover in the air, walk on the ceiling and utilize the lake as a regeneration tool are all pretty novel ideas and cause this one to feel pretty original at times. Being able to rely on living with the possession and seeing how the film tackles the upgrade of her lifestyle afterwards with how she handles those new and improved characteristics that are shown to have that kind of affect on her, giving this one the rather fine setup with all these new elements brought into play.

Likewise, that also extends to the rather fast and frenetic action along the way which really makes for an exciting and thrilling time here as this one tends to roll along at such an extended pace that it really gets a lot of its positives from this factor. The introductory scene to her condition, investigating noises in the darkened house with the phone call and then the discovery in the kitchen sets this one up nicely, and the rather frantic encounter within the flower shop makes this one incredibly exciting as the atmosphere of the location mixed with the suspense of the stalking along the rows of flowers comes together for a really enjoyable time. Other big action scenes from the opening accident at the concert along with the back-story explanation of everything and the final battle in the bedroom all creates a thoroughly entertaining amount of action in here which manages to send this out on a high note.

As well, the cast here is quite impressive for what it's supposed to. Basically a two-person show, it's quite surprising the two leads work as well as they do with Megan Fox giving a stellar performance as Jennifer Check, the possessed girl. She handles the witty dialog quite well and never seems tongue-tied with the complex quips and one-liners which shows her sitcom background, and her obvious sex appeal makes those scenes rather enjoyable. Still, the complexity of her change is made through her behaviors as she starts becoming more ravenous and outgoing which is a nice physical change to see get played out here. She looks way, way too old to be a high-schooler as she has to be in her mid-20's by this time and it's quite obvious, but that's the only thing to be said about her performance. Amanda Seyfried as her friend Anita 'Needy' Lesnicky gives a solid performance, not really as impactful as Megan's but she holds her own in the later half where he desire and intentions to get her friend fixed. Truthfully, none of the cast is really that bad though, and along with the pleasingly graphic and bloody kills here makes up this one's good qualities.

There's a few minor ones in here that do bring this down, most notably the films' tendency to rely on hip-sounding lingo for the sake of attempting to be cool. There's numerous scenes of the two of them spouting off all sorts of hip lingo trying to be creative or original and comes off trying way too hard so it leaves the middle of the film really quite clumsy. Otherwise, the other flaw to this is the fact of it being a tease without being exploitative about it, tending to dance around the concept of her being a complete and utter sex-starved woman back back-tracking on really going full throttle on the whole problem, leaving it with dry sex-scenes and clumsily-edited scenes hiding these facets of the film. These manage to hold it down just enough, though.

Overview: ****/5
This one has a lot more to like than expected here as there's only a few minor elements on display that somewhat do hold it down a bit. There's enough to like here that it's legitimately interesting to those willing to give this one a chance, while those who can't overlook the flaws will probably not be swayed by anything here.

-To prepare for her role as a possessed living-dead teenager, Megan Fox lost around 15 lbs, bringing her weight down to a near-frail 97 lbs, and stayed out of the sun.

-Jennifer and Needy were originally going to have a sex scene in the film.

-The "waterfall that goes nowhere" is the Devil's Kettle, at Judge Magney State Park in Minnesota. The water disappears into a glacial pothole.

-The name 'Needy' Lesnicky comes from writer Diablo Cody's initial intention to have the character be of a 'needy' disposition. She later decided against this as she felt she had seen enough nerdy stereotypes in high school set movies.

-The title is from the song "Jennifer's Body" by Courtney Love's band Hole.

-Amanda Seyfried auditioned for the role of Mikaela in Transformers (2007). The role went to Seyfried's costar Megan Fox.

-Blake Lively turned down the role of Jennifer, due to scheduling conflicts with Gossip Girl (2007). Megan Fox was later cast.

-In a February 2016 interview with The New York Times, while trying to illustrate how completely the studio's (all-male) marketing department misunderstood the point of this movie, director Karyn Kusama recalled that one of their marketing ideas was for Megan Fox to do live chats with amateur porn sites. Kusama said that she begged them to not even mention the idea to Fox because "she will become so dispirited....It was crushing."

-Diablo Cody wrote the screenplay for the film in 2006, the same year she wrote Juno (2007).

-The director's cut of the film was removed from Australian supermarkets due to the graphic sex scene and the violence.

-The filmmakers considered actual rock stars like Pete Wentz and Joel Madden for the role of musician Nikolai. The role eventually went to Adam Brody.

-Jennifer's surname 'Check' was initially intended only to be a place holder name. It comes from writer Diablo Cody using the phrase 'check' to express the filling of the various required roles, e.g "Jennifer - check, Needy - check" and so on. The name was never changed and features in the final film.

-The demon who possesses Jennifer Check (Megan Fox's character) closely resembles a succubus (plural succubi), from Jewish, Christian, and Sumerian mythology/theology. It is said that succubi seduce men, and fornicate with them until they are "drained" (in the movie, getting "drained" could mean getting drained of blood instead of semen). Some possible examples of succubi are Lilitu (from Sumerian mythology), Lilin, and Lilith (both from Jewish theology).

-Hershey's chocolate syrup was used for Jennifer's 'black vomit' scene along with the use of CGI-animation

-There was no makeout scene between Needy and Jennifer in the original script.

-The band's name in the film was originally "Soft Shoulder" before being changed to "Low Shoulder."

-In Diablo Cody's previous film, Juno (2007), fitness personality Tony Little is mentioned. In this film, a clip of Little's show is featured.

-When Needy tells Low Shoulder that her best friend is a virgin, and she tells Jennifer ,who retorts to needy "I'm not even an anal virgin!" Was changed for later viewings to "I'm not even a backdoor virgin!"

-Jennifer is a cheerleader. Megan Fox was a cheerleader at high school.

-This movie shares some similar plot points with the movie Ginger Snaps, (both movies involve two female characters that are close at first, but become enemies, Both movies involve one of the characters being attacked at night in the woods but surviving and becoming evil, Both movies involve the evil character becoming rude to the good one. In both movies the character turned evil starts killing boys from school and eating them, in both movies the good character finds a way to kill the evil one searching in the School's library. In both movies the love interest of the good character is bitten and killed by the evil character, and both movies end around a school party as well as ending with the good character stabbing the evil one in the heart in their own home. At the end of both movies the good character is bitten and becomes evil as well.)

-In the scene where Jennifer seduces Needy (before they kiss), Jennifer is wearing an "Evil Dead" t-shirt. Plus there is an "Evil Dead" poster on the wall of the bedroom which is center screen for part of the scene. Both movies have an evil force in the woods, that take possession of a young female, and that preys on school friends.

-When the car that picks Needy up begins to drive off, the highway advisory sign is the one for "low shoulder."