WEIRDLAND: Hell is a teenage girl in "Jennifer's Body"

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Hell is a teenage girl in "Jennifer's Body"

Johnny Simmons, Amanda Seyfried, Karyn Kusama and Megan Fox at "Jennifer's Body" premiere at TIFF.

"Cody and Kusama gleefully harvest and collapse horror tropes by the fistful. They have perfect partners in Fox and Seyfried, whose searing chemistry is exploited via everything from a lesbian kiss (from which the suspicious Needy tears herself away, screaming, “What the fuck is happening?”) to the requisite, aforementioned girl-home-alone sequence. Yet the principals sell both acts because they submit wholly to Fox. Her Jennifer is is magnetic enough to command irrationality, especially after her demonic conversion, when her physical survival — not just her social survival — depends on the sexual compulsions of others.
Kusama in particular knows the commodity she has in Fox — not just gourmet eye-candy that male audiences have binged on through two Transformers films, but a hypermodern symbol of American femininity in all its wily, oppressed and devastating glory. But not all teenage girls are hell, as Needy’s selflessness reveals. But even that doesn’t get her very far (Chip will pay the price for that one), soon Seyfried, too, is lost in the darker, abandoned edges of her role, those of a predator without shame or compunction. “Who made who?” Cody asks; Kusama lets the audience draw its own conclusions, even while both overplay their hands with J.K. Simmons and Amy Sedaris as the film’s two clueless adults and inconsistent riffs on the cult of celebrity (which, to be fair, already coronated its quintessential demoness in To Die For). But thanks to the shrewd, creative wherewithal of everyone involved — and even their imperfections, perhaps — Jennifer’s Body bears the mark of an even more fearsome beast: Timelessness". Source:

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