Monday, September 21st, 2009

Horror Chick: 'Jennifer’s Body' Is Garbage, But You'd Tap It Anyway

JENNIFER'S BOMBToday's lesson from the Tao of Horror: If a B horror flick has the world's most fuckable star and the only screenwriter who can A) show up in her own movies and B) be recognized when she does, is it still a B horror flick? Yes, my people. Yes. Case in point: Jennifer's Body, which, despite a level of media attention unusual for horror openings (attributable to said star and said screenwriter), bombed on opening weekend, not even scraping $7 million. (For comparison, All About Steve did $13 mill, and critics likened it to perforating your eyelids with safety pins for two hours.)

Why the box office flop? (And it was: don't let anyone lie to you about how they were rolling it out or whatever. No: it opened big, on 2,702 screens.) One reason is because the film was bad. Or at least, not good. Okay, one scene was seriously fucking good-Megan Fox eviscerating a sweet-natured Goth kid in silhouette could go in a "Best of Modern Horror" highlights video. But the "teenage girl awakens as bloodthirsty monster, while good-girl best friend watches in vain" theme has been done before, and better. Ginger Snaps did it far darker and scarier, taking the werewolfism-as-puberty metaphor to a satisfying extreme (plus the two girls were sisters, giving them that extra toxic twist). And if you want pure "teen loses control of the sexual beast within," there's just no better than Teeth (an abstinence activist with vagina dentata-now THAT's a concept).

Still, what makes this blood-soaked Juno followup almost work is said star. Megan Fox's body is, inherently, evil. She's the Demon Pretty. That much Pretty has power over all of us-young, old, black, white, female and panting male alike. We're helpless in the face of it. We pay it more money, give it better customer service, offer it more respect at dinner parties. Studies have proven it: that level of Pretty controls our minds. So of course it should show up as a murderous demon in a horror film. Makes perfect sense.

And Fox doesn't just provide the Pretty-she brandishes it, cooing and slithering across the screen before slurping up another hapless adolescent. She's the Pretty's perfect monster. She rocks.

No, the problem isn't Fox-it's the rest of the film. It MAKES NO SENSE. Random fires start for no reason, random woodland creatures suddenly become minions of Satan, random lesbian-undertoned mind-melds lead to random highway encounters that lead to… makeout scenes. Shit don't make no sense. Horror has a CODE. There's a SYSTEM. We need to SEE our demon entering our girl, and leaving her body when she dies (and dude, seriously, since when are demons killed by ripping off BFF necklaces?). What we need far less is having our demoness call people "Monistat" and watch infomercials. And girl-power opening scene aside, any feminist street cred in this film is shredded by that utterly superfluous Fox-on-Seyfried makeout sequence. Seriously-it had no purpose, so much so that it drew laughter from the audience (and not just from dudes squirming to hide their boners).

Granted, the underlying point-that the "good girl," despite her lack of Pretty, is the stronger woman of the two-is well made. But by the time we get there, we're so overwhelmed by the randomness that it's hard to care. Plus if Seyfried is that effing strong, you'd think she could carry out a quadruple homicide without getting caught on security cameras. I mean really.

Melissa Lafsky really likes horror movies.

17 Comments / Post A Comment

Abe Sauer (#148)

First, "the only screenwriter who can A) show up in her own movies and B) be recognized when she does, is it still a B horror flick?" Maybe he "her" is important there but… Quentin anyone?

Also, I think Diablo Cody's fame is overstated by writerly types that know and care. I bet 95% of people who saw Juno have never even heard of her.

And this film flopped because the market for horror films is teens. They go to horror films on dates. This is an R film so they aren't getting in. So who' going to see it? 20 year old men? They already saw the photos of her getting out of that lake so what's there left to see? 20 year old women? Certainly nobody over the age of 28. so… It's the dead market sweep spot.

ChrisB (#1,688)

There have been rated-R teen films in the past, and they grossed a lot at the box office, mainly due to the young adult audience. Just think about the horror films in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s. 99% of horror films have been about teenagers getting slashed; these films are not for 13-year-olds and other very young teenagers; that is not their target auidience. Their target audience is 17-year-olds and up. In addition, this film is not the type of film that pulls in mostly girls or women; it usually pulls in more boys and men, and that is what Jennifer's Body's target audience was/is (males).

I am sure that this film bombed at the box office due to its less than stellar marketing and competition at the box office, such as the animated film Cloudy; 3D animated films usually pull in a lot of money, and Cloudy became #1 at the box office with $30.1 million. Do I believe that Jennifer's Body cut off some of its audience by being rated R? Of course. That is always the case for rated R films. But like I stated above, that is not an excuse for this film making as little as it did on its opening day and first weekend.

In either regard, the film has not been panned by a lot of film critics; it instead has received mixed reviews, with some such as even Roger Ebert praising the film. As for Megan Fox, I feel that she is a decent actress and maybe can carry a film. Some critics of this film felt/feel that she is good. She will hopefully improve as an actress with more films.

I don't get the whole Megan Fox thing. I mean, sure, I would, but what's the special with her? Melanie Laurent is an actual cut above.

I dunno. And I'm assuming the screenwriter is she whose name must not be spoken?

But considerable kudos for giving Gingersnaps the proper respect.

NicFit (#616)

I went to film school with the director, Karyn Kusama. I'm just glad that she finally got to work The Runaways' "Cherry Bomb" into a film score. She's been talking about that since '89.

Also, the movie looks like a good time. I'll check it out.

Ronit (#1,557)

Megan Fox is not hot. There, I said it.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Saying it doesn't make it true.

cheds (#1,682)

Except that it IS true. She is ugly in so many ways.

Abe Sauer (#148)

Well, ok. But this is about "hot". I mean, we're not talking about Kennedy Center Honors or a Nobel Prize right?

ChrisB (#1,688)

Megan Fox not hot? LOL. I'll just say I disagree.

brad (#1,678)

i have left SickOfThisWoman far behind and am fast approaching GetOffMyFuckingPlanet.

"the werewolfism-as-puberty metaphor" and then no mention of Teen Wolf? -5 pts.

Horror Chick (#1,677)

Uhhh, Teen Wolf wasn't horror, and it wasn't about girls. But it did star another Fox!

GetItOn (#1,182)

Never thought I'd object to any cosmetic procedure…but here it is: Megan Fox is 23 and Botoxed to an inch of her life. I mean, in the movie, she screams, she threatens, she snarls and attacks, and her upper face is as smooth as a front bumper.

No wonder people think she can't act. Seriously. You're screaming….you're a demon and have all kinda bared teeth and blood, and you can't furrow a brow or look concerned or even furied above the nose line…. Seriously. Maybe she can get a job as a corpse in her next movie. Seriously…Megan Fox in pain, Megan Fox screaming for her life, Megan Fox attacking as a fierce demon….frozen tundra above the nose line…

ChrisB (#1,688)

You know…I never really consider Botox that serious. But then again, I don't feel that she has had a lot of Botox.

missdelite (#625)

It bombed cause no guy wants to walk out of the theatre with a hard on.
Should kill on Netflix, tho.

etsryan (#1,501)

so a guy gets excited watching a movie and is embarrassed about it? time for men's lib i'd say. bfd /'get over yourselves'… as long as yer pants are on (or kilt or whatever), i think yer legal… although i don't know, if i were a guy maybe i'd be embarrassed, but i doubt it

hot is in the eye of the beholder?

carry on….

Risen Lord Jesus' Peace!
e.t./sue > *:D (: +

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