2009-10-16 / Entertainment/Lifestyles

MovieScope

'Jennifer's Body' - 'Carrie' Come Back
By Robert Snyder

Horror fans thirsting for a hot Halloween blood fest will be disappointed with "Jennifer's Body." Not that the film doesn't feature a steamy high school girl gorging on flesh, but it neglects to include even one scare.

Director Karyn Kusama ("Girlfight") and writer Diablo Cody ("Juno") pack every teenage fright flick effect into one hour and 42 minutes to no avail. The result is a giant cliché, leaving you longing for quality horror like "Carrie," "The Exorcist" or "Rosemary's Baby." Maybe the timing is off, because all the jump shock moments miss.

As for the story line, we have the standard "Prom Night"-"Scream" psycho knocking off teens throughout senior year. The big twist is that here the baddie is the beautiful cheerleader, Jennifer Check (Megan "Transformers" Fox), who's mutilating the boys. So the girls get a break from the slaughter this time.

Pre-psycho Jennifer convinces her best friend, Anita "Needy" Lesnicki (Amanda "Mamma Mia!" Seyfried) to check out the big city rock band, Low Shoulder, playing at a local hangout in the boon-dock town of Devil Kettle, Minnesota. The music has hardly begun before the place erupts in flames. Led by Satanic singer Nikolai (Adam Brody), the band drugs Jennifer and whisks her away in their van to serve as a sacrifice to the Evil One. The problem is that the sacrifice doesn't stick since Jennifer is not the virgin she claimed to be, a necessity for such rituals. She appears the next morning in Needy's kitchen, spewing geysers of blood and stuffing her face with barbecued chicken.

When informed of Jennifer's strange behavior, Needy's boyfriend Chip (Johnny Simmons) reasons that it's a result of smoke inhalation from the fire. Now a full-fledged spawn of Satan, Jennifer lives on a diet of teenage boys, culminating on an attack on Chip during the inevitable prom night. They never actually make it to the prom, just to a nearby unkempt indoor swimming pool, where Jennifer splashes and flies around until a climatic confrontation with newly nasty Needy.

To say that "Jennifer's Body" is a waste of talent is not really fair because pretty Ms. Fox has none. Where's Sissy "Carrie" Spacek when we need her?

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