Jennifer's Body: Extended Edition Karyn Kusama

Jennifer's Body: Extended Edition Karyn Kusama
Feed a clever little comedy-horror to the hype machine and it'll get eaten alive. Jennifer's Body didn't stand a chance against the pressures of being Diablo Cody's follow-up script to Juno, and Megan Fox's first real opportunity to try that whole acting thing. That Fox is Body's star is the first piece of studio mischief blurring what could've been a much toothier dark comedy. On screen, Amanda Seyfried clearly leads a strong ensemble cast through this tongue-in-cheek teen soap analogizing the horrors of high-school relationships with actual demonic foul play. Seyfried's character is embarrassingly named Needy, a blatant description of her relationship with best friend Jennifer. The girls hit a bar in their small town to see a big-city indie band, which inexplicably catches fire. Needy and Jennifer escape, only to have a delightfully sinister Adam Brody (as the shitty indie singer) push a drink down Jennifer's throat and convince her to jump in their van. The next time Needy sees Jennifer, she's covered in blood, and puking up prickly black gunk. It's a cat and mouse game from here on. There's an obvious killer on the loose and Needy is driven to the edge by her loyalty to a friend who was always actually a bitch to her, and her fear of what lengths Jennifer will go to now that she's really evil, "not just high school evil." The extended edition gives more screen time to the parents of some of the victims, more fully exploring the theme of grief's impact on the community. It doesn't help to balance the film's already uncertain tone, which, in a scene by extended scene commentary, director Karyn Kusama references repeatedly as an issue between her intentions and the studio's. A commentary for the theatrical version with Kusama and Cody is, sadly, the only other feature. Maybe viewers will give Jennifer's Body another look once there's some distance from the hype-machine's grind. (Fox)