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Jennifer's Body

She's evil... and not just high school evil. 

Year: 2009 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC 15 Cert – Not suitable for under 15s 
Subtitles: This film is not expected to be subtitled, though this cannot be guaranteed. 
Directed by Karyn Kusama 
Starring: Megan Fox, Amanda Seyfried, Adam Brody, Johnny Simmons  
An image from Jennifer's Body

Anita (Seyfried) and Jennifer (Fox) have been best friends since they were young, even though they have precious little in common. The former is a nerdy bookworm, whereas the latter is the quintessential high school cheerleader: hot, popular, and very aware of it. Their friendship is put to the test when Jennifer, fresh from a night with a new indie rock band, begins behaving in a bizarre fashion, forcing Anita into action when a string of dead boys start turning up at their high school...

The casting of Fox as Jennifer was almost doubtlessly a publicity coup for the film. Her earlier appearances in the Transformers franchise virtually guaranteed a public interest in her first lead role, and her performance here is not afraid to make full use of her sex symbol status. Seyfried, on the other hand, acts as an admirable foil for Fox's character, even if the overall attempt at satirising female relationships and high school archetypes does not quite hit the spot.

Although it was written by Oscar winner, Diablo Cody, Jennifer's Body has nonetheless been criticised for not living up to the promise of her debut feature, Juno. Part of the problem is the almost-inevitable sophomore slump, as viewers and critics bring heightened expectations to their viewing experience and get disappointed. With a film like this, though, experimenting with the hybrid genre of comedy-horror, it is best to throw out any preconceived notions of what either parent genre is and just enjoy the film for its own sake. That and the special effects used on Jennifer's character are pretty amazing. In spite of the naysayers, Jennifer's Body is likely to become a cult classic.

Ian Chung

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Screenings of this film:

2009/2010 Spring Term (35mm)