Diablo Cody talks a big game about the film industry (the mediocrity, the lack of female filmmakers, etc.), but when she herself actually steps up to the plate it always feels forced and insincere. Even if you ignore the dialogue, the rest is just put together from the usual boring trappings of ‘horror-comedy’: the cartoonish violence, stunt casting (oh look Amy Sedaris plays the mother hahaha), and irony to no end.
"Jennifer's Body" boasts some of the best snarky teenage dialogue since Kevin Williamson's heyday and, rather than date it, the emo soundtrack helps to place the film in a particular era. Karyn Kusama directs with aplomb, visually referencing genre greats such as De Palma and Sam Raimi, but the script desperately needed a few more drafts. This is a concept that begs to be even funnier, gorier, and more heartbreaking.
Criminally underrated, due in no small part to Megan Fox's public perception around its time of release. A near-perfect, self-aware blend of horror and comedy, with thinly-veiled themes of rape and trauma. While Diablo Cody was correctly promoted as the auteur of this, Karyn Kusama directs it with a precision that reminded me of the thrillers from Polanski or De Palma.
The screenplay is good, even if pacing becomes labored. It's somewhat uneven and that takes a lot from the film. It wasn't executed as well as it could have, and this is the director's fault. There are several moments where the technical side is not up to par, and it could be an homage to the genre, but it's never made explicit. Anyway, the performances and dialogue are entertaining so that it's not a waste of time.
Diablo Cody's try hard dialogue threatens to derail the entire film but everything else really works - Megan Fox and her creepy plastic sexuality, the general intermingling of sex/death/consumption/pleasure, the lesbian subtext of suffocating female friendships, the indie rock band satire. Its fun, unpretentious, escapist fluff with bitchy teenage girls and heaps of blood, loved it.
Besides a flashback sacrifice scene that successfully achieves well-timed dark comedy and horror, Jennifer's Body is too overtly safe to make these two genres work due to screenwriter Diablo Cody's unrefined narrative and irritatingly flippant dialogue that diffuses the horror and dramatic scenes. I'm glad this unnatural, Scream-esque style largely died after the 1990's. It's akin to gothic posturing, like mall emos.
[extended cut] It's not the genre subversion it looked like it might have been - but that's okay. Stradling a thin line between the self-aware and the corny (at a certain point Akon's "I wanna love you" is playing), Jennifer's Body plays well with horror tropes and audience expectations to create a fun, lowbrow, slightly lampshaded little picture with some welcome fresh ideas (the indie rock band thing- good stuff)